Orwoba questions value for money in new immigration charges

Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba. [Standard, File]

Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba has criticised the new charges for immigration services that took effect on March 1.

 She said the fees do not match the quality of services from the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services.

Speaking in Nairobi during an interview on Wednesday, March 6, Orwoba said the department should give Kenyans value for money.

“We should be very honest with each other. If you are going to increase the fee for whatever reason, the services that I am getting should be equivalent to what I am paying,” she said.

She added that the department should offer efficient services even at the minimum fee.

“Now that we are increasing the charges, my question is: what is the quality of services?” she posed.

Orwoba also voiced her concern over the low turnout of Kenyans in public forums, where they can influence policy and legislation.

She said public participation requires intent and taking charge of one’s space.

 “The best protest is to keep showing up and keep speaking up,” she said.

The senator urged Kenyans not to wonder who attends the public forums, but to show up themselves and say what they want.

“We as Kenyans want to own our spaces, and we want to influence policy and legislation, but we don’t show up for public participation,” she said.

Orwoba’s remarks come amid complaints of passport issuance delays.

 Last month, Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura blamed the crisis on delays in the supply of 34-page passport booklets.

He said efforts are underway to ensure a steady supply of the booklets sourced from abroad for security reasons.

This is not the first time Kenyans have faced delays in getting passports, despite promises to improve efficiency in the passport system.

 Last year, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki vowed to streamline the system by eliminating cartels and brokers at Nyayo House.

 He also promised to acquire more passport printers after complaints of a faulty one.

According to the revised fees, charges and levies on services by the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services, published on November 14, 2023, Kenyans seeking new passports will pay 75 per cent more than before.

An ordinary passport with 34 pages, which was previously Sh4,500, will now cost Sh7,500. A 50-page one will cost Sh9,500, up from Sh6,000, while a 66-page one will cost Sh12,500, up from Sh7,500.

 To replace a lost or mutilated passport, one will pay Sh20,000, up from Sh12,000 and Sh10,000 respectively, while an express passport will cost Sh30,000.

To regain citizenship after renouncing it, it will cost 10 times more, from Sh5,000 to Sh50,000.

The same amount will apply for renunciation and for getting citizenship for a spouse from the East African Community countries.

For those visiting the country, a single-entry visa will cost $100, up from $50, while a multiple-entry visa will cost $500, up from $100.

A transit visa will cost $50, up from $20.

Those applying for permanent residence for Kenyan children born abroad and in countries that do not allow dual citizenship will pay Sh750,000, up from Sh500,000, while spouses to Kenya citizens will pay Sh150,000, up from Sh50,000.