The deadline for issuance of the new e-passport has been extended to 1st March 2020 following a directive from President Uhuru. Kenyans can continue to travel on their old passports until early next year according to a press statement by government spokesperson Col (Rtd) Oguna.
“The directive has in effect, extended the deadline for travel on new e-passport to 1st March 2020, for all Kenyans. Kenyans can, therefore, travel on their current (old blue) passports until 1st March 2020,” read a part of the press release.
In the press statement signed by Government Spokesman, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Monica Juma have been directed to work with foreign government agencies to issue visas to Kenyans on current passports.
Kenya quickly adopted the issuance of single electronic East African Community (EAC) passports, replacing the readable East African and ordinary passport issued by the member states.
The government rolled out the e-passport on 1st of September 2017 and gave a notification indicating that machine-readable passports will be faced out on 1st September 2019. According to Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, since the inception of the e-passport, over one million have been issued with the document.
In June 2019, Kihihalangwa warned that the government would not issue new passports to any individual with no plans to travel outside the country. But priority would only be given to students travelling outside, those going abroad for medical assistance or religious services like Hajj only if they presented supporting documents.
The government spokesperson urged Kenyans to take advantage of the extension and not wait for the last minute to apply for the e-passport.