No Schengen visa for Kenyans without e-passports from Saturday


No Schengen visa for Kenyans without e-passports from Saturday
The New generation passports.|| PHOTO COURTESY

The Embassy of Hugary in Nairobi has announced that from this Saturday, only e-Passport holders will qualify for the Schengen visa.

In a circular seen by Citizen Digital, the Schengen countries said that the decision was reached after the announcement by Ministry of foreign affairs in April that indicated that machine-readable passports would expire on August 31, 2019.

“The Schengen member states therefore wish to inform the Kenyan public that from June 1, 2019, ONLY the new East African Community biometric e-passport would be accepted for Schengen visa applications,” read the memo.

The Schengen visa allows entry into 26 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece and Hungary.

Others are Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

According to the ministry, the new generation passports will have more security features than the previous machine-read ones.

They will also eliminate the need for an East African passport as agreed by the African Union.

The ministry had earlier announced that all Kenyan passport holders will be required to switch to the new document by September 2.

Applicants are required to apply for the e-passport on the e-citizen platform that prompts one to enter identification and residential details of parents, spouse and children where applicable.

The online application process concludes with payment of passport fees which can range from Ksh.4,550 to Ksh.7,550 depending on pages needed.

After the online process, the applicant is expected to print three copies of the invoice as proof of payment to be handed over at the Immigration Department.

Other documents to be handed over include original and photocopies of birth certificates and ID, copy of previous passport if any, parents’ national ID or death certificate where applicable, children’s birth certificate (if any), copy of recommender’s ID card and three passport-size photographs.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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