Citizens express frustration over delays in passport processing

Passport Processing

Each day, numerous individuals pass through the entrance of the 27-story Nyayo House structure, in search of a range of services, with passport processing being one of the most popular.

A lot has changed over the years from the long queues that used to be witnessed at the gate at the wee hours of the morning, with Kenyans hoping to get their applications processed and get the document.

With automation of several services, Kenyans are now required to make their applications online and book an appointment to have their biometrics taken at Nyayo House.

In April, the government, through Interior CS Kithure Kindiki said passport applications will from May 1, have their passport applications processed within three weeks, adding that from September 1 it would take three days for the document to be processed.

However, a section of Kenyans have complained that it is taking longer than the stipulated time to get their passports processed, putting some in a fix as they seek to travel.

Speaking to Wananchi Reporting on Monday, Victor Maina lamented about the delays in having his children’s passports processed.

“I had hoped to travel with my children as I take up a new job abroad, however, they are still in Kenya, two months after applying for their passports despite the government saying that the documents would be ready in three weeks,” he said.

He also took issue with the fact that people still have to queue to have their biometrics taken, despite booking slots when making their applications online.

Maina said, “While it is a good thing that people no longer have to queue outside the gate very early in the morning, there are still delays in getting biometrics taken as you have to make another queue while inside the building despite having booked an appointment.’

Speaking during a previous interview on Citizen TV, Immigration PS Julius Bitok had urged those who have been waiting for their passports for a while to consider visiting the respective Immigration offices to see if their documents are among those that have been lying in storage wating for collection.

However, some Wananchi said that they have had no success receiving the document.

Timothy Warui, said, “I had to opt for the 50-page passport because the 34 page series was not available. While it was out of my budget, I needed the document urgently to travel but even after paying the Ksh. 9,550 for the document, I am still waiting for it to be ready, three months later.”

There was a shortage of the 34-page series (Ksh. 7,500) earlier in the year, and the government, through Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, had in February advised those in urgent need of travel to opt for the 50-page series (Ksh. 9,500).

 He had said the series would be back in circulation ‘soon’, without giving a definitive date.

 

Mwaura said the shortage had been caused by slow delivery of the booklets by the supplier.

However, some people have complained that they are still unable to apply for the 34-page series, five months down the line.

Another person, Michael Matiko, said, “The announcement of the document being ready in three weeks ‘ni story za jaba’ (is not true) I was supposed to travel for a work related conference in May, but the opportunity passed me by because the document was not ready in good time. This is after having applied for the document months ahead of time. Whenever I would check the status of my application, I would find it in ‘production’ stage.”

However, it has not been all gloom and doom for all applicants.

Jessica Kimani, said she got her passport in good time.

She said, “I managed to get my passport processed within a month and travelled. Perhaps those who have had issues could consider going to the Immigration offices to confirm whether their documents could be lying there as they wait thinking they are yet to be processed.”

As Kenyans continue to wait for their documents to be processed, they have called on the government to speed up the process.

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