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Govt extends deadline to acquire biometric passport

The Government has extended the deadline for replacing the old passport by 10 months due to disruption caused by Covid-19.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i now says Kenyans have until 31st December 2021 to acquire the new East Africa Community biometric e-passport.

“Due to the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Directorate of Immigration services scaled down its operations in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus,” said Matiang’i.

The CS said this will be the last such extension barring any unforeseen circumstances urging Kenyans to take advantage and acquire the biometric passports at the earliest possible opportunity.

“For the avoidance of doubt, starting January 1, 2022, the old dark blue passport will be null and void. No Kenyan will be able to travel abroad without a valid East Africa Community biometric e-passport,” he said.

In November, the Directorate of Immigration announced that it had downscaled its operations in full compliance with a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta owing to the upsurge in Covid-19 positive cases.

The Kenyatta directive on the measures to contain Coronavirus was directed to all government departments.

“We have downscaled our operations. All passport applicants are required to book new dates for submission,” the statement read at the time.

The directorate had already canceled current appointments for passports submission applications and biometrics enrolment.

An applicant with an urgent need to travel was to be required to provide documentary evidence.