As the world gets more interconnected, it’s becoming easier and more convenient to travel. Whether you’re planning on doing it for business, leisure or educational purposes, you’ll need a passport in order to facilitate your travels. With the introduction of e-citizen, applying for a Kenyan passport is now a more efficient process than in the past.
Although applying online is a straightforward procedure, you will still experience some difficulties when you physically take your application to Nyayo House, which is the Headquarters of the Immigration department. To avoid any setbacks, you should be thoroughly prepared before starting the application process.
What you need before starting your application
Most people naturally apply for a passport only when it’s extremely necessary. You’re more likely to seek a Kenyan passport when an opportunity to travel abroad presents itself. In that regard, you might find yourself racing against time in your effort to acquire the important travel document.
I’d advise you to apply for a Kenyan passport even if you’re not travelling any time soon. That way, you’ll have all the time in the world to review and go through the process at a leisurely pace. The most important documents you need for the application are:
- Birth certificate
- Identity card (ID)
- Photocopy of parents’ IDs
- Photocopy of recommender’s ID
- KRA PIN certificate
Recently, government officials have started mentioning Huduma Namba as a requirement. Although the recently introduced concept is still mired in controversy, the Immigration PS recently warned that future Kenyan passport applicants would be turned away if they didn’t have the number.
Who is a recommender?
The recommender is a sort of referee, someone who has known you for years and can confirm that all the information you’ve included in the application is truthful. A relative cannot be your recommender, so you’ll need to look for a friend or someone else you have a close relationship with, like your pastor for example.
In case you’re renewing your Kenyan passport, you’ll be required to present the old one as well.
Other details you need
Other than the documents outlined above, you also need other details when applying for a Kenyan passport. Depending on the person whose specifics you’re providing, you’ll give the following additional information:
- For spouse: Full name
- For parents: Phone number, P.O Box address
- For children: Full names, place of birth, date of birth, gender
- For next of kin: Full names, division
andlocation, relationship, ID no., telephone no., P.O. Box address.
- For recommender: Full names, profession/occupation, ID no, email address, telephone number, P.O. Box address and signature.
Since nowadays a post office box address is not a must have for everyone, you can use the same address whenever you’re asked for it.
Cost of Kenyan passport
Before submitting your online passport application form, you’ll be required to make payment electronically. Although you can pay using a debit card, MPESA is the most convenient payment option. Depending on the type of passport you want to apply for, you’ll be required to pay the following amounts:
- 32 page passport : Shs. 4,500
- 48 page passport : Shs. 6,000
- 64 page passport : Shs. 7,500
- Diplomatic passport : Shs. 7,500
- Lost passport : Shs. 12,000
- Mutilated passport : Shs. 10,000
- East African passport : Shs. 900
E-citizen deducts a processing fee of shs. 50 for each financial transaction. For example, if you’re applying for a 32 page passport, you’ll pay 4,550/= instead of the aforementioned 4,500/=.
Another issue that might cause some little confusion regards the number of pages per Kenyan passport. In some instances, the number of pages will increase by two. So instead of being given a drop down with 32, 48 and 64-page options, you might see one with 34, 50 and 66 pages. Don’t worry, it’s just the same thing. I’m not sure about this discrepancy, but I think the number increases by 2 because the passport covers are also counted.
Applying for a Kenyan passport
The first step is to log into your e-citizen account
On your dashboard, click on the “Department of immigration services” option
From there the instructions are pretty straightforward as to how you’ll go about it. The following is an actual passport application that I did for someone. Some details in these screenshots are blacked out to hide personal details.
From Step 1, once you pick the particular Kenyan passport type you want, you’ll be required to start filling in your details. In this case, I was applying for the “32 Pages Ordinary A Series” passport that costs Shs. 4500 (4550 plus 50 shillings e-citizen facilitation fee.)
Once you enter all relevant personal details, you’ll be asked to provide information on two next of kin, as well as any children you might have.
In step 6, you’ll fill in your recommender’s details. This is someone who knows you well but IS NOT related to you.
Once done with Step 6, you’ll be asked to review ALL the information you’ve entered so far, before paying for your Kenyan passport.
Once you confirm that all the information provided is accurate, you’ll be directed to an online payment gateway. There are several payment methods, such as mobile money and debit/credit cards. I chose to use M-Pesa as it’s most convenient for me.
A few seconds after you receive a text message from Mpesa confirming payment, click on the “complete” button to finish the transaction on e-citizen.
Once payment has been confirmed, you’ll be taken to a page showing all the information you submitted. Please note that once payment has been submitted, you can’t change your Kenyan passport application details on e-citizen.
On this page you’ll be able to download a four page form with all the provided information already filled. You will also download a copy of an invoice proving that you’ve paid for the Kenyan passport you’re applying for.
The application form and three copies of invoice, plus 3 passport photos and other relevant documents, should be presented physically at Nyayo House (if you’re in Nairobi). The specific instructions will be given on the form. Once your Kenyan passport application is accepted, you’ll be photographed for the actual photo that will appear on your travel document.
Note that the three passport photos you present with your passport application are only used for verification purposes. An official photo will be taken by immigration officials. After being photographed, you’ll leave all your documents at immigration and wait for 2 or three weeks for your Kenyan passport to be processed.
Final thoughts on Kenyan passport application procedure
The only document you’ll leave immigration with is a copy of your payment invoice that you’ll go back with to pick your passport. Your other documents (birth certificate, copies of your and parents’ IDs etc) will be handed to you together with the passport on the day you go to pick it.
Maybe I’ll post a YouTube video about this whole application process, but for now I hope this article will be helpful enough.
All the best!!!