Freelancing - Work Permit??

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Freelancing - Work Permit??

Post  jay123 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:01 pm

Hi,
I am new to this forum, a year old in Nairobi. I would like to explain my situation, recently I have started working with a Consulting firm, being an expatriate the work permit is too expensive for the firm to afford. can i still continue working as a freelancer with the firm. What is the procedure to work as a freelancer? Is the work permit required or is it a different permit? If so who should be applying? Since I can offer my services to more than one firm as a freelancer how should I proceed with the Permit process?

Thanks
Jay

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Freelancing work permit

Post  Admin on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:38 am

Hi Jay,

This is such a tricky one but unfortunately you do need a work permit to do any kind of freelancing work in Kenya (there's even a permit for voluntary/charity work)... and they are expensive. There are lots of different types of work permit, from A to L - for all different types of work, from farming to missionary work. The issue is, if your name is going through a local company's accounts then then immigration or KRA could track you down. It may be unlikely, but it is possible and this would jeopardise your residency in the country.

As far as I know, these days immigration prefer foreign freelancers to apply for an H permit - this covers all types of consulting work so that you are free to work for a number of employers - in effect you are self employed. Unfortunately (and no coincidence) this is also the most expensive pass at 100,000/- Kenya shillings for 2 years, plus you have to prove that you have some amount of savings in your bank account (ie to prove that you will not be a burden for the Kenya Government if things go wrong for you).

I looked into the cheaper D and J permits but was advised that these are not the right ones for freelance consulting (you have to be in full time employment for D, or a doctor/lawyer/solicitor for J). There are numerous agents who can help you with this process for quite a hefty fee - but they generally have the right contacts to get the permit processed by immigration quickly and also ensure that it is actually granted and not turned down - which would be fairly disastrous.

If I were you I would ask the consulting firm that you are in contact with, to recommend someone reliable who can help organise your permit. Personal recommendations to agents/accountants who organise work permits on the side, are always best.

It's complicated and expensive - you even have to ask yourself if you can earn enough to cover the cost of the process but it's also necessary if you want to work and worth doing for peace of mind. Good luck!

Alternatively - if you work at an embassy - then you are officially classed as working on foreign soil - so the local rule/requirement for a work permit does not apply.

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Re: Freelancing - Work Permit??

Post  jay123 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:11 pm

Hi
Thank you for the clarification. Gives me a clarity on how to handle the situation.
Thanks
Jay

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Re: Freelancing - Work Permit??

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