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Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

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san francisco, ca
posts: 4
reviews: 1
Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

Hi,

I am leaving for Kenya on Aug 5. My travel agent insists that I get my visa through a visa service NOW. She claims that British Airways may not allow me to board my plane to Kenya if I don't have a visa on hand. I tried contacting British Airways, but got the runaround. Has anyone had a problem with this? I'd rather not pay the extra fee for the visa service and risk my passport not coming back in time. I am a US citizen. I'll be flying from San Francisco to Chicago to Heathrow to Nairobi. Thanks to all.

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
posts: 6,750
reviews: 13
1. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

I think someone is trying to make a sale here.

The Kenyan entry visa for entry to Kenya. I'm pretty sure that it makes no difference to the airline in the UK whether you have it in advance or buy it on arrival in Kenya.

I always buy mine on arrival. Download the visa form, fill it out in advance (always a scramble for pens at the Kenyan airport), hand it over with your $50 bill and passport to the immigration guy (no photo needed, he stamps your passport and away you go - easy!

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,458
reviews: 2
2. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

We get many visitors and nobody has ever been refused permission to board at Heathrow (or anywhere else!)

Rest assured you can get a visa on arrival at Nairobi.

Others on this forum who travel from USA can advise about the regulations there, but this is certainly a new one on me!!

Newcastle upon...
posts: 1,349
reviews: 23
3. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

Hi,

i can confirm what is said above, as an American you wont need a visa to land or leave the UK. You will simply get your visa upon arrival in Kenya.

Romford, United...
posts: 115
reviews: 33
4. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

you can get your visa when you arrive, no problem.

nyc
posts: 12,974
5. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

I'm just back from 13/years travel to East Africa and can tell you, you don't need a (pre) visa for Kenya in order to board your flight. Kenya allows visitors to obtain their visa on arrival.

Your agent might get a kick-back from the visa service they're recommending.

Carmel, California
posts: 2,347
reviews: 11
6. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

I've gotten mine on arrival too, no problems.

This is part of the information listed under Kenya visa requirements from www.iatatravelcentre.com -

"On arrival: if required, to passengers of any nationality for a stay of max. 3 months."

The information on this site is drawn from the same database (Timatic) that's used by airlines, so in case you run into any issues with airline personnel (very unlikely), you can ask them to look it up.

England
posts: 34
reviews: 9
7. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

I think everything has been said it but just to confirm:

Yes you can get your visa when you land. Like previously said fill out your form first by printing off the net. Can make things run a little quicker.

Make sure you have $50 when you arrive at Nairobi. Try not to have small notes as they get very funny with them when checking they are real or not.

Remember, deep breath and chill as you need to remember things are done at a slower (less orderly) pace here. Don’t let it spoil the start of your trip.

However be dominant when in the “queue” for them to issue your visa as it’s a free for all and you can easily be overlooked. Let them see the $$$ in your hand and the completed form.

They might take your picture for the visa as they did for me in May.

Gavin

England
posts: 34
reviews: 9
8. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

Sorry, correction:

Please forget this part: However be dominant when in the “queue” for them to issue your visa as it’s a free for all and you can easily be overlooked. Let them see the $$$ in your hand and the completed form.

That was in Dar Es Salaam. In Nairobi it is more organized.

Thanks

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,458
reviews: 2
9. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

I came in yesterday and the queue for visas (on the right of the counters) was moving much more quickly than the queue for non-Kenya citizens. (The is only one queue for the latter and two for visas as well!)

10. Re: Visa Needed to Board Plane in Heathrow?

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