New Immigration Centres Operationalized to Ease Issuance of e-Passports

The government is progressively decentralizing immigration services to ease congestion and reduce long queues at the Nyayo House Headquarters, Nairobi, 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 rationalize the issuance of the newgeneration passports ahead of the 31st August 2019 deadline.

Speaking after opening the Nakuru station, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, noted that the move 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: “We adopted an incremental and systems-wide implementation approach. In the short- to medium-term, we expect to put in place customized administrative systems to support regions, counties and foreign missions. In the long-term, the programme will encompass monitoring and evaluation of our immigration systems and the general efficiency and effectiveness in delivering these services to our fellow Kenyans.”

The Cabinet Secretary also announced that the e-passport infrastructure mounted in Washington DC and Dubai are already working and advised citizens in the diaspora to get in touch with the Kenyan diplomatic missions abroad for directions and modalities of the whole process.

The station in Pretoria, South Africa, was also officially opened today while those in London, Berlin, and Paris will be up and running by mid-July 2019.

“You no longer have to travel to Nairobi apply for and collect your e-passport from any of these centres. Without a doubt, this will ease the application process, reduce the processing time, streamline collection, and help Kenyans acquire the new travel document hassle-free,” Dr. Matiang’i noted.

Kenya is among the few countries on the continent and the first in the East African Community to introduce the use of e-passport. Since September 2017, at least one million citizens have either acquired or upgraded to the new travel document. According to Dr. Matiang’i, approximately 1.5 million Kenyans are still using their machine-readable passports.

Dr. Matiang’i reiterated the government’s commitment to adjusting its capacity planning in the provision of other citizen services and exuded confidence that this policy will go a long way in supporting the country’s digital economy since some of the services and operations will be based on digitally-enabled communications and networks.

He also vouched for the government’s current work permit regime, describing it as “the strictest in the Kenya’s history” and divulged that all foreigners working as small traders in the country will be deported.

The old generation passports will be invalid from September 1, 2019.

To acquire the new travel document, you must submit your original and copies of Birth Certificate and National Identity Card, three passport size photographs, a photocopy of your recommender’s National ID or passport, copies of filledout and printed online application forms, three passport size photos, invoices as proof of payment of prescribed fee, and copies of parents’ National ID or passport (for applicants below the age of eighteen years).

The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Immigration Maj. Gen (Rtd.) Gordon Kihalangwa, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Development of the ASALs Micah Powon, Director of Immigration Services Alexander Muteshi, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mongo Chimwanga, MPs Charity Gathambi (Njoro), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), and David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) among other local elected leaders.