The government has extended the deadline for phasing out of the old dark blue passports by a further 10 months.
The old-generation passports will now become obsolete on December 31st, 2021 and no Kenyan will be allowed to travel internationally without a valid East African Community e-passport from January 1st, 2022.
A statement sent to newsrooms on Thursday said Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i extended the deadline due to COVID-19 disruptions.
While warning that this is the last extension, Matiang’i urged Kenyans to make arrangements to acquire the digital passports on time to avoid traveling inconveniencies.
“The Government of Kenya has been in the process of phasing out the old-generation passports as part of the binding commitment made to migrate to the new East African Community biometric e-passport,” reads the statement.
“However, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Directorate of Immigration Services scaled down its operations in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus.”
“To make up for the disruption in service, the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, has extended the deadline for voiding the old passport by a further 10 months until December 31st, 2021,” it added.
The government had originally set August 31st, 2019 as the closing date for the usage of the machine-readable passports before the deadline was pushed to March 1st, 2020, and later to March 1st, 2021.