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Passport backlog cleared in 21-day sprint Government announces

The Government has announced that the passport backlog, which has been witnessed for months now, will be cleared in a span of 21 days.

Kenya’s Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary, Prof. Julius Bitok has announced that over 60,000 Kenyan passport applications, pending for a while, will be cleared in three weeks.

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The government has received over 100,000 passport blank booklets, and most of the 63,265 passport applications awaiting issuance are the 34-page A-series.

“It will take you 21 days to receive your passport if you apply on the e-Citizen platform,” the PS said, encouraging more people to take advantage of digitization.

The backlog of passport applications has been caused by the increasing demand for passports, with more Kenyans seeking employment opportunities abroad and enrolling in foreign institutions.

The shortage of passport booklets had been the primary cause of the delay, which led to a queue of 15,358 A-series, 10,045 B-series, and 37,810 C-series passports.

To address this problem, the government is exploring potential Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to invest in the local manufacturing of passports, allowing for faster and relatively cheaper supplies.

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“We’re in talks with investors for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) so that we can manufacture and print these documents here in Kenya,” Prof. Bitok said.

The introduction of new blank booklets will significantly reduce the backlog and bring relief to the thousands of applicants who have been awaiting their passports.

The government is encouraging more people to apply through the e-Citizen platform, which streamlines the process and is faster. Kenyans are also urged to take advantage of the digitization of government services to enhance convenience.

The announcement by Prof. Bitok brings hope to thousands of Kenyans who have been waiting for their passports for an extended period. The government’s efforts to explore PPPs to invest in local manufacturing of passports could help address the backlog of passport applications in the future, streamlining the process for Kenyans seeking to travel abroad.

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