Passport applications to take a maximum of seven days to process, Immigration PS assures,
The government has acquired new printers to help facilitate the printing of passports after previous machines at the department of immigration broke down leading to a backlog at the department.
Immigration principal secretary Juliuk Bitok now says that the delays which have been witnessed at the department in the last couple of weeks, will be a thing of the past after it received funds from the National Treasury to purchase the new printers.
The new printers are expected to arrive in the country in about two months’ time.
The PS, while appearing before the National Assembly’s departmental committee on Diaspora Affairs and Migrant Workers, said that the new printers will help boost the process of passport applications.
He also added that beginning October, passport applications will take a maximum of seven days to process.
“Our printers broke down a while ago but we are happy that the National Assembly approved a budgetary allocation for new printers. Currently, we’re only able to print 1,500 passports against a daily demand of 4,500 passports,” the PS said.
“We have now made an order for two printers which should be here in two months’ time. Once we receive them, together with the current two which are operational, we shall boost our capacity to print 6,000 passports. It should therefore not take more than seven days to process any application,” he added.
Bitok had appeared before the committee to appraise members of the team on the progress that the State Department for Immigration and Citizen had made in scaling up efforts in fixing the current challenges surrounding the acquisition of passports and civil registration documents.
The legislators had argued that the delays in printing the documents have disenfranchised Kenyans including migrant workers in the diaspora.
Committee chairman Haika Mizighi said that his team was concerned by questions raised by Kenyans as well as those in the diaspora that they risk losing out on employment opportunities and deportation due to expired immigration documents.
The appearance of the PS before the Committee also comes in the wake of an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs that the government had reached a deal with several countries to export migrant workers, as a remedy to the growing rate of unemployment in the country.
The Committee wanted PS Bitok to apprise them of the measures they have put in place to ease the facilitation of Kenyan migrant workers with passports.
The Committee had also sought to know the plans by the State Department to ensure Kenyans in the Diaspora are facilitated with passports and civil registration documents efficiently and timely.
In response, Bitok told the Committee that the delays in printing of the documents would soon be a thing of the past after the department receives new printers, due in two months’ time.