Foreigners given 60 days to get work permits

Foreigners working in Kenya without legal work permits have up to 60 days to apply for permits or leave the country.

Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said the Department of Immigration has set up five stations for the registration of foreigners exercise that ends on July 21, 2018.

The move, he said will enable the government to acquire a digital register that will make it easy to search documents pertaining to foreigners.

He regretted that the government spends a total of Sh. 360 million annually to deport foreigners living in the country illegally through the purchase of air tickets, whereas the money can be utilized to improve the 34 border posts across the country.

The CS disclosed that currently, there are 34,000 foreign workers in the country, of which some of them are working without work permits.

Dr. Matiang’i said that some illegal foreign workers were arrested over the weekend and appeared before court today.

These people have not been profiled. They are causing the government to lose revenue, as well as denying our people job opportunities and creating insecurity, said the CS.

Is it fair for the country to use hard its earned money to buy air tickets to deport people who have refused to get genuine work permits?, wondered Matiang’i.

Speaking today at Nyayo House building, while launching the work permit verification and registration exercise which commenced today, Dr. Matiang’i warned that every work permit issued will keep a trail of the officers involved in the issuance.

The environment of abusing responsibility must end now. We will employ and re-deploy officers and those found engaging in monkey business will be prosecuted, said the CS.

He said his Ministry will soon table an amendment bill to parliament that will require all foreigners working in the country illegally take the responsibility of buying their own tickets or be taken to work in prisons until they raise enough money for purchasing a ticket.

Investors will be able to get permits easily as long as they do not abuse the process. Kenya has people who can be accountants and programme managers, hence we do not need to issue work permits for such jobs, he stated.

Dr. Matiang’i at the same time assured citizens of other countries that Kenya is open for business 24 hours and welcomes investors.

The CS asked Kenyans to resist any form of issuance of permits that may destroy the country’s image, saying that he has declined several requests and urged Kenyans to always shun whatever taints the country’s image.

Present at the function were the Principal Secretary for Immigration, Registration of Persons and Border Control Major General(rtd) Gordon Kihalang’wa, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Nairobi Regional Coordinator Kang’ethe Thuku.

Source: Kenya News Agency