What is epassport?
Kenya became one of the 60+ countries issuing the new generation passport known as e-passport in simple terms. This means all issued passports will be standardized by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This is due to the advancement of major airports security features to cab terrorism and Identity theft. All the passports will make it easier for holders when going through security checks in airports.
In 2017 Kenya announced issuance of the machine readable travel documents (MRTD) which was well received by the citizens of Kenya. The new passports will enable governments to track passport holders faster because of the electromagnetic chip that is GPS enabled.
Each Kenyan is now required to renew their current passports through ecitizen platform. The current old passports will be deemed invalid from 31/8/2019 therefore new applicants will also be issued with the epassports.
How long does it take to REALLY get a Kenyan passport?
The Kenyan immigration department claims that It should take at least 15 working days to get your first passport once your form has been physically submitted at the Immigration offices. For all other application types, it should take at least 5 working days.It can take longer if more information is needed or your application has not been filled out correctly.
This is although debatable because most passports have surpassed the time as stated by the department. I personally replaced my passport on 17th April,2018 which I expected it by latest 26th April but that was not the case. Most Kenyans have also witnessed processing times of way longer than stated.
FROM DR. LUIS
Seriously, @ImmigrationDept My PP has been on Dispatch Since 24/2/2018 till Now? Its Two Months Now. One Last time, Kindly Update me on the Status of Tracking No. 1110077001 #AskImmigrationKE @GKihalangwa
— Dr Luis N. (@iBIZ_) April 26, 2018
— Mtumishi Murigi (@mtumishi_murigi) April 27, 2018
FROM M ROSEMARY
— M Rosemary (@aremdesigns) April 27, 2018
The immigration department also says that a passport can take longer if the application was not filled correctly but from my personal research,I noticed that holders of used passport get their passports processed faster than those who have not used their passports. This is yet to be confirmed by the department but it’s something that could be the reason for all the delays in my opinion. I have witnessed patterns when it comes to issuance of new and old passports.
I suggest to apply for the passport one month earlier to avoid any processing delays which are prone to happen. Please let me know what’s your experience with passport application.