By HILARY KIMUYU
The Immigration Department is set to roll out the new ePassport on September 1.
It is an initiative by the East African Community to synchronise passports across the region. It will be rolled out simultaneously across member countries.
Here is everything to know about the ePassport.
How to get it – Applicants must personally present themselves to immigration offices for the taking of biometrics (i.e., fingerprints, photo, and signature).
Those with the current passports will be required to replace them with the ePassports within the next 2 years. All new applications henceforth will be migrated to ePassports.
Fees – The fee for acquiring the ePassport will be Sh4,550 for a 32-page and Sh6,050-page document. The processing period for an ePassport will be 10 working days.
Distinct features – The ePassports has three distinct features: A new logo at the bottom, A new blue colour scheme and it is labelled “East African Community.”
The blue colour was an agreement by EAC member states. The blue represents Lake Victoria, symbolising the unity of the EAC states.
How it works – The ePassport will enhance faster clearance at points of entry and exit. It is highly secure, hence avoids passport reproduction and tampering. It will also provide travelers benefits such as use of automated border clearance.
Passport Number – The new ePassport will not bear the same passport number as current passport. It will have a new number.
Valid Visa – If you have a valid visa on your current passport it will still be valid after you acquire the new ePassport.
Living abroad – You can renew or get a new ePassport through any Kenya Embassy.
Logo – The e-passport logo, which appears on the cover, is the international symbol for an electronic passport. It means that the passport has an integrated circuit or chip on which data about the passport and passport holder is stored.