25 June 2019

Kenya: Immigration Boss Ends Mad Rush to Acquire e-Passport

The rush to acquire e-passports has forced the state to issue fresh guidelines.

The Immigration Department will not issue the new generation passports to persons who are applying them just for the sake of having the document.

Immigration boss Gordon Kihalangwa said beginning Tuesday priority will be given to applicants renewing their passports for medical cases, students travelling for studies, those travelling for religious reasons like Hajj for the Muslims and state officials for work-related reasons.

"Beginning Tuesday, those in the specified categories should ensure they come with supporting documents for them to be served," said Kihalangwa.

The Immigration Department headquarters, Nyayo House, has lately been characterised with ugly scenes of huge number of applicants jostling in queues, some showing up as early as 4:30am.

Kihalangwa warned that those applying for the e-passports for the sake of it will have to wait longer.

"If you ask a good number of people applying for the new passport, a good number of them have no desire of travelling to any place. For that matter this congestion is undesirable," said Kihalangwa.

The mad rush is caused by a false narrative that the e-passport will stop being issued on September 1, 2019.

It's the old passport which will become invalid from the September 1, 2019.

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