The government has now extended the deadline for phasing out of the old ordinary passports by one more year until March 1, 2021.
The old passports were originally supposed to be phased out by August 31, 2019, but the deadline was extended to March 1, 2020 before now being pushed to next year.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, in a statement released on Monday, said the new extension is due to the fact that approximately 1.8 million Kenyans, especially those living in the diaspora, are yet to migrate to the new generation e-passports.
“…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,” said the CS.
“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 inconveniences.”
According to CS Matiang’i, same-day issuance of passports is also in the pipeline and is expected to be achieved by July 1 this year.
The CS also announced that, to faster facilitate this process of migration, the government has since set up four more new passport control centres in various towns in the country; Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Embu.
Six more centres have been set up in the diaspora; three in Europe (Berlin, Paris and London), one in the U.S. (Washington DC), another in Johannesburg, South Africa, and one more in Dubai.