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Only e-Passport holders to qualify for the Schengen visas

Friday May 31 2019

Department of Immigration

People line up at Department of Immigration Services in Nairobi. Countries in Europe’s border-free Schengen area will stop accepting visa applications on the old passport starting June 1. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AGGREY MUTAMBO
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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Countries in Europe’s border-free Schengen area will stop accepting visa applications on the old passport starting June 1.

In a statement, the 26 member countries said the move follows Kenya’s announcement to void old generation passports from September 1.

“The Schengen member states therefore wish to inform the Kenyan public that from June 1, 2019, only the new East African Community biometric e-passport would be accepted for visa applications,” reads the statement.

According to Kenya’s Immigration Department, the e-passport is more secure as it features a microchip making it tamper-proof.

SCHENGEN VISAS

Schengen visas are issued to those whose passports expire at least 90 days from the departure dates.

The visa allows one to travel to all the Schengen member states provided the visa is lodged at the embassy where one would stay the longest.

Originally signed by five countries on June 14, 1985, the Schengen Agreement created a special zone that now includes 26 European countries.

It abolished their inner boundaries to allow free movement of people and uses common rules for controlling external borders and fighting trans-border crimes.

ZONE

Schengen zone covers most of the EU countries, excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Member states include Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, France and Greece.

Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also part of the Schengen zone although they are not in the European Union.

Other members include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.