Over half a million passport applications overstretches immigration department

Over a half of million Kenyans have applied for passports in the last year thereby overstretching the immigration department which has been criticised for delay in issuing passports.

However, according to data from the immigration department states that in the last five years passport applications have increased tremendously thereby slowing the process.

Between 2019 and 2020 there were 390,432 passport applications then in the next year the number reduced to 238,201 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number has since spiked since 2021 to date with over 1 million Kenyans having made applications for the passports.

The increased applications are majorly due to the high rate of labour exportation policy.

The delay in printing of passports has been attributed to delayed procurement of booklets and printer breakdown.

The immigration department has since put in place mechanisms to counter these challenges including procurement of new machines and printing passports 27/4.

Speaking during her first ever inaugural address to the staff on Monday, Director General Evelyne Cheluget thanked the staff for working hard despite the challenges to deliver passports to Kenyans.

Speaking to hundreds of immigration officers at their offices in Nairobi, she ushered them into a new era and emphasised that there must be a paradigm shift and change of attitude in order to serve Kenyans well.

“I know we are working quite hard and passport section have been working in shifts from 7 am to 7 pm,” Cheluget said.

She further said that they had dedicated counters for urgent visas both in Nairobi and all regional offices.

Cheluget has also urged all regional heads to boost staffs in the urgent counters in order to FastTrack the passport application process.

“In Nairobi we have already added counters those are counters to take care of Kenyans who might be in need of passports very fast like students and those who are seeking for medical treatment abroad,” she said.

Director General Immigration Evelyn Chelugey at Immigration Offices in Nairobi on August 28, 2023.

CH Reporter

CH Reporter

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