Travellers who have not updated their passports by November 30 will not be permitted to travel abroad, director general of immigration Alexander Muteshi has announced. Kenyans holding outdated passports have until November to obtain new biometric digital ones.
“Under the decision by EAC Council of Ministers held in Arusha from November 22 to 29, 2021, the deadline for phasing out of the old generation passport for the EAC Member States is November 2022,” Muteshi said.
Confusion has resulted from the Kenyan government’s repeated shifting of the deadline for switching to the new travel document.
“In line with this decision, the Directorate of Immigration Services wishes to inform the general public that Kenya is bound to migrate to the new East African Community biometric e-passport by November 30,” he added.
The confusion caused by multiple postponements is now aggravated by the fact that some European Union (EU) nations, including Spain, are already refusing to recognise Kenyan travellers’ old passports.
Confusion has resulted from the dates’ moving, with some overseas consulates declaring they will stop accepting the analogue Kenyan passport before the government granted an extension.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which established the standards, mandates that all new e-passports carry a tamper-proof electronic chip containing the personal data and travel records of the holder.
To combat widespread fraud and impersonation of holders, Kenya issued new chip-embedded passports to its residents. The new Kenyan passport cannot be faked or duplicated, according to the government, thanks to the enhanced security features.
With the introduction of the 10-year validity e-passports, the old passports that had been in use since independence come to an end. Kenya now joins the more than 60 other nations that now utilise new passports.
The plan to phase out the previous generation passport was first made public in April 2015, and the launch date for the electronic passport was originally set for December 2016 but was repeatedly postponed.
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