Kenyans can now continue using their old passports after the government extended the deadline for migration to the new e-passport to March 2021.
At least 1.8 million Kenyans, most of who are in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometric e-passport.
“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 travelling,” Interior CS Fred Matiang'i said on Monday.
Dr Matiang'i said that this is line with the government’s commitment to meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation specifications which call for migration to the new passport.
In a bid to ensure swift service delivery, the government has set up more control centres that will see the issuance of the travel document done within a day of application by July this year.
Locally, the new centres will be in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Embu. In Europe, the centres have been set up in Berlin, Paris and London. Others are in Washington DC in the US, Dubai and Johannesburg. Kenyans have been urged to use the extension period and avoid last-minute rush before the expiry of the new deadline.
This is the second time that the deadline for the new passports has been extended after President Uhuru Kenyatta last year ordered the extension to March 2020.