Government extends deadline to phase out old passports

An old generation passport and the E-passport./COURTESY

The government has extended the deadline for the phasing out of the old passport up to March 2021.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi said that the government has undertaken such action after establishing that more than 1.8 million Kenyans had not yet applied for the new passports.

“Due to this, the government extends, the deadline, for avoiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months,”Matiangi said in a statement

Last year the government extended the deadline to travel on the old passport to March 1 this year for all Kenyans.

The initial deadline had been set for August 31, 2019.

The government spokesperson urged Kenyans to take advantage of the extension and not wait for the last minute to apply for the e-passport.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the Cabinet Secretaries for the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Monica Juma and Interior and Coordination of National Government Fred Matiang’ i to work with foreign missions across the world to facilitate the issuance of visas to Kenyans in the diaspora.

In August 2017, Kenya began issuing single electronic East African Community (EAC) passports, replacing the readable East African and ordinary passport issued by the member states.

EAC directed its members to begin issuance of the new digital passport by January 31, 2018.

The new e-passport database is enhanced with an Automated Fingerprint Verification System to minimize fraud, identity theft, forgery, and passport skimming.