5 Clever Ways To Bypass Kenya Passport Delays In 2023

Lylyane Kim

A passport is an essential travel document that allows its bearer legal entry into foreign nations/countries for stated reasons acceptable by the host nation.

However for those in Kenya, passport delays have become an all too familiar challenge hindering travel plans thereby resulting in frustrations to the travelers.

Despite the passport application process being digitized via the e-citizen platform, generation of the physical passports may take months or even years to complete due to various reasons.

Reasons For Passport Delays In Kenya

According to the Kenyan Immigration department, there are a number of causes resulting in the delay of issuance of Kenyan passports to the applicants. Some of these factors include;

i) Printer breakdowns

Previously, printing of Kenyan passports was being done simultaneously in different locations such as Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

However, in a move to centralize the issuance of the crucial travel documents electronically as well as safeguard against forgery, printing is now being done at the Immigration departments located at Nyayo house in Nairobi.

Consequently, technical difficulties occasioned by frequent machine breakdowns has led to massive passport delays of late.

Earlier in March 2023, officials at the Immigration departments stated that one of their machines responsible for the printing of the 34/50 and 66-page booklets broke down thus over relying on a small 34-page machine to handle the backlog.

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ii) Shortage of booklets

Another major contributing factor towards passport delays in Kenya is the disruption in the supply of essential materials such as the passport booklets.

In Kenya, there exists three (3) categories of ordinary passport types grouped according to their page counts which ultimately determines their costs.

For instance, series A containing 32 pages costs Ksh4550, Series B of 50 pages costs Ksh6050 while series C carrying 66 pages costs Ksh7550

In October 2022, there existed a shortage of 32 and 50-paged booklets caused by a delay in supply by the contracted supplier which necessitated the Immigration department to remove the affected categories from the ecitizen platform thereby leaving on the Series C which is quite expensive.

iii) High Volume Of Applications

In normal circumstances, the Immigration department prints on average 1,500 passports daily.

However due to the rise in the number of new applications being made daily thus accumulating to the existing backlog, the high demand may be impossible to be met within the required passport processing timelines.

iv) Corruption

A hidden factor that is also causing passport delays is the issue of bribery whereby Immigration employees artificially create delays in order to solicit bribes from applicants who are in urgent need of the document.

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Passport Processing Stages In Kenya

There are various passport processing stages which the passport needs to undergo being availed to the applicant. Such stages include:

Draft: Application phase whereby you fill in all the required information, make payment and book an appointment for biometrics capture.

Loading: System receives and registers all of the uploaded and submitted application data.

Submission: Biometrics are captured and registered into the system.

Production: Submitted details are verified and printing commences upon approval.

Receiving: Passport has been printed and is awaiting collection.

Delivery: Passport has been delivered to its owner.

How To Avoid Passport Delays In Kenya

Besides the previously highlighted causes for passport delays, there are other contributing factors that may be unknowingly brought about by the applicant which include;

i) Typos: Due to the essential nature of the passport, it is crucial to avoid any instances of typos when applying for a Kenyan passport. Common typos revolve around names bearing apostrophes, misspellings of words, interchanging of numbers etc

ii) Reason for travel: When applying for a Kenyan passport, you are required to provide a reason for travel.

In general, most people possess various travel reasons which may include: leisure, business, education, employment, family visit, medical treatment, sports/cultural events, volunteer work, diplomatic missions, religious pilgrimage etc

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Amidst the variety of travel reasons above, there are some that may be considered more urgent than others such as medical or education emergencies hence given higher priority than reasons such as leisure or tourism purposes.

iii) Incorrect Information: One of the major causes of passport delays in Kenya is as a result of inaccurate information by the applicant whether accidental or intentional.

Information that does not align with supportive documents such as national ID, birth certificate may lead to eventual passport delays.

iv) Lack Of Sufficient Supportive Documents

For relevant sections, there may be required proof of evidence to ascertain the accuracy of the information provided. Some of the necessary documents include; birth certificate, national ID, recommenders ID, death certificate (deceased), affidavits (lost passports), explanation letter (mutilated passport)

v) 3rd party applications: One of the reasons for digitizing the passport application process is to enable applicants make the applications individually without the need for agents.

As such, each applicant is required to create an ecitizen account for this process. Applications made on behalf of others will be rejected upon realization.

To inquire about delayed passports, use the below contacts

Tel: (+254) 110 923 422 or (+254) 110 923 423
Email: info@immigration.co.ke

Visit Complaints Unit at Nyayo House, 8th Floor Room 35

Lylyane Kim

Lylyane Kim holds a diploma in travel & tourism management with over 10+ years experience in the field and has worked with both local and international travel agencies. She is always ready to assist on matters related to passport/visa, bookings, travel documents, itineraries etc so feel free to reach out to her on any of her social channels for assistance.

4 Responses

  1. June 25, 2023

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