The Kenyan government has advised the country’s passport holders to acquire the new East Africa Community (EAC) biometric e-passport by November 30, 2022, to avoid inconveniences.
In a statement, Immigration Director General Alexander Muteshi said the phasing out of the old passport is part of Kenya’s plan to comply with the 2021 EAC Council meeting that ratified the decision.
“Pursuant to the decision by EAC Council of Minister’s meeting held in Arusha from 22nd to 29th November 2021, the deadline for phasing out the old generation passport for all EAC member states is November 2022.
“The Director of Immigration services wishes to inform the general public that Kenya is bound to migrate fully to the new East African Community biometric e-passport by 30th November 2022. Kenyans are therefore advised to acquire the new Biometric e-passport to avoid any inconveniences,” Muteshi said.
Apart from boosting the free movement of people across the region, the new travel document seeks to improve efficiency and enhance security.
It will have a chip that holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page, the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information.
The EAC e-Passport will also contain a biometric identifier and have a digital photograph of the holder and security features to prevent unauthorised reading or “scanning” of data stored.
It will have diplomatic, service and ordinary categories different from the current machine-readable passport being issued by the EAC partner states. It will be valid for up to 10 years while the diplomatic passport and service passport will be valid according to the specific term of the service of the holder.
The travel document will come in red, green and sky blue —the colours of the EAC flag — but with text and national emblems, in gold to complete its face. The colour of the passport will depend on categories. For instance, EAC diplomats will carry a passport that is red in colour, green for officials and sky blue for ordinary people.
The outer front cover will have the words ‘East African Community in gold on top and below the name of the issuing Partner States will be pasted.
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