Kenyans without biometric passports will be banned from travel in December

Economie

Kenyans without biometric passports will be banned from travel in December


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New Kenyan passport. Profile picture | NMG

Kenyans with old passports have until November to get the new biometric digital passports, Alexander Mochi, Director General of Immigration, said Thursday.

Passengers who have not changed their passports by the end of November will be banned from travel.

“According to the decision of the EAC Council of Ministers held in Arusha from 22 to 29 November 2021, the deadline for the phasing out of the old generation passport of EAC member states is November 2022,” said Director General Alexandre Moche.

The Kenyan government has changed the immigration deadline to the new travel document several times, causing confusion.

“In line with this decision, the Directorate of Migration Services wishes to inform the general public that Kenya is obligated to migrate to the new EAC biometric electronic passport by November 30,” said Mr. Mochi.

Already, some countries such as Spain and other countries in the European Union (EU) do not accept the old passport from Kenyan travelers, adding to the confusion created by many postponements.

Kenya has introduced new chip-embedded passports for its citizens to tame the forgery and impersonation of their holders. The new features are aimed at making it impossible for anyone to forge or copy a Kenyan passport.

The new electronic passports comply with international passport security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which require that they have a tamper-proof chip with the holder’s information and travel history.

The introduction of electronic passports with a 10-year validity marks the beginning of the end of the “analog” passports that have been in use since independence and has joined more than 60 other countries using new passports.

The decision to phase out the old generation passport was first announced in April 2015 and the e-passport was scheduled to launch in December 2016 but has been extended several times.

The changing deadlines caused confusion with some foreign consulates announcing that they would stop accepting the identical Kenyan passport, only for the government to extend it.

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