What is the E-passport?
The Kenyan E-Passport is a new biometric passport that that contains the bearer’s biometric data in digital format. This digital information is registered with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) hence making tracking citizens easier for the world governments 😊.
It has been issued since September 2017 and replaces the old generation ones that will be phased out by March 1, 2020. The Epassport is light blue in colour and as an East African Community Passport it allows it’s bearer to travel visa free to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
E-passport Kenya Deadline
Kenyans will be unable to travel using old passports from 1 September 2019 hence have to obtain the epassport before then. Many countries will probably stop issuing visas on old passports from January or February 2020.
How To Apply For The E-Passport
There are many horror stories about e-passport application hence I have been reluctant to apply for one. The looming deadline finally pushed me to apply this week and the process was not as painful as reported. I now realise that many people are horrible at following directions hence the issues coming up. Below is a step by step guide on how to apply for the E-Passport.
NOTE: the procedure below is for those that already have a passport. If you are making an application for a new passport you will need additional documents i.e. your birth certificate and copies of your parent’s id’s.
If you’ve never had a passport you might not be allowed to make an application at the moment (before August 31st 2019) unless you can prove that you urgently need to travel. Those with old generation passports are currently been given priority.
Additionally, if you have a lost or mutilated passport you will need additional documents i.e. sworn affidavit and police abstract for lost passports and written explanation in cases of mutilated passports. So, read up on your requirements.
Steps To Apply
The below is only for those that have an old generation passport that needs to be replaced.
1. First of all go to E-Citizen and read up on all the requirements for the E- Passport. https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=4
2. Scan the below documents and have them saved and ready to upload to E-Citizen
a. You ID Photocopy
b. Your Recommenders ID photocopy
c. Previous Passport Copy Last Page
d. Previous Passport Copy 2nd Last Page
e. Previous Passport Copy 3rd Last Page
f. Previous Passport Copy 4th Last Page
g. Marriage Certificate if married
3. Ensure you have the cash to pay for the application. For payments, once can choose between M-pesa, debit card, credit card or prepaid cards. I used M-pesa.
4. The E-passport Kenya prices or fees are below.
- 32 Pages Ordinary “A” Series Kshs. 4,550
- 48 pages Ordinary “B” Series Kshs. 6,050
- 64 Pages Ordinary “C” Series Kshs. 7,550
- East African Passport Kshs. 990
- Diplomatic passport (48 page) Kshs 7,550
- Mutilated Passport Kshs 10,050
- Lost Passport Kshs 12,050
5. Go to E-Citizen and log in if you have an account or create an account if you don’t have one https://www.ecitizen.go.ke/
6. Click on services: then click on immigration: then click in Passport application for adults or for children depending on your age.
7. Read the instructions on the application page then make the application online by filling in the ecitizen application form
8. Upload all the required documents
9. Make the payment
10. Print out the application form (1 Copy)
11. Print out the receipts (3 copies)
12. Take the application form to your recommender to sign
13. Do not write in or sign the application form. Just carry a pen with you and you will sign it on the day you submit it at Nyayo house.
14. Prepare the below documents for submission at Nyayo House or to whichever immigration office you are going to
a. An eCitizen pre-filled passport application form
b. Three copies of the E-citizen receipt or invoice.
c. Original birth certificate and photocopy. (actually they didn’t ask us for these but just carry it! Better safe than sorry)
d. Original National ID Card & a copy.
e. Three Current passport size photos.
f. Recommenders ID Card copy. (its not that serious, get another Kenyan that isn’t your relative to endorse you. What you will need is a copy of their ID)
g. Old passport for replacement plus copies of last three pages.
h. Parents National ID cards copies or Death Certificate if deceased. (this was also not asked for but just carry in case! Better safe than sorry)
i. For Lost case a Sworn affidavit and a police abstract are required
j. For Lost cases and Mutilated cases an explanation letter is required to explain the circumstances of the loss or mutilation
Please have all the required documents with you. Missing one will cost you time as you will have to go outside to make a copy or whatever and your ticket number will be skipped while you’re out there like the 5 foolish virgins
Procedure At Nyayo House When Submitting The Passport.
1. Arrive by 5am; they only serve the first 400-600 applicants so the earlier you get there the better. I got there by 5:30am and there were around 200 ladies ahead of me
2. Before you go through the security check you will stand in separate queues for men and women
3. Once you go through security check you will form one line inside nyayo house at which point you will be given ticket numbers. Those that don’t get a ticket number will be asked to come back another day
4. Once you get a ticket it is now a waiting game to see an immigration official to submit your documents and then to get your biometrics and picture taken. I got there at 5:30am, I saw an immigration official at 08:30 am and I was processed and out by 9:30am.
5. You will receive a message from E-Citizen saying your application has been received. Now you wait for your e-passport to come out.
E-passport Centres in Kenya
Currently you can make your application at centres in the below towns:
E-Passport Application For Kenyan Diaspora
For those in the diaspora the below centres are open for passport applications
4. Washington DC
E-Passport Processing Time
For those replacing old passports the processing time for an epassport is about 10 days.
E-Passport Kenya Collection
Once your passport is ready you will receive a text advising you to go and collect it. I got my notification 6 weeks after I made the application. I then had to make a collection appointment online on E-Citizen. You will need to carry your ID, Old Passport and the receipt which was given to you when you made the application. I saw people still coming as early as 5am to pick up their passports because there are very long queues and you might wait for hours if you arrive late.
That’s all folks, easy and straightforward. Let me know in case of any questions.