Tanzania and Kenya Visa Problem

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Sep 26, 2015
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#1
We are US Americans living in Hungary, where it is impossible to find a travel agent so that is a non-starter.
We applied online for the Tanzania Transit Visa because we will have a lay-over of a few hours before going on to Kenya. My application was approved in about 4 days, two weeks later, my spouse received a rejection letter. Writing to the email shown in the rejection letter has been pointless; there has not been a response. We thought of trying to get his Visa at the airport, but we are concerned the rejection will show in the system with me passing through and he left stranded. Strangely, we have been to Tanzania for a month about three years ago without an issue.

We are willing to change our tickets to bypass Tanzania, but it will cost over $600 to do so. If we have to, we will suck it up.

The second issue is the Kenya E-Visa. I have tried applying a dozen times from different browsers, but the end result is "Your credit card has not been approved" each and every time. I have tried 3 different cards from 3 different banks, but the same result. My banks all state there was never an attempt made by the Kenya Visa office.

Again, I have written a dozen emails to various "support" people and the Kenya Embassy in Washington. One person forwarded my note to the IT department. Someone from there wrote "Check with your bank" ignoring that I had. After Googling, I see there are many complaints about the same issue. My question is whether we can get a Visa at Nairobi airport? We were in Kenya the same year as Tanzania and I am certain back then we did not get an E-Visa.

Any ideas?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
We got our Tanzanian Visa right at the border when we went into Tanzania. It took about an hour but that’s where we got ours. But I don’t know I’d recommend it if your husbands Visa app was rejected. What was different between what you reported on your apps?

According to the State Department website, you can get the Kenyan Visa at the airport:

Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using an online system, though visas are available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

  • A passport with at least two blank pages, six months’ validity, and a visa are required to enter Kenya.
  • Single-entry visas are available online and upon arrival at Kenyan airports; however, Kenyan Immigration plans to end visas upon arrival in the future.
  • Multiple-entry visas must be applied for prior to traveling to Kenya.
  • Obtain the latest information on visas, as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements, from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City.
  • You should have proof of yellow fever immunizations, or you may be denied entry.
  • In December 2018, the Kenyan government announced a new work permit program that requires foreigners to apply for permits and visas from their country of origin. It is recommended that work permit applications be submitted 6-8 weeks prior to travel. People already in Kenya working on a permit should submit renewal applications at last 90 days before the permit expires.
You might want to contact your US Congressional representative in Washington and tell them you are having trouble getting the Visa- they may be able to help.
 
Feb 3, 2019
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#3
Writing to the email shown in the rejection letter has been pointless; there has not been a response. We thought of trying to get his Visa at the airport, but we are concerned the rejection will show in the system with me passing through and he left stranded. Strangely, we have been to Tanzania for a month about three years ago without an issue
Is there any chance anything that may have happened on your last trip affected your husband's eligibility for a visa?

Did he meet all the requirements as states on the Tanzanian immigration website?

Did he complete his application fully and correctly?

There are a multitude of reasons his visa may have been refused, but unless Tanzanian immigration provided an explanation, it's impossible for anyone else to know why.

Unless you can get some clarity and he receives a visa ahead of time, I would pay the $600 to reroute now - because it's going to cost a lot more to reroute if he's denied entry to Tanzania (or boarding in the first place!) on the day of travel.
 
Sep 26, 2015
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#5
Just an update. The applications were identical other than names, passport, etc. We did not have any issues on our last visit to cause a problem for a return Visa, but without being able to get any feedback after a dozen e-mails to Tanzanian officials, we did bite the bullet and rerouted to what turned out to be a better flight anyway. The new one is direct. I am not sure how that was missed the first time around, but it worked out.
Thanks for the feedback.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
Just an update. The applications were identical other than names, passport, etc. We did not have any issues on our last visit to cause a problem for a return Visa, but without being able to get any feedback after a dozen e-mails to Tanzanian officials, we did bite the bullet and rerouted to what turned out to be a better flight anyway. The new one is direct. I am not sure how that was missed the first time around, but it worked out.
Thanks for the feedback.
My suspicion is that there was nothing wrong with your spouse's application but that there was some other information that was input incorrectly and that caused your spouse to be rejected -- for instance, someone was on a no enter list and the passport number was input with a typo and that caused the computer to just reject your spouse.

This is of course just wild conjecture but I am basing it on my own experience. Years ago before I had Global Entry I was returning to the US, and was at the desk where the Immigration agent swiped my passport. He then said "huh" (never a good sign) and looked at me, looked at my passport, looked at his screen and repeated that process for a few minutes. He then asks me "How tall are you?" and I answered "5 '5" on a big hair day" (otherwise 5"4 3/4" but I have been known to round up) -- and he said "Well this is clearly not about you" and did some typing into the system -- and then said "Welcome back"...... So there was an alert about someone either significantly taller/shorter and there was a typo with passport number and it cross-referenced mine. It often takes human intervention -- which may have happened if applying for a transit visa the old fashioned way and not just the online way. And I only had problem returning to the US -- not exited Europe so it was a country specific issue.