Home / National

Committee proposes issuance of Kenyan passport within three days

By |

The Members of Parliament urged the government to open more immigration offices across the country to make it easier to acquire passports.

A National Assembly committee wants Kenyans seeking passports to get the documents within three days of submitting their applications.

The proposal by the Committee on National Administration and Internal Security is part of measures to streamline the application process for the travel document and follows hitches that caused significant delays, interfering with journeys, some of which were for work.



At a meeting on Wednesday, the Members of Parliament also urged the government to open more immigration offices across the country to make it easier to acquire passports.

Committee chairperson and Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo noted that many applicants travel long, costly distances to Nyayo House in Nairobi, or any of the eight regional offices, to acquire the document.

"With adequate resourcing, targeting a maximum of three days for applicants to be issued passports is realistic. This should be feasible, especially with the opening of more offices in other parts of the country," Tongoyo said.

The MPs sought a better application process but also lauded the government for introducing reforms that have improved the efficiency of the Directorate of Immigration.

"We were used to seeing long queues of people at Nyayo House even after 5 pm on work days, but we note that nowadays, those scenes are gone," Mandera East MP Hussein Abdirahman said.

Legislators are pictured during a session of the parliamentary Committee on National Administration and Internal Security, before which Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok presented budget estimates on May 15, 2024. (Photo: X/Julius Kibet Bitok)


The legislators addressed the issue during the presentation of 2024–2025 budget estimates for the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services and supplementary estimates for the financial year 2023–2024.

While making the presentation, Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok revealed that the department had been allocated Sh15.151 billion instead of the Sh15.873 billion it requested in the Budget Policy Statement. Bitok said Sh10.145 billion would be the recurrent budget and Sh5.091 billion for development projects.

Under the second supplementary budget estimate for FY 2023–2024, the department's revised budget was Sh12.633 billion, with the bulk of the amount—Sh9.136 billion—going to the recurrent expenditure.

Bitok further told the MPs that they had cleared a backlog of around 700,000 passports and invested heavily in equipment and technology using funds obtained as appropriation-in-aid from the Immigration department and other offices

"With Parliament's support, we have dealt with the issue of passport backlog and instituted important reforms, including creating two banking halls, buying two printers, and increasing personnel," he said.

Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok presents budget estimates to the Committee on National Administration and Internal Security in Parliament on May 15, 2024. (Photo: X/Julius Kibet Bitok)


The PS also appealed for more funding to roll out the newly introduced digital identity card, the Maisha Card, and its supporting infrastructure, as well as the Shirika Plan, which proposes moving refugees out of camps by integrating them into host communities.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and the PS previously pledged to introduce a seven-day maximum wait time for passport applications.

On Monday, Kindiki announced that 724,000 passports that were part of the historical backlog had been printed and 684,500 collected. The documents accumulated between June 2021 and March 2024.

“It took a bit of time to get exchequer funding, pay pending supplier debts, dismantle corruption cartels, and acquire and install modern, high-capacity printing equipment,” he said.

He noted that efforts were underway to fastrack the collection of 39,500 passports from the backlog lot, among them the Dedicated Passport Delivery Week from May 13–18.

Reader comments