The new stations will be based in South Africa, Washington, Los Angeles, Belgium, Britain and Dubai and set to be operational by November this year according to an official from the Ministry of Interior affairs.
“This will help those in those regions get services quickly .They have been suffering trying to renew their passports,” said the official.
By September next year, all Kenyan passport holders will be expected to have acquired the e-passport an exercise which is already ongoing with. Those applying for the e-passports will pay using mobile money or credit card with the A series e-passport going for sh4, 550, B series sh6, 050, C series sh7,550 and diplomatic passports costing sh7,550 as well. The digitization program of the immigration department is set to kick off in December.
The adoption of the e-passport has come as result of the pressure to have Kenyan passports streamline with international standards as Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’I explains.
“Kenya has fully complied with standards and guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and EAC Chief of Immigration on travel document design, processing and issuance,” said the CS.
The CS said the new e-passport comes with advanced security features like biometric verification system therefore guarding the holder from data skimming, identity theft and also breach of passport issuance process in cases where one person holds more than one passport. With Kenya being the second country to have e-passports after Burundi, Dr, Matiang’i is optimistic that the adoption will restore international confidence in the Kenyan passport.
“Deployment of the e-passport system will strengthen the integrity and restore international confidence and rating of Kenyan passports,” he said.
The recent developments are part of the government’s plan to digitize all its systems to enable Kenya’s access services more conveniently for instance through the e-citizen platform and e-visa portal where foreigners can apply for visas into the country.