US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken (Left) together with Kenya’s Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo at Serena Hotel Nairobi on November 17, 2021. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG
Kenya and the United States signed a five-year agreement that permits dependents of diplomatic and consular personnel to be employed in the territory of either country, disclosures tabled in Parliament have revealed.
The deal that was inked last August allows individuals aged 18 years and are the immediate family members of diplomatic agents, consular officers and members of administrative and technical staff assigned to diplomatic missions, consular offices, and missions to international organisations to be employed in the receiving countries.
“Dependents of the official employees of the government of the Republic of Kenya assigned to official duty in the territory of the United States of America and dependents of the official employees of the government of the United States of America assigned to official duty in the territory of the Republic of Kenya, are authorised to be employed in the territory of the receiving state after obtaining the appropriate authorisation in accordance with the provisions of this agreement,” the treaty states.
The deal came into force on August 2, 2021, after Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary Raychelle Omamo and Eric Kneedler, the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, at the US Embassy in Nairobi appended their signatures.
The deal has been disclosed in the Fifth Report of the Cabinet Secretary on Treaties Ratified by the Kenyan government in 2021 that was tabled in Parliament.
“A dependent under this agreement shall not include a member of the immediate family of an individual who is permanently resident in the receiving state within the meaning of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” the deal states.
The agreement states that employment authorisation shall not be extended to a dependent without evidence of an offer of employment in the receiving state.
“The number of work permits issued by either party to the dependents of official employees shall be limited to not more than 50 at any given time,” the deal states.
According to the agreement, Kenya and the US will not require an employer, as a condition of employing a dependent, to demonstrate that no national of the receiving state is available for such employment.