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The Netherlands has shifted processing of visas for Kenyan applicants to Pretoria, South Africa meaning Kenyans who wish to visit the country will have to wait for longer to get travel documents.
The consulate announced on its website that all visa applications submitted at the Embassy in Nairobi will be sent to the Regional Service Organisation in Pretoria for further processing beginning next month.
The processing will take 10 working days, up from the current two.
Applicants will have to submit all supporting documents, including original invitations to their destinations or hosts. The Dutch Embassy also said that it would be introducing an online appointment system for visa applicants. The system is set be operational on March 15, with applicants advised to make their bookings at least four weeks in advance.
Netherlands is Kenya’s largest market for flower exports. According to the latest Economic Survey, total exports to the Dutch country have been growing with the country exporting goods worth Sh32 billion in 2013 compared to Sh31 billion in 2012, showing a 4.9 per cent increase.
This was attributed to the increase in value of domestic earnings from export of crude vegetables to the country.
The Embassy carried out market studies on Kenya and is hosting an event in The Hague to bring together the Dutch private sector to survey business opportunities in Kenya.
Globally, Netherlands is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world. According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, they import the agricultural products, process and then export them.
In December, the British High Commission also announced that applications made to the Kenya offices would be processed at the High Commission in Pretoria.
The applications submitted in Nairobi would be couriered to the Pretoria office. A small number of applications will however be processed at the British High Commission in Nairobi including applications from officials and diplomats from Kenya and other countries in the region.
Others to be processed at the Nairobi office include urgent and compassionate cases and applications made in Kenya where the applicant has applied through the Priority Visa scheme.
– Business Daily