The front page of EAC passport. When applying for a passport, Kenyans are now required to book an appointment through the e-citizen. www.businesstoday.co.ke
The front page of EAC passport. When applying for a passport, Kenyans are now required to book an appointment through the e-citizen. [Photo/Hapa Kenya]

Kenyans will be required to book an appointment through the e-citizen portal when applying for a passport.

This is a mandatory requirement before visiting passport processing centres.

According to the Immigration Department, the newly introduced appointment system will reduce the congestion that is usually witnessed at the said centres.

Those who have already applied for passport are advised to revisit the e-citizen portal and book an appointment, as only those with the arrangement will be allowed to visit the immigration centre.

However, public officials with urgent assignment abroad, students, sick persons and business executive with high-priority engagements abroad will be exempted from the booking exercise.

They will, nonetheless, required to provide evidence for the exemption.

In the recent past, passport centres have experienced an overwhelming number of applicants since the government announced the renewal of the travel document to a new biometric e-passport.

The new passport that has Automated Fingerprint Verification System will minimize fraud.

The throng of people at the centres who were hurrying to beat the August 31, set deadline had a sigh of relief after the government extended the deadline to travel on the old passports to 1st March 2020.

Passport applicants start by registration and payment through the online portal system, but a physical appearance for biometrics is needed at passport centres.

The upgrade of the passport to digital enabled was a directive issued by the East Africa Community (EAC).

Kenya started issuing single electronic East African Community (EAC) passports in August 2017 replacing the readable ordinary ones. 

So far, 26 Schengen Members have refused to give visa to Kenyan travellers with no biometric e-passport.

Current Schengen members are 22 EU countries and four non-EU countries

They Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Also, job-seekers seeking to change company will need the new document to make the shift.

Non-EU Schengen members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

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