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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya pledges work permit regime changes as verification ends   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Monday announced policy and legislative changes in the work permit regime to prevent undocumented foreigners from taking up formal and informal jobs.

Fred Matiang’i, the cabinet secretary for interior, said a reformed work permit regime is key to promoting transparency, service delivery and national security.

“We are putting in place a raft of administrative and policy changes around the management of work permit regime to enhance service delivery, guarantee security and sanctity of Kenyan work permits,” said Matiang’i.

“Among the new changes include setting strict guidelines for issuance of passes and work permits and meting out severe penalties deterrent for foreigners who come into the country on tourist visa and start working illegally,” he added.

The minister spoke to reporters in Nairobi during the announcement of results of a two-month work permit verification exercise that began on May 21 and ended on July 22.

Matiang’i said the verification exercise offered the government vital lessons on how to reorganize the work permit regime in the light of globalization of skills.

A total of 26,829 work permits underwent fresh scrutiny during the verification exercise while an additional 2,760 that were accounted for were not verified due to unavailability of holders.

“Some 3,434 purported holders of work permits did not show up for the verification thus deemed to be in the country illegally. These have been watch-listed and their details circulated to all ports of entry,” Matiang’i told reporters.

He revealed that details of work permit holders who failed to submit their documents for verification have been forwarded to relevant agencies for action.

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