Electronic passports to replace current passports in 2019
Kenyans traveling abroad will be required to replace their passports over the next two years, as the Department of Immigration begins phasing them out.
This as the government rolls out the more secure electronic or e-passport from next month meant to capture a passport holder’s bio data.
On Thursday, Immigration Department Director Gordon Kihalangwa said the department would also cease issuing passports in the current format.
“Holders of valid current passports will be allowed to use them for the next 2 years i.e to 31st August 2019 after which they will be rendered invalid,” Mr Kihalangwa said in a statement.
He added that the same would be applied to holders of Kenyan, east African and diplomatic passports who will be required to also swap their passports.
“Please note that the department will no longer be issuing the current ordinary, diplomatic and East African passports,” he said.
The new e-passports are embedded with a computer chip that holds a holder’s biometric information, making the passport tamper-proof.
Only e-passport machine-readers owned by immigration departments across the world will access the read-only information in global efforts to weed out forgery.
The e-passports were originally expected to be launched in April but that was delayed to September to allow all East African Community partner states roll out at the same time.
The embedded computer chip on the passports will also contain a traveler’s itinerary that will be updated at every border point they pass, through the International Civil Aviation Organisation online portal.
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