The Kenyan government has extended the deadline for doing away with the old machine-readable passport by to March 1 2020. Those with the old passport will be allowed to use them until in the next twelve months after which they will not be allowed.
According to the government, this decision was informed by the huge numbers of Kenyans in the diaspora, who have not had enough time to visit the immigration office and do away with their old passports.
“The government is progressively phasing out the old ordinary passports as part of Keny’s commitment to migrate to passport in accordance with ICAO generation. However, we note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans mostly in the diaspora are yet to replace their old passport with the East African Community biometric e-passport,” read an official statement from the office of the president.
The government set up four extra passport control centres, to operationalize and enhance issuance of these vital travel documents in Nakuru, Kisii and Embu. Six others have been set up in Europe’s Paris, Berlin, London, United States ‘Washington DC and South Africa’s Johannesburg and in Dubai. The Ministry of Interior and coordination through its department of immigrations is working a one-day issuance of vital documents including passports by July 2020.
This is the second time the government has extended the deadline. In these twelve months, Kenyans have been urged to take full advantage of this period to get the WAC format electronic passport, as early as possible to avoid the last-minute rush, unnecessary human traffic at these centres and travelling inconveniences.