Frequently Asked Questions

We are here for you

Before your Departure

Preparation is the key to volunteering with peace of mind.

CIVS Kenya is a duly registered organization in Kenya offering voluntary services since it started operations in 1997.

We are members of CCIVS, the uniting body of around 80 International Volunteer Service organizations globally.

We are also verified by a number of international volunteer travel portals, including Go Overseas and Go Abroad, and you can read reviews from past volunteers.

Our team has over 24 years of experience in supporting more than 119,000 volunteers from over 100 different countries around the world. You can learn more about their experiences via our social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

If you wish to speak with a member of our team to learn more about our volunteer programs, please feel free to contact us.

Anyone can volunteer with us. However, CIVS Kenya has some basic requirements to be fulfilled by prospective volunteers: 

  • Above 18 years of age (If you are below 18 years you need written consent from a guardian) 
  • A positive attitude towards independent progress of others 
  • A willingness to adapt to local conditions. 
  • A desire to interact and understand other people’s culture and philosophy of life. 
  • Be open-minded and willing to freely exchange ideas, information, and experiences without imposing your own values on others.

In addition, some projects require special requirements from volunteers e.g. medical volunteers require special medical skills.

Yes, you do.

Kenya has transitioned from visa requirement to Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from January 2024.

The official link for eTA application is If you already applied for the normal visa, you would still use it during this transition period. Below is your eTA application procedure:

  1. Log in to the website above, create an account, agree to terms and conditions, and select your country of residence.
  2. Upload your passport biodata page, then your selfie picture or passport-type photo
  3. Enter your contact information
  4. Enter your travel itinerary information
  5. Choose your reason for travel as tourism and enter your accommodation address in Kenya as follows:
    • Full Name and Physical Address of accommodation: CIVS Kenya, Mumias South Road, Buruburu Business Center, Nairobi Kenya
    • Host Telephone Number: 254722210968
    • Host Email:
  6. Upload the invitation letter in place of the accommodation booking confirmation
  7. Confirm and proceed with payment (34 USD)

A yellow fever certificate will only be a requirement if you are first traveling to other countries in Africa or Latin America before entering Kenya. In some instances, later during the processing, our ID or CIVS registration may be required, and you can contact us in case this issue arises. ETA processing can take up to 3 days but if it takes longer, then usually there is an error on the side of the application and the immigration department will contact you by email. CIVS will offer assistance in case of a problem.

Extension of ETA Pass

The ETA pass is valid for 3 months and can be extended for 3 more months online on the electronic Foreign Nationals Services portal (efns) upon expiry.  Below is the procedure for visa extension.

  • Click on Apply now, go to the dashboard and scroll down to Foreign Nationals Services.
  • Click on the extension of the visitor’s pass and complete your application. Upload a copy of your visa and passport data page.
  • Pay a fee of 50 USD online.
  • Go back to the notifications tab on the dashboard, download the official extension notification and print it out.
  • Present the printout alongside your passport at the immigration offices in Nairobi/ Mombasa. Have your passport stamped. (You might experience a long queue at the immigration)

The online forms can also be easily filled out at a cybercafé at a fee. CIVS will offer assistance with this as well.



For volunteers who will stay in Kenya for more than 6 months, CIVS will support you to apply for an internship pass upon entry into Kenya. This document costs 100 USD and covers you up to 1 year. You will first need to have applied for an eTA before we help you to apply for an internship pass.

There are usually long delays in processing and issuance of internship passes, but once your application has been received, you are allowed to use the “received” notification to extend your visa even after 6 months.

The following documents will need to be ready before the commencement of the internship pass application: All documents in a foreign language must be translated into English, certified, and stamped.

  1. Applicant’s School Certificate
  2. Applicant’s Police clearance certificate
  3. Applicant’s Current Passport-size color photo
  4. Applicant’s Passport biodata
  5. Applicant’s visa if they are already in Kenya
  6. Commitment letter from sponsor and proof that the applicant will be funded (We will guide you on how to write this letter)
  7. CIVS Cover letter
  8. CIVS Registration Certificate
  9. Applicant’s CV
  10. CIVS tax certificate

Yes, you likely need to be vaccinated. Depending on your country of residence, you are required to take some vaccinations before you can enter Kenya. You should contact your preferred medical practice to be consulted on all medical issues. Please prepare on time, as some vaccinations need several injections.

Yes, you can. CIVS Kenya offers an opportunity for physical challenged persons and for conventional purposes we shall ask you to tell us about your disability in your application. This is aimed at enabling us place you and the most appropriate project that you will be able to maximize your skills and knowledge.

Yes, you can come with your friends. Usually, we try not to place too many people from the same country in one project. If you wish to be placed together with a friend, please indicate it clearly be in the applications for both of you.

Make copies! Important documents (passport, data page, and visa documents, credit cards, travel in-surance policy, air/bus/train tickets, driving license, etc.) should be photocopied before you leave home. Leave one copy safely back at home and keep another with you, separate from the originals. We strongly advise you to leave a copy of your passport and your visa at the CIVS Kenya office.

About my Project

CIVS Kenya offers projects of different duration. Our monthly WORKCAMPS last for 3 weeks. Mid and Long-Term projects last from two months up to a year. Many volunteers also choose to participate in a Workcamp first, before starting a Mid or Long-Term Placement.

Apart from the participation fee, the Volunteer will have to cater for the following costs themselves: 

  • Buying drinks like soda, beer, etc.     
  • Entrance fees to Sightseeing places     
  • Visa costs     
  • Direct donations to the projects     
  • Local transportation costs

Necessary items:

  • Mosquito net     
  • Mosquito repellant     
  • Torch/flashlight     
  • Toiletries: including toilet paper etc.     
  • First-aid kit     
  • Sleeping bag  

Its best to have:

  • Sandals     
  • Hat     
  • Camera     
  • Sunscreen cream  

Other items for interaction with people        

  • Pictures of your country     
  • Food from your country     
  • Cultural materials (e.g. flag)
  • Items for donation like toys and books for kids, etc. 

Yes, CIVS Kenya will pick you up from the airport to the office or host depending on your arrival time. Before starting your journey to Kenya, please confirm that we have received your correct flight details. The costs for two airport transfer trips (1 Pick up on arrival and 1 Drop off on departure) are included in the participation fee.

Any additional airport transfer costs will be at the volunteer’s expense.

CIVS Kenya will arrange accommodation for your duration with us. These include:
During the orientation 

  • Nairobi – At a host family house.

While volunteering at your project 

  • At the Project 
  • At a Host family house 

During Evaluation (Post Project) 

  • Nairobi – At a host family house.

Any accommodation costs incurred before or after the PROJECT TERM will be paid for by the Volunteer.

You can get involved with us in plenty of other ways including campaigning, setting up local groups, fundraising and by making a donation to any project of your choice.

Once you have completed your project, you will receive a Certificate of Recognition of Volunteer Service showing you completed the Volunteer Program and made a positive contribution. This certificate can be a valuable addition to your resume as many employers recognize that volunteer travel is beneficial for personal and professional development, as well as cross cultural competence.

About Kenya

There are ATMs in every big town in Kenya. You do not need to carry traveler cheques or a lot of cash. You should inquire in advance from your bank about the conditions and possibilities of withdrawing money with your bank card while in Kenya. Having a master/visa card is advisable in this case.

Yes, Kenya is a very safe country. CIVS Kenya will provide you with the DO’S and DON’TS during your orientation. You are OK in Nairobi and anywhere else in the country. CIVS Kenya works closely with Government departments and embassies to ensure that Volunteers are safe at all times. Our former Volunteers can testify that they felt safe and at home during their visit.

Any other question?

We will be happy to respond to any other concerns you might have.


The Center for International Voluntary Service (CIVS Kenya) is a Community Development Organization working with local marginalized communities in Kenya to support them in their development and fight the poverty through volunteering and community development programs.