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Tips on applying for a Kenyan passport

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Tips on applying for a Kenyan passport

I am sure many of you would have heard how difficult it is to apply for a Kenyan passport.

This post is really designed to take the sting out of this torturous procedure.  This is a chess website but I thought this would be very useful for not just chess players but for other Kenyans.

The easy stuff is shown on the immigration website and also at the bottom of this post.

What you really need are the tips to minimize the pain?

Deadline

The government has set a deadline of 31st August 2019 to phase out the old generation passports.

MPesa

Make sure that before you start you have enough MPesa in your phone to pay for the passports.  I found out the hard way that the system is not designed to allow you to log in later and complete the process!

I realised that when I went back to my half completed form.  It refused to accept that I was born in Kenya.  Afghanistan was what came up and there is no way that you can remove this.

Recommenders Details

Please make sure that you have a copy of the recommenders ID card, postal address, mobile phone number, profession and their email address.  You will need these details before you commence the process.

Passport photos

You will need to get these photos to be signed by the recommender.

We went to a lawyer to do this and of course, it costs money!  Please be cautious when the back of the photos are stamped.  The ink tends to smudge so let it dry otherwise they will not be accepted.

Printing the forms

Many applicants print the form using website browser’s print option.  Go to the bottom and there is a tab to print and download the form.

Parent’s information

You will need the details of your parent’s identification documents.

Birth Certificate

You will need your birth certificate as well.  Take the original and a copy with you.

Photocopy of your current passport

This requirement is not on the website.  I found out when the officer was briefing all of us just before being allowed into the main office.

My jaw dropped to the ground when I heard this.  Which photocopying bureau is open at 6.45 a.m near Nyayo House?  I rushed out and was lucky to find one just between the old K&A Supermarket and Telkom House.   There is a smoker’s den and a public toilet close by.

Timings

What time should you go to Nyayo House?

We went on 3rd January 2019 Thursday around 11 a.m.  My calculation was that most Kenyans would still be upcountry for Christmas.  What a nasty surprise!  We were confronted by a long line that went all the way to the back of the building.

The security officer then told all of us to go home as there is no way that we would be served.  Her final words of wisdom were ‘Be here at 5.30am if you want to get your passport’.  We would have to wake at 4 am to get to Nyayo House at 5.30 a.m.

4th January 2019 was a cold miserable and wet morning.  The Uber dropped us at 5.20 a.m at Nyayo House.  We were not the first for sure.  We were probably number 20.

Remember you are not inside the building compound.  You are waiting outside by the road.

It started to drizzle at around 6 a.m so the officer allowed us to enter the compound but to wait under the canopy.

We were allowed into the waiting room at 6.30am and given number 18.  Not bad.

The officer then rattled off the requirements and that is when I was confronted by the fact that I did not have a copy of my passport.

I did manage to get our passport copies and find my way back to the line at number 18.

We were then ushered into the main hall at around 7 a.m where the clerks had started to work.

Actual process

Our turn came at about 7.20 a.m.  I was impressed by the efficiency of the officer who handled all 3 of our applications.  It took him about 20 minutes to do all three applications.

We then had to wait for the photos & fingerprints which took another 20 minutes.

By 8 a.m we were outside waiting for our Uber to go back home!

Collection of passports

I got a text message after two weeks that my passport had gone for printing.

I decided to visit Nyayo House on 1st February 2019 to see if the passports were ready. We had applied on 4th January 2019 and thought that four weeks was about enough.

The line outside the tent within the Nyayo House Complex was reasonably long when I arrived at around 7.30am. I reached the counter at about, and the officer checked on his laptop if the passports were ready. He took all the documents and told me to go and wait inside.

I assumed that it would take about 30 minutes. How mistake was I. My name was eventually called out at 1.45pm! You will need your ID card to collect the passport. They allowed me to receive my wife’s and son’s passport.

It appears that this long process for the collection was unusual. Many friends confirmed that it is usually a quick process.

Point to note. Take water to drink and something to ready when you go for collection.

Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that the staff at Nyayo House are seriously overwhelmed by the sheer volume.  The staff numbers need to be increased and opened over the weekends as well.

It will only get worse as the deadline of 31st August 2018 approaches.

STEPS OF APPLICATION

  1. Register on www.ecitizen.go.ke
  2. Go to immigration.ecitizen.go.ke and or Department of immigration services and click on the passport application form.
  3. Read the instructions carefully then fill the application form.
  4. Select the mode of payment and pay for the passport fees.
  5. Download and print the application form and three application receipts.
  6. Submit the application form in person to the Immigration offices.( Nyayo house, Mombasa & Kisumu.)

DURING THE SUBMISSION YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING

  1. An eCitizen pre-filled passport application form and three receipts.
  2. Original birth certificate and photocopy.
  3. Original National ID Card & copy.
  4. Three Current passport size photos.
  5. Recommender’s ID Card copy.
  6. Consent letter for minors.
  7. Old passport for replacement.
  8. Parents National ID cards and copy.

PASSPORT FEES

PASSPORT TYPE Fee (Kshs)
32 Pages Ordinary “A” Series Kshs. 4,550
48 pages Ordinary “B” Series Kshs. 6,050
64 Pages Ordinary “C” Series Kshs. 7,550
East African Passport Kshs. 990
Diplomatic passport (48 page) Kshs 7,550
Mutilated Passport Kshs 10,050
Lost Passport Kshs 12,050

Links

Kenya Immigration Department