•The state has recruited, trained and posted immigration attaches in the created stations to expedite the application.
•Up to May 2019, passport services abroad were only available in two missions; London and Washington DC.
Kenyans abroad seeking to get new or replace lost passports will have it easy after the state increased stations processing the travel document from two to 12.
It has also recruited, trained and posted immigration attaches in the created stations to expedite the application.
A brief by the office of the director general of the Immigration department Alexander Muteshi shows that up to May 2019, passport services abroad were only available in two missions; London and Washington DC.
This meant that up to 2021, Kenyans in other parts of the world had to contact the Immigration Department headquarters in Nyayo House Nairobi to have the document processed or replaced.
This took time and was costly.
However, that changed after Kenyan embassies in Pretoria, South Africa, Dubai in the UAE, Berlin in Germany and Paris, France got capacitated by the government to process the documents, cutting down the waiting time and the red tapes.
Further, eight more stations have been designated to offer the services.
They are Canberra in Canada, New Delhi in India, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Qatar in Gulf, Ottawa Australia, Los Angeles in the United States and Botswana in Southern Africa.
“The immigration attaches in these missions were called for further training at the immigration headquarters in Nairobi on passport processing abroad from May 24, 2021, to June 4, 2021,” the brief reads.
The attaches are now back to their stations abroad and the processing of passports is fully functional, it added.
Further, it said, the department is in the process of assembling mobile passport processing machines to make regular outreach to areas where a majority of Kenyans live abroad to bring the services closer to them.
The equipment includes a specially configured laptop, facial recognition camera, a biometric kit and electronic signature pad.
“With the measures, it is expected that the selected Kenya Missions abroad will not only issue passports in the missions but will make regular outreach programmes in locations and cities with a large concentration of Kenyans,” the document said.
For missions without the biometric equipment, the document says, the directorate has developed an online application system.
In stations with only online application provision, the applicants will have to complete the process online then appear before the attachees physically to ascertain their Kenyan citizenship before sending the scanned documents to Nyayo house for processing.
This new revamped online process started on August 1.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris