The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Kenya now releasing over 80,000 new passports previously stuck in the immigration vaults


Kenya will be releasing more than 80,000 new passports to people who had applied for the documents before the end of September 2023, clearing the backlog.

As it happens, thousands of Kenyans had been applying for the National Travel Documents but authorities have been sitting on their already processed passports for no good reason.

Some of the said passports had been applied for, way back since the previous regime of former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

However the owners were yet to be handed their travel documents despite them being ready and having already paid for.

The cost of ordinary passports in Kenya varies depending with size: The 34 pages is sold at Ksh 4,550, the 50 pages document costs Ksh. 6,050 while the bigger 66 pages book may set you back Ksh 7,550.

Instead, the Kenyan officials have been fast to issue temporary travel documents with limited number of country and time validity, but these have been reliable cash cows for the immigration.

Reports from Nairobi indicate that there was a possibility of some immigration officers concealing the big East African passports whose shelf life last for ten years, hoping to be able to extort bribes from owners before handing them their documents.

Now President William Ruto’s government has just ordered that all the travel documents that the immigration officials have been sitting on, for one reason or another, be released to the public and issued to applicants promptly.

The number of East African passports that have been held in vaults is estimated to reach 80,000 plus, with more than 40,000 travel documents belonging to the residents of Kenya’s capital City, Nairobi.

From Tuesday, September 26 forthwith, the Kenyan immigration department is supposed to publish names of people whose passports are ready for them to go to Nyayo House and collect the travel documents.

Kenya and Tanzania immigration departments are known for creating cumbersome processes related to application and issuance of passports despite the documents being legal rights of citizens.

Requirements for Passport applications

In order to apply for a passport in both Kenya and Tanzania these are some of the requirements:

A duly filled application Form 19 and 2 payment invoices; Original Birth Certificate and a copy for citizens of Kenya by birth; Certificate of Registration for citizens of Kenya by registration; Original applicant’s national identity card and a copy for adults

Copy of the recommenders national identity card; Duly filled Consent Form for minors; Copies of parents’ national identity cards or Death certificates where applicable; Original and Copies of parents’ birth certificates And any other additional document as may be required

The other requirement is the final payments of the prescribed fees.

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