‘How do I acquire the new e passport in Kenya?’, ‘How much does an e passport cost in Kenya?’, ‘How long does Passport take in Kenya?’, ‘What do I require to apply for a new Kenyan passport?’, and ‘What do I need to apply for a Kenyan passport?’ Well, you have come to the right place if these questions have been bothering you. We will even discuss the E Passport Application Kenya process.
Let’s delve into business without further ado:
Why Kenya is Replacing The Old Passport
Kenya has for the past few years embarked on a flurry of activities aimed at digitizing the way business is done in the country. The latest department to be caught by the digital ‘bug’ is the immigration where the old Kenyan passport is being phased out to be replaced by the new e passport Kenya.
Of course, the other reason is the realization that criminals have perfected the art of forging the paper passport making it easy for terrorists and other bad elements to get into the country.
Features of the New Kenyan ePassport
These are the things you will notice when you meet the new Kenyan passport image for the first time:
- An Electronic chip that holds your personal bio data.
- A Biometric identifier.
- Your Digital photograph.
- A plethora of Security features to guard against unauthorized uses and forgery.
And for good measure, all the Details of the new Kenyan passport will be registered on the database of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) to make air travel easier for Kenyans when touring abroad .
How Do I Apply For A New Passport In Kenya
You will need to go the E Passport Application Kenya process to get the new passport. This means that you will apply for the e passport via the eCitizen platform, either from a cyber or from your laptop.
Here are the steps:
- Go to eCitizen and login using your ID/phone number.
- The click on the Department of Immigration services tab.
- Click apply for Kenyan passport (adult/children appropriately) to start filling the form. You will need a variety of details including your parent’s ID card numbers, date of birth, a recommenders ID details among others. Complete the form, pay the charges via MPESA (we will talk about the amount later) then print out three copies of your application.
- When filling the form, you have to select the most convenient location where you would like your fingerprints taken from between Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa. So the next step is to take your printed form to the immigration office you had chosen to have your fingerprints, signature, and digital photo taken. You will also leave the application form with the attendant E Passport Application Kenya immigration officer for further processing.
- Your passport will be ready in due course and you will be required to go and pick it after an official waiting period of 15 working days.
The government has announced that you’re not to book an appointment before proceeding to hand in your e passport application documents and biometrics processing.
This is after the chaos that have been witnessed recently as Kenyans scramble to beat the deadline which has seen some arriving at Nyayo house as early as 4.00am.
‘You will (henceforth) be required to make a prior appointment through the e-Citizen Kenya portal specifying a date, time and your most convenient station’ said the statement from the immigration department.
You ,however, do not need to go through the process if you are sick and need to travel abroad urgently for for further medical attention.
In addition, you won’t need to book an appointment if you’re a student who need to travel abroad immediately because of your scholarship terms.
Also lucky are public servants travelling on urgent official tasks aboard as well as Kenyan business executives having urgent official business-related visits outside Kenya.
But there is a catch: you must provide documented evidence.
Additional e passport application Kenya Centres
In yet another welcome move, the state has launched additional immigration centers across the country to reduce the congestion at Nyayo house and some diaspora centers.
In total, we now have 4 new local and 6 diaspora centres as follows:
- Europe: Berlin, London, and Paris
- United States: Washington DC
- The Gulf: Dubai
- Africa: Johannesburg (South Africa).
Please note that Kenyans who live in the diaspora are to apply for the e passport through their nearest Kenyan embassies or consulates.
What To Attach To The Ecitizen Pre-Filled E-Passport Application Form(What do I need to apply for a Kenyan passport?)
So, what’s needed to get a passport? Well, carry the following documents when appearing for the digital photo capture and fingerprints taking session:
- The eCitizen filled passport application form plus three invoices.
- Your Original birth certificate as well as its photocopy.
- Your Original ID Card and a copy.
- Three good quality passport size photos (one signed by your recommender).
- A copy of Your Recommenders National ID Card.
- Your old passport if applying for a replacement plus photocopies of its last three pages.
- Your Parent’s National ID cards photocopies (or their Death Certificates copies if deceased).
- A Sworn affidavit plus a police abstract (For lost passports).
- An official explanation letter explaining the circumstances under which your old passport was lost or mutilated (For lost or mutilated passports).
Who Is A Recommender In Passport Application?
A recommender is a Kenyan of good standing and who endorses you as being of good character and deserving of a Kenyan passport. Remember that you e passport application cannot go through without having such a person signing it for you.
He/she can be a church Reverend, Imam, Lawyer, a civil servant or such other person that the government deems to be trusted and acceptable as an endorser.
The immigration also accepts private citizens in some cases (provided they are not your relatives).
Please note that your recommender will need to provide a copy of their national ID in addition to signing both the form and on one passport photo.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Kenyan Passport
For those who have been asking How much does a Kenyan passport cost, know that the amount you pay when completing the form depends on the number of pages of your new Kenyan passport and the category. Here is a summary:
|Number of pages||Cost|
|A series(32 pages)||Ksh. 4,550|
|B series(48 pages)||Ksh. 6,050|
|C series(64 pages)||Ksh. 7,550|
|Diplomatic passports||Ksh. 7,550|
|Mutilated Passports||Ksh. 10,050|
|Lost Passports||Ksh. 12,050|
How Long Does Passport Take In Kenya?
According to the Immigration Kenya communications, your ePassport should be ready within 15 working days from the day you successfully completed the E Passport Application Kenya process.
However, it can sometimes take longer especially when there is a backlog of new applications.
Can I Apply For A Kenyan Passport Online?
Yes. As I mentioned above, the application for the e passport is done online via your E citizen portal account. Just head over to the E Citizen Kenya portal to start your e passport application.
What Will Happen To My Old Passport after my e passport application Kenya?
All Valid visas issued using the old passport will still be accepted for travelling purposes even after you acquire an e passport up to such a time that the Visa expires.
E Passport Kenya Deadline
The old passport was to cease being used as a valid travel document beginning 31st of August 2019 officially.
This has however been extended after a lot of hue and cry from desperate Kenyans who have been unable to acquire the all-important document due to winding queues at Nyayo house.
The new deadline is tentatively is March 1, 2020 so you can still travel using your old document as you wait to complete your Kenyan passport renewal.
The deadline isn’t that far so you should make haste to apply for the new e passport Kenya instead of delaying until the very last minute, like its typical for Kenyans.
Kenyan Passport Tracking
The Kenyan passport tracking system is not yet well established and you may have to keep calling the immigration to know the status of your passport. Plans are however underway to launch a digital tracking system.
Here are immigration offices official telephone contacts:
Passport Queries: (+254) 707 658 788
Visa Queries: (+254) 707 657 945
General Queries: (+254) 020 2222 022
Payment Issues: (+254) 780 206 206
Kenya New Passport Diaspora
Again as I had highlighted, Kenyans living in the diaspora should visit the various Kenyan Missions offices and Consulates Abroad.
London (UK), Paris (France), Washington DC ( USA), Pretoria (South Africa), Dubai (UAE) and Berlin (Germany) are some of the missions actively receiving applications for Kenya’s new passport.
This means you may have to travel to these countries to acquire the document or fly to Kenya.
E Passport Application Kenya: Final Thoughts
That’s all you need to know as far as acquiring an e passport is concerned. In short, everything starts from e Citizen and will end with a visit to either Nairobi, Kisumu, or Mombasa immigration offices for digital photo taking.
Waiting days is just 15 days though sometimes it takes longer.