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Government Extends E-Passports Deadline To March 2020

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The government has extended the deadline for Kenyans to renew their passport s to March of 2020.

President Kenyatta also directed  the interior CS Fred Matiang’i to liase with countries to allow issuance of visas on the current passport.

Government spokenan Cyrus Ovuna made the statement urging Kenyans to take advantage of the extension to apply for the new passports. Long ques have been witnessed at Nyayo house as Kenyans rushed to beat the August deadline . Last year, deputy president William Ruto has made an indication that the deadline had been extey to 2020.

Some countries had already began rejecting visas applied using the old passports. Civils in the country had also been bared from travelling if they did not posses the digital passport.

In December last year, the government postponed the deadline date of out facing the old passports and bringing in the e-passport to 2020.

This decision was a result of the low number of citizens who had changed their passports to the new passports with electronic features.

Deputy President William Ruto announced the new date while speaking to Kenyans in diaspora in Italy.

DP Ruto said that only 400,000 out of the 2.5 million passport holders in Kenya had changed their passports to the new one.

In the initial plan by the immigration, only London, Paris, Dubai, Pretoria, Berlin and Washington DC would offer facilities to change the passports to the newer version.

Read: DP William Ruto Declares That He Supports Calls For A Referendum

This means that Kenyans living in other regions and countries would have to travel to one of these cities or come back to Kenya to acquire the new passports.

This decision drew a hot debate with citizens sharing with the DP that the decision would not be feasible for all.

They argued that some of them are students who are on a tight budget. They also mentioned accommodation, Visa and transport as some of the challenges they would face.

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Written by Merxcine Cush

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