Kenya has issued a directive demanding police clearance certificates from all foreign students and an additional drug enforcement agency clearance certificate from Nigerian students who seek visas to study in Kenya.
The directive announced by Kenya’s Immigration Department is expected to take effect in January next year so as to offer assurance that the students are not entering the country to commit crime, a top immigration official said.
“Police clearance should serve as an extra assurance that these individuals do not have criminal records. Some of them claim they are coming here to study but are simply using it as a front to engage in activities that may pose a security risk,” the Director of Immigration, Gordon Kihalangwa was quoted by news portal Business Daily.
Kihalangwa said the extra requirement of the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) clearance certificate from Nigerian students will only be applied to “individuals of questionable character”, the report adds.
Police clearance should serve as an extra assurance that these individuals do not have criminal records. Some of them claim they are coming here to study but are simply using it as a front to engage in activities that may pose a security risk.
Education institutions have also been directed to present these documents before their students can be issued passes which should be held by foreign students at all times.
Kenya is currently engaged in operations against illegal immigrants in the country as hundreds have been arrested and deported for immigration and criminal offenses.
On Wednesday, 60 Ethiopian immigrants were arrested from a residential estate in Nairobi in a security swoop.
The police said they were using Kenya as a transit route to either South Africa or Europe.
Last year, at least 50 Nigerians were arrested in Nairobi and later deported for overstaying their visas.
“Every week, and at our cost, we deport as many as five individuals who are staying in the country illegally and who pose a risk to our society. The new rule for students will go a long way in bolstering our fight,” said Immigration director Kihalangwa.