Long wait for e-pass­port ahead of its launch to­day

IDEN­TI­FI­CA­TION Pro­cess­ing du­ra­tion and re­quire­ments re­main un­changed

Business Daily (Kenya) - - TOP NEWS - Doreen Wainainah dwainainah@ke.na­tion­media.com

Peo­ple waited in long queues at the im­mi­gra­tion head­quar­ters yes­ter­day as cit­i­zens scram­bled to ap­ply ahead of to­day’s launch of elec­tronic pass­ports.

Ser­vices at the Nyayo House of­fices will be un­avail­able up to mid­day to­day as the depart­ment pre­pares to roll out the elec­tronic bor­der passes. Re­gional and bor­der of­fices will how­ever con­tinue to op­er­ate as nor­mal with­out any dis­rup­tions.

The depart­ment un­der the In­te­rior and Co­or­di­na­tion of Na­tional Gov­ern­ment min­istry has also been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing de­lays in the is­suance of pass­ports over the past few months.

They have at­trib­uted cur­rent queues and de­lays to the sys­tem up­grade that pre­ceded to­day’s launch of the new

Kenyans have been wait­ing longer than spec­i­fied time­lines to get pass­ports

gen­er­a­tion doc­u­ments. Kenyans have been wait­ing longer than the spec­i­fied time­lines to get new pass­ports or re­new their travel doc­u­ments at Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices as the depart­ment avoided is­su­ing a large num­ber of old gen­er­a­tion pass­ports.

“The de­lay has been due to the up­grade of the sys­tems and a de­lib­er­ate ef­fort to re­duce is­su­ing of old pass­ports. We will be­gin clear­ing the back­log af­ter the launch,” said Min­istry of In­te­rior spokesper­son Mwenda Njoka.

The ‘ana­logue’ travel doc­u­ments will be ren­dered ob­so­lete af­ter two years. Ac­cord­ing to Mr Njoka, af­ter the launch, there will be an ex­pected in­crease in is­suance of new pass­ports and the de­lays will be sorted out. The depart­ment of im­mi­gra­tion has been is­su­ing pass­ports on an ur­gency ba­sis that has seen in­di­vid­u­als wait for up to two months to se­cure the travel doc­u­ments at Nyayo House and other re­gional of­fices.

The e-pass­ports con­form to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity stan­dards that re­quire all of them to con­tain a tam­per-proof elec­tronic chip that car­ries a holder’s in­for­ma­tion and travel his­tory.

The smart pass­port will phase out the East African pass­port as well as in­di­vid­ual pass­ports is­sued to EAC bloc mem­ber states of Kenya, Tan­za­nia, Uganda and Rwanda to their cit­i­zens.

The pro­cess­ing du­ra­tion re­mains the same, 10 work­ing days; re­quire­ments are also not chang­ing. The Im­mi­gra­tion depart­ment will also in­stall smart gates at Kenyan air­ports to fa­cil­i­tate faster clear­ance of trav­ellers.


E PASS­PORT Peo­ple queue at the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment at Nyayo House in Nairobi yes­ter­day to ap­ply for elec­tronic pass­ports or re­new un­der the new sys­tem. A hitch caused de­lays.

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