New Generation ‘E-Passports’ set to Replace All Ordinary, Diplomatic And East African Passports

published on January 11, 2018

 

The Immigration Department announced the launch of the Kenyan East African Community e-Passports (e-Passports) that were to be issued from the start of September 2017. New passport applicants are to be issued with e-Passports while existing passport holders, irrespective of their expiry dates, are required to apply for and obtain e-Passports before 31 August 2019, with the Immigration Department’s directive stating that after this date, current passports ‘will be rendered invalid’.

 

 

E-Passports will replace Ordinary, Diplomatic and East African passports issued by the government.
 
While it appears, from the scanty information that has been provided by the Immigration Department, that the e-Passport’s application and issuance procedure, as well as its appearance is the same as current passports, we understand that the e-Passports will have tamper-proof chips which will store the holder’s biodata i.e. the name, photo, fingerprints, date passport was issued, date passport expires and information from the applicant’s national identification card. We understand that the tamper proof chips in the e-Passports are made in such a way that an attempt to change the information on the e-Passport will be easily and automatically detected by customs officers.   
 
It is understood and anticipated that the e-Passports will facilitate free movement of persons within the East African Community (EAC) as no entry permits will be required for travel within the EAC.
 
We surmise that the move to issue these new generation passports is in part due to security threats within the EAC region.
 
In addition to the security features that the e-Passport comes with, the chip it contains is made in such a way that the holders travel itinerary can be easily accessed, making it easy for a passport holder to be tracked down should the need arise.
 
In terms of timelines, we understand that e-Passports will be issued within three weeks from the time the application has been made online and hard copies of the required documents taken to the Immigration Department. Government fees for e-Passports are similar to current passports.
 
Please feel free to contact us if you have queries regarding the e-Passport, as well as if you would like our assistance to obtain these.
 

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Jacquiline Kata

Immigration Liaison Officer

+254 (775) 974 – 050

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