Kenya’s Immigration Department started issuing e-passports a couple of months ago. The new document, which we detailed in an earlier post, contains an electronic microprocessor that holds a user’s biometric information and aligns to current world standards for travel.
New data from the department reveals that more than 400,000 Kenyans have replaced or acquired e-passports since the exercise rolled out.
It has, however, emerged that those who acquired old passports illegally will not be issued with the new-generation travel document. Apparently, the government is using the re-registration exercise to nab irregular passports. An unknown number of fradulent passports have since been held.
The new e-passports, which use contactless technology, are not only rolled out in Kenya but also the East Africa region. In principle, the program was deployed to allow digital storage of facial images and fingerprints, hence increasing the reliability when deciding whether a given person is actually the one being identified by the document. Together with a digital signature, Immigration has succeeded to make the e-passport more forgery-proof. This means that it is going to be much harder for fraudulent issuance.
The application process that still leverages the e-citizen platform has not changed. Additional details, which encompass how the portal is used to offer immigration services, as well as the nitty-gritty of the exercise such as the prerequisites for application and fees are highlighted in this post.
It is also worth that Immigration will render traditional passports obsolete in less than one year. Interested parties are advised to apply in a timely manner to avoid a last-minute rush.