Kenyans will now have till March 1 2021 to obtain the new East African Community biometric e-passport, Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiangi has announced.
The Interior CS extended the deadline by one year citing that 1.8 million Kenyans are yet to exchange their dark blue Kenyan passports for the light blue e-passport.
Noting that a majority of those who have yet to comply with the March 1 2020 deadline reside in the diaspora, Matiangi announced that the Government has opened six more passport control centers abroad – three in Europe (Berlin, Paris and London), one in the U.S. (Washington DC), another in Johannesburg, South Africa, and one more in Dubai.
Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Embu have also gotten additional processing centers.
To ensure that more Kenyans have the opportunity to obtain the new EAC passports before the 2021 deadline, the CS Matiangi announced plans to roll out same-day issuance of passports by July 1, 2020.
The Interior Ministry has urged Kenyans to take advantage of the additional 12 months to obtain the biometric e-passports, as the dark blue documents will be rendered invalid come March 1 2021.
“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of this period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports at the earliest opportunity possible, to avoid last minute rush, unnecessary jam-ups at the centres, and travelling inconveniencies,” said Matiangi in a circular to newsrooms.
The government had originally set a September 1 2019 deadline, but it was later extended to March 1 2020.