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Kenya to Complete Switch to e-visa By January 2021

Tourists from Italy arrive aboard a direct flight at Moi International Airport in Kenya's coastal town of Mombasa August 8, 2013. Kenya pledged to reopen its main airport to all international flights on Thursday night in a bid to reassure travellers that east Africa's transport hub could recover quickly from a fire that left the arrivals terminal a smouldering, blackened shell. On Thursday morning, the airport was only being used for domestic flights at a different terminal and limited international flights by Kenya Airways. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga (KENYA - Tags: TRANSPORT TRAVEL BUSINESS)

Kenya is planning a 100 percent shift to e-visa by 2021, Deputy Director of Immigration Services, Alicent Odipo, said. This will help ease the process of entering the country even as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on.

Foreigners will no longer have to visit the Kenyan embassies in their countries or consulate to apply for a visa.

“The e-visa can be obtained through” Ms Odipo said in a letter to the Airline Operators Committee at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)

Read: Use Of Old Passports Extended By A Year To March 2021

The immigration department initially started the automation of visa issuance in July 2015 and now Ms. Odipo said that “100 percent e-visa will be effected from January 2021.”

All affected passengers are normally required to have the visa before they board the plane.

The government also embarked on a roll out of e-passports enhanced with automated fingerprint verification. This helps to prevent identity theft, forgery and skimming by preventing the issuance of multiple passports.

Read also: Why A Kenyan Passport Is The 8th Most Powerful In Africa

In February this year,the government extended the deadline for the switch to e-passports to March 2021. This is because there were at east 1.8 million Kenyans, mainly in the diaspora, holding new passports.

The move is in line with the government’s plans to switch to e-services in a bid to improve efficiency and reduce security loopholes.

The e-citizen, the all inclusive portal that provides information and services that help Kenyans access fast transactions online, is already in operation.

Read also: Schengen Visa To Cost More For Kenyan Citizens Beginning February 2020

Currently, government agencies are already interlinked through the Integrated Population Registration system, a new computer system holding personal information.

e-visas have gained popularity due to the fact that they are more secure. They have also become more popular due to the social distancing rules recommended to stop the spread of the Corona virus.

Most travelers now prefer automated border clearances, e-gates and automated boarding passes at the airport.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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