GOING DIGITAL

No extension to e-passport deadline — Matiang'i

Travellers with the old generation passport will therefore not be able to use them.

In Summary

• At least 1 million Kenyans have applied for the new generation passport.

• Another 1.5 million Kenyans are still using their machine-readable passport.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
Image: FILE

The old generation passports will be invalid from September 1, Interior and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said yesterday. 

Travellers with the old generation passport will therefore not be able to travel after the August 31 deadline for their replacement. 

At least 1 million Kenyans have applied for the new generation passports.

Another 1.5 million Kenyans are still using their machine-readable passports.

Matiang’i spoke during the launch of the e-passport centre in Nakuru.

He said the government is progressively decentralising immigration services to ease congestion at Nyayo House and complement service delivery at the Kisumu and Mombasa offices.

Four immigration service centres have been set up in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Embu and six others in the diaspora to rationalise the issuance of the new generation passports ahead of the 31st August 2019 deadline.

“It is not only a response to the skyrocketing demand for the new travel document but also a matter of government policy position on strengthening administrative systems and improving service delivery,” he said.

 The e-passport infrastructure mounted in Washington DC and Dubai are already working, Matiang’i said.

Citizens in the diaspora are advised to get in touch with the Kenyan diplomatic missions abroad for directions and modalities of the whole process.

The station in Pretoria, South Africa is now operational while those in London, Berlin, and Paris will be up and running by mid-July 2019.

The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by Governor Lee Kinyanjui, PS for Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa, PS for Development of the ASALs Micah Powon, Director of Immigration Services Alexander Muteshi and Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mongo Chimwanga.

Others were MPs Charity Gathambi (Njoro), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) and David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) among other local elected leaders.

The Eldoret e-passport unit will be launched tomorrow (Friday).

Kenya is among the few countries on the continent and the first in the East African Community to introduce the use of e-passport.

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