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Resources for U.S. Citizens in Kenya

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: May 18, 2022  

If you’re a U.S. Citizen residing in Kenya, here are some helpful resources to facilitate your stay:

Register yourself on Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) 

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  

Why you should register:           

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
  • Report lost or damaged U.S. Passport
  • Report missing U.S. citizen residing in Kenya
  • Get emergency  legal/finance assistance

It’s free to register with the U.S. embassy in Kenya HERE

Warden System

The warden system utilizes contacts throughout the expatriate community to keep in touch with Americans. Wardens are volunteers from among the local residents. They may be business representatives, community leaders, hoteliers, presidents of local American or expatriate clubs, school principals, directors of missionary groups, or administrators of non-governmental organizations. Wardens volunteer to serve as links to the consular section. Contact the U.S. embassy in Nairobi to find local wardens 

Filing Taxes

If you are a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder), you are responsible for filing U.S. federal income tax returns while in Kenya. You will find useful information on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, such as frequently asked questions about taxes or how to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If you are a U.S. government employee working in Kenya, you cannot claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. For additional information, visit the IRS website HERE

Voting 

 U.S. citizens living in Kenya can receive their blank ballots electronically. Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax, or internet download. To start, go to www.FVAP.gov to complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), print and sign the form then return it to your local election office in the United States. It is recommended that  U.S. citizens living in Kenya get in the habit of completing FPCAs each January. You should include your email address on the form so it’s easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem. SEE MORE

Marriage

The U.S. embassy in Kenya  personnel cannot perform marriage rites.  Marriages performed in Kenya are considered valid if they are entered into in accordance with local law

If you are a U.S. citizen living in Kenya  you have two ways to take your foreign spouse (husband or wife) to the United States to live. They are:

  • Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1) – An immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 is required. Learn more.
  • Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) – It is important to note that application for the nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) who married a U.S. citizen must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place. After the visa process has been completed, and the visa is issued, the spouse can travel to the United States to wait for the processing of the immigrant visa case. Two petitions are required:  Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, and Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F. Learn more.

Fiancé

If you are a U.S. citizen living in Kenya you may take your fiancé to the United States to marry and live there, with a nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e) (K-1). An I-129F fiancé(e) petition is required. Learn more.

 

*Image: Unsplash

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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