Kenyans have until December 2021 to get their e-passports.
On Thursday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the migration is part of a commitment made to migrate to the new East African Community biometric e-passport.
The CS did however note that the scaling down of operations due to Covid-19 pandemic at the Directorate of Immigration Services saw fewer people apply for their passports.
“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this is the last extension, and Kenyans are advised to make the necessary arrangements and acquire the electronic passports at the earliest opportunity possible to avoid traveling inconveniences,” he said.
Starting January 1, 2022, Matiang’i said, the blue passport will no longer be in use.
“Kenyan will be able to travel internationally without a valid East African Community biometric e-passport.”
The e-visa will help ease the process of entering the country. Foreigners will no longer have to visit the Kenyan embassies in their countries or consulate to apply for a visa.
“The e-visa can be obtained through www.evisa.go.ke,” deputy director of Immigration Services, Alicent Odipo said in a letter to the Airline Operators Committee at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The immigration department initially started the automation of visa issuance in July 2015 and now Ms Odipo said “100 percent e-visa will be effected from January 2021.”
e-visas have gained popularity due to the fact that they are more secure. They have also become more popular due to the social distancing rules recommended to stop the spread of the Corona virus.