Nairobi News


Government receives passport printing booklets to ease passport backlog

The government has received over 100,000 passport printing booklets which will go a long way in addressing the delays witnessed in the issuance of the critical travelling document.

Principal Secretary of Immigration Services Julius Bitok said the department on Wednesday, March 20, received 112,700 passport booklets.

“They comprise 92,400,50-page (B-series) and 20,300,66-page (C-series) which we received last evening. This consignment is in addition to 50,000, 50-page booklets received last week,” he said in a statement.

The PS added that additional booklets, including the 34-page (A-series), have already been procured and are expected in the country from next month.

However, he reiterated that the issuance of passports will be prioritised on a first-in-first-out basis.

“The issuance of passports will be prioritised on a first-in-first-out basis. Applicants with pending 34-page passports who have an urgent need to travel are advised to upgrade their applications to the 50-page booklet through the eCitizen portal,” said the PS.

“No physical visit to Immigration offices is necessary to apply for the upgrade.”

Applicants with pending applications and those who are yet to collect their passports have been advised to track the status of their applications by sending an SMS with their eCitizen application reference code to 22222.

He said the Immigration Department has procured two state-of-the-art passport printing machines which are expected to be commissioned by April 2024.

“Further, the Directorate is currently undertaking a comprehensive infrastructural upgrade of its facilities to provide a user-friendly environment and to accommodate the high rise in the number of clients,” said the Immigration PS.

The Principal Secretary said that with the additions, the country is now well-prepared to address the passport backlog issue.

Bitok said the acquisitions will now see Kenyans receive their passports within 21 days.

Kenyans have been complaining about the passport waiting period, with some applicants forced to wait for up to three months.

Nairobi attracts a high number of passport applications daily.

In efforts to reduce the waiting period, many residents of the city travel to far-flung towns such as Kisii, Eldoret, Embu and Kisumu, which are less busy, for their passport processing.

In September, Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki said there was a backlog of 87,574 passports. He promised to expedite their processing.

He added that the government will soon fine passport applicants who fail to collect the travel document within stipulated timeframes.