Government extends use of old passports by one year

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 06:26 |
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i during the launch of the new generation passports recently. PD/TABITHA MBATIA

Kenyans can now breathe easy after the government pushed the migration to second generation e-passports to March next year. 

The old passports were originally supposed to be phased out by August 31, 2019, but President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the deadline to March 1, 2020.

 Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday said the deadline has now been pushed to March next year to allow a least 1.8 million Kenyans, mainly in the diaspora to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometric e-passport.

“Due to this, the government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for travelling,” a press statement signed by Matiang’i read in part.

The CS said  the government is progressively phasing out the old ordinary passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the new generation e-passport in accordance with ICAO specifications. He added that to rationalise the issuance of this travel document, the government has since set up and operationalised four passport control centres including Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret, and Embu.

Second extension

Six other centres have been set up in the diaspora; three in Europe Berlin, Paris and London, one in the US (Washington DC), another in Johannesburg, South Africa, and one more in Dubai.

“Plans are also underway to achieve same-day issuance of passports by July 1, 2020,” he added in the statement.

Considering this is the second extension, the CS urged the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passports to take full advantage of the extension to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports at the earliest opportunity possible, to avoid last- minute rush.

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