The Kenyan government has extended the deadline to travel on the new second-generation e-passport to March 2021 the Interior Ministry announced Monday.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangisays over 1.8 million Kenyans living in the diaspora are yet to apply for the second generation e-passport.
“We note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometric e-passport. Due to this, the government extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months,” Matiangi said in a statement.
“The government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for traveling,” part of the statement noted.
In July 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta had ordered the extension for the use of the old passports from the previous deadline of September 2019 following a last-minute rush and travelling inconveniencies.
The Government also announced plans to achieve the issuance of passports in a day by July 2021.
The Government has set up four passport control centres in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Embu, and six others in the diaspora. Kenyans in Europe can replace their passport in Berlin, Paris and London, those in the U.S. can get their travel document in Washington DC. Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai also have control centers.
“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of this period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports at the earliest opportunity possible,” the statement read.
The new generation passport was launched on August 31, 2018 replacing the readable East African and ordinary passport in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) specifications.
It also has enhanced security features embedded in an electronic chip to minimize fraud, identity theft, forgery and passport skimming.