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Immigration halts passport application and collection after system failure

The Immigration Department on Tuesday, April 30, halted the application and collection of passports.

The department is currently experiencing a downtime, in its passport application receiving system, as well as the collection service.

“We regret to inform our clients that we are currently experiencing a downtime that has affected our normal passport application receiving and collection services. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue and ensure the resumption of normal services as soon as possible,” the statement read in part.

The department said affected applicants have been informed that alternative dates would be communicated as soon as possible.

“We apologize for the inconvenience caused,” it added.

The downtime comes a week after the government pledged to issue at least one million passports and three million digital national identity cards by the end of 2024.

This was after the successful acquisition of two new passport printing machines which have already been delivered for installation at Nyayo House, Nairobi.

Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary, Prof Julius Bitok said the new passports and digital IDs target will make it easier for Kenyans to access registration documents.

He also said the increased production of the documents will raise the revenue generated via the e-Citizen platform to an average of Sh1 billion daily over the same period and boost the government’s coffers.

“We believe there are realistic targets based on the strategic improvements and investments that we have made to our vital personal registration and documentation systems,” Prof Bitok said.

The new passports target is nearly double the 533,000 issued in 2023 with the higher output pegged on the combined printing capacity of 600 passports per hour by the new machines. Their installation is expected to reduce the waiting time for issuing passports to less than 14 working days.

The congestion at Nyayo House is also expected to reduce with the government opening new offices in Nyeri, Bungoma and Garissa.

By the end of 2024, the State hopes to issue 1.2 million digital national ID cards to first-time applicants and 1.6 million duplicate IDs to build on the 733,000 Maisha cards it has issued so far.

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