Refugees’ Access to Work Permits and Business Licences in Kenya
Foni Joyce Vuni, Buhendwa Iragi
In Kenya, many refugees, in both urban and camp settings, engage in employment and run businesses to cover their basic needs. Kenyan legislation allows refugees to engage in gainful employment and set up businesses: refugees can apply for Class M work permits with Immigration Services and business licences with county authorities to regularise their activities. In practice, access to work permits and business licences is complicated by several barriers. This study explores the gaps that exist between policy and practice of refugee access to Class M work permits and business licences in Kenya, and identifies what support is needed to improve access to sustainable livelihoods for urban and camp refugees.