About 800,000 Kenyans have acquired e-passports ahead of August 31st deadline, the Immigration Department has revealed.
Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security, Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa said the department is handling an average of 4,000 passport applicants per day.
Kihalangwa said the immigration offices in Nyayo House serve about 2,000 applicants daily while the Kisumu and Mombasa centers handle 1,000 each.
“So far we have issued almost 800,000 passports and we expect a very good number will have been done by 31st August,” said Kihalangwa.
Those seeking the new generation travel documents must present themselves in immigration centers for their biometrics, including photograph and fingerprints, to be captured.
The digital passport, which is embedded with an electronic chip, is part of global efforts to curb travel fraud by making it difficult to produce a fake passport.
Kenya pledged to shift to digital passports from September 1st as part of its commitment to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
This was after the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was accorded Category One status in 2017.
Kihalangwa said four more centers will be opened in the country to ease the congestion at the current stations.
The government is also set to launch six centers abroad to serve Kenyans in the diaspora. The centers will be based in Pretoria (South Africa) London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Dubai (UAE) Washington (United States), and Beijing (China).