TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

New e-passport centre opens in Nakuru

'The government is bringing services closer to people'

In Summary

• Interior CS Fred Matiang'i to launch the office that will serve Nakuru and the neighbourhood and ease pressure on Nyayo House.

• Some 900,000 Kenyans have so far been issued with the new generation passports.

An immigration staffer holds an e-passport at Nyayo House
An immigration staffer holds an e-passport at Nyayo House
Image: ENOS TECHE

Residents of Nakuru and nearby towns no longer have to travel to Nairobi to apply for the e-passport after a new travelling document control centre opens today. 

The Passport Control Centre will reduce congestion and ease the issuance of the new generation passports at Nyayo House in Nairobi.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i will open the office at the Rift Valley regional headquarters.

 
 

Rift Valley regional coordinator Mwongo Chimwanga yesterday said, “Preparations have been finalised and we are ready for the launch to be officiated by the Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i. The government is bringing services closer to people,” 

A similar centre will be opened in Eldoret to serve the North Rift Region,  Chimwanga said. Other centres will be in among other places Embu and Kisii.

Some 900,000 people have been issued with the new generation passports. Applications by 1.5 million others are pending.

Six immigration centres have been opened in Berlin, Paris, London, Washington DC, Dubai and Johannesburg to serve Kenyans in the diaspora who in the past had to either send their travel documents to Nairobi for renewal or come back home personally to make applications. 

An April 14, 2019, circular from Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua directed government institution heads to enforce the directive on the opening of new e-passport centres.

“This will benefit greatly Kenyans who travel to Nairobi to form long queues at Nyayo House when they apply for the new passports,” Chimwanga said.

The centres are expected to serve at least 1,500 applicants daily to ease pressure at Nyayo House.

 
 

The old passports are valid until August 31, 2019. All passport holders are required to have the new document by September 2.

The digital passports were launched in 2017. They have more security features than the old ones. 

There will be no need for East African passports for holders of the new documents as the African Union has unveiled the particulars of a single African passport.

The AU wants to eliminate travel barriers by creating seamless borders across the continent.

African leaders started using a common passport in July 2016. The idea of an African passport had been raised on numerous occasions during AU summits but the implementation of the proposal has been sluggish.