An e-passport (also known as a biometric passport or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder. It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or center page, of the passport.
The passport’s critical information is both printed on the data page of the passport and stored in the chip. Public key infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the data stored electronically in the passport chip making it expensive and difficult to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented. The currently standardized biometrics used for this type of identification system are facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, and iris recognition.
To apply for a Kenyan e-passport you will be required to produce the following.
- An eCitizen pre-filled passport application form and three invoices
- Original birth certificate and photocopy
- Original national ID card and copy
- Three current passport size photos
- Recommenders ID card copy. A recommender can be either of the following (but not a relative):
- A lawyer
- A religious leader
- A doctor
- A banker
- A civil servant
- Consent letter for minors
- Old passport for replacement plus copies of last three pages
- Parents’ national IDs cards copies or death certificate if deceased
- Applicants must appear in person for digital photo capture
- For lost passport case, a sworn affidavit and a police abstract are required
- For lost and mutilated passport cases, an explanation letter is required to explain the circumstances of the loss or mutilation
Kenyan e-passport application process
Follow these steps to apply for a Kenyan e-passport.
- Go to eCitizen and create an account
- Proceed to the Immigration portal and click on the passport application form
- Read the instructions carefully then fill the application form
- Select the mode of payment and pay for the passport fees
- Download and print the application form and three application invoices (receipts)
- Submit the application form in person to the Immigration offices for Bio-metrics (At Nyayo House in Nairobi, Mombasa or Kisumu)
- Declare all your children during passport application
- Ensure you are using your eCitizen account to apply for your own passport. Applications applied on behalf of others will be rejected
- During submission you must go with original documents and photocopies of the same
- Do not book travel until you have a valid passport – doing so is at your own risk
Kenyan e-passport application fees
The application for a Kenyan e-passport are as follows.
32 Pages Ordinary “A” Series
48 pages Ordinary “B” Series
64 Pages Ordinary “C” Series
East African Passport
Diplomatic Passport (48 pages)
How long does it take to get your passport?
It should take at least 15 working days to get your first passport once your form has been physically submitted at the Immigration offices. For all other application types, it should take at least 5 working days. It can take longer if more information is needed or your application has not been filled out correctly. All passport applications should now be made via eCitizen. Manual applications will not be accepted.