Kenya rolled out new chip-embedded East African Community biometric passports for its citizens. The reason for this revolves around the need for the government to tame rampant forgery and impersonation of holders. Recent news now suggests that Kenyans with the old generation passport, have until November to acquire the biometric one. Failure to which, the government will Barr you from travelling.
Kenyans and the Biometric E-Passports
On Thursday 22nd September 2022, the government announced the phasing out of the old generation passports.
The deadline for phasing out the old generation passport for all AC member States is November 2022. In line with this decision, the Directorate of Immigration Services wishes to inform the general public that Kenya is bound to migrate fully to the new East African Community biometric -passport by 30th November 2022.
The issue lies within the fact that the Kenyan government has shifted the deadline for the migration to the new travel document several times. Already, some countries like Spain and others in the European Union (EU) are not accepting the old passport from Kenyan travellers, adding to the confusion that has been occasioned by several postponements.
The new e-passports conform to international passport security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that require they have a tamper-proof electronic chip with a holder’s information and travel history.
Roll-out of the e-passports with a 10-year validity period marks the beginning of the end of the ‘analogue’ passports.
The decision to phase out the old generation passport was first made public in April 2015. The electronic passport was to be launched in December 2016 but has been extended several times.
Hopefully this time they will stick to their word. However just to be on the safer side, you should probably apply for the newer generation passport.