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Passports to be collected via appointments

By Hillary Orinde | August 29th 2019

The Immigration Department is doing away with the winding queues synonymous with passport processing centres.

Applicants wishing to collect their ready passports will now have to book appointments through the e-citizen portal before visiting the centres.

In the directive dated August 29, applicants will be required to specify the date and time they wish to collect the passport in the appointment request.

“Please note that passports are collected at the station where you took biometrics,” the department said.

If accepted, the applicants will present the appointment slip, original national identification card and expired or old passport for those making replacement to get their new documentation.

The department was initially sending messages to the applications to notify them of the ready passports. One would then pick a day of convenience to collect the documents, creating huge traffic at the offices.  

This is the second directive from the newly introduced system that seeks to address congestion in passport processing centres.

Last Monday, the department directed Kenyans applying for passports to make similar appointments.

Although passport applications are made online, applicants visit passport processing centres to have their biometric information taken.

The department, however, said exemptions would be made to public officials and business executives with urgent assignments abroad, as well as sick people and students.

Kenya started issuing single electronic East African Community (EAC) passports in August 2017 replacing the readable ordinary ones.

A deadline to travel on the new e-passports was earlier set for August 31 creating a mad rush at the passport processing centres.

The deadline has since been extended to March 1, 2020.

EAC directed its members to issue the digital ones and a number of countries have so far adopted the documents.

According to officials, the new passport is enhanced with an Automated Fingerprint Verification System to minimize fraud.

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