Much of Mombasa’s economy has built up around its prominent coastal location. Mombasa is home to the largest naturally deep seaport in Kenya, so has historically has been a strong center for trade. The port has two oil terminals and the city is also home to a refinery. Key intercontinental undersea telecom cables reach the shore next to the city, as a result of which a call center industry has sprung up in recent years.
Tourism definitely plays a role in the economy of Mombasa, with the city sitting on the beautiful eastern coast of Africa on the Indian Ocean. Visitors flock to the pristine, white sandy beaches and tourist spots of Fort Jesus and the Shimba Hills National Park, and a full entertainment offering of bars, restaurants, night clubs and sports activities have been developed to keep tourists coming back.
A great way for expatriates in Mombasa to find work is by using online services. Websites such as Careers 24, Career Jet and Brighter Monday have roles across a number of sectors including retail, hospitality, IT and sales.
English speakers will often also find vacancies at the international schools and universities, where there are often also roles for academics. Most university or school teaching jobs are posted on the institutions’ own websites. A good way to start the recruitment process is by contacting potential employers using LinkedIn, or any other professional network, before landing in Mombasa.
Along with a visa, expats working in Mombasa will need a work permit. There are thirteen different classes of work permits ranging from mining, agriculture and animal husbandry, to investments and missionary work. It is possible to see the full list of work permits on the Kenyan immigration website.
Regardless of which class of work permit is being sought, expatriates will need a signed application form, a cover letter from their employer in Kenya, themselves, or the organization for whom they are going to work for, copies of their national passport and two color passport sized photographs. The fees due for work permits vary depending on which class of permit is being applied for.