US visa for Kenyan citizens

Kenyan citizens need to get a visa to enter the United States in most cases. An exception is if you have dual citizenship, in which your other citizenship is a country in the Visa Waiver program. In this case, you would need the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to enter the US.


This article will break down the basics of applying for a US visa, especially as this is the case that applies to most.

Types of US visas for Kenya

In the big picture, US visas are divided into two categories:

In any case, obtaining a US visa usually involves filling out applications, collecting paperwork, and passing your interview(s) at your local American embassy or consulate.

This article will focus more on non-immigrant visas, especially the visitor visas (B1 and B2), as it is the kind of visa most applied for, and explains the basics of other visas as well.

US visa application in Kenya

In Kenya, US visa applications are handled by a third-party company: Applicant Service Centers. Here are the steps of applying for a visa in Kenya.

Complete the DS-160 form

After determining the kind of visa you need, fill out the application form here. Follow these detailed instructions to make sure you fill it out correctly. Keep the confirmation number.

Register and apply on the Applicant Service Centers site

Register on the company’s website. Fill out your details, input your DS-160 confirmation number, and follow all the needed instructions.

Pay for the visa application fee

The fee differs for different types of visas. Most visitor visas to the U.S. cost $160.

You can choose to pay by cash by following the instructions on the website. Or, use Safaricom M-Pesa.

Schedule your appointment

Schedule your visa appointment on the site.

Attend the appointment

After you have your appointment scheduled, attend it and come on time. Have the needed documents with you:

US visa photo requirements for applications in the Philippines

Your application photo must fulfill the following criteria:

Here’s an example of a US visa photo:

US visa photo

Follow instructions and track your application

Follow the instructions given at the appointment and track your application on the servicing company website.

How long can a Kenyan citizen stay in the US on a visa?

Depending on the visa type, you can stay in the US from mere days (for example, with transit visas) to years (such as with employment visas and student visas). The same type of visas may vary in the period; for example, if you’re getting a US visa for an internship, its validity may depend on your training period. B1 and B2 visa (visitor visa) holders are allowed to stay in the US for up to 6 months at a time.

Get a US visa photo for applications in Kenya online

As mentioned above, US visa photos have to follow specific requirements to be accepted. To make sure that your images are compliant down to the minor details, we recommend you trust your photo editing to a professional tool like Visafoto, so that the processing company and embassy will accept them.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Just upload a portrait of yourself taken in appropriate lighting, with proper dress code, and adequately posed: look straight to the camera and keep a neutral expression. Visafoto will take care of the rest.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.

Original picture

You will get two files from Visafoto: a digital photo for electronic applications and a template ready for printing, so you’re covered in whichever mode of application you use.

Example photo for US visa
Photos for US visa USA for printing

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