Did you know that there are several different types of passports in Kenya? These passports are usually given on different circumstances of travel and have different privileges and limitations. This article will take you through the different types of passports issued in Kenya and how to apply for them.
What is a passport?
A passport is a legal document that enables a citizen of a particular country to cross national borders. Both emigrants and immigrants should possess a passport to be allowed into any country. Any individual who crosses a border into another country without a passport is usually referred to as an alien and is liable to the laws of that land.
Passports, in addition to enabling international travel, can also be used as a form of identification. As a matter of fact, passports come in second after national IDs in Kenya. This means that if you are asked to provide your national ID, a passport will be accepted as an alternative identification method.
Types of passports in Kenya
Ordinary passport (Light Blue)
Ordinary passports are the most common in Kenya. They are usually light blue in colour and are given to Kenyans who want to travel to other countries. This passport takes approximately ten years to expire therefore very easy to manage.
Ordinary passports are classified into three categories, i.e., A-series, B-series and C-series. More about these and the fees charged shortly.
Diplomatic passport/Special passport
In Kenya, maroon is used for diplomatic passports. These passports are used for esteemed members of the government who are visiting other countries. These government officials are usually sent to those countries to perform several government duties. In short, you have to be on a diplomatic mission in order to be granted this kind of passport.
Here is a short list of persons who can get a diplomatic passport:
- Members of the executive
- Members of parliament
- Ministers and cabinet secretaries
- Officials from the Judiciary
- Army Generals
- Ambassadors etc.
East African Passport
An East African Passport is a lesser version of the ordinary passport. It is cheaper to acquire, and grants you access to the member states of the East African community e.g., Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda etc.
Acquisition of this kind of passport will only cost you KES990. The passport, however, has to be renewed every six months, unlike the ordinary passport that lasts for 10 years.
The immigration commission has recently employed advancing technology in passports. Registration entails capturing biometric information such as fingerprints, height, facial recognition technology and other physical characteristics.
You will still need your national ID and other identification documents to apply for such a passport. More on this shortly.
This is a damaged passport. Damage can be due to many causes e.g., water, fire, tears or scratches, ink etc. Nevertheless, any form of damage will classify your passport as ‘mutilated’.
How much does it cost to apply for a passport in Kenya?
Passport application fees vary according to type. The cheapest is the East African Passport while the most expensive is the C-Series Ordinary 64-paged passport. Note, however, that replacing a lost or mutilated passport will be more expensive, with fees ranging as depicted below:
|Passport type||no. of pages||fee (kes)|
|East African passport||–||990|
How to apply for a passport in Kenya
Just like applying for anything else in Kenya, you will need identification documents so that the government can ascertain that you are a citizen of Kenya. Here is the list;
- National ID
- KRA PIN Certificate
- Birth certificate
- Your parent’s birth certificates
- Recommender’s ID, who must also have a passport.
- A consent letter for minors
After making sure that you have the above documents, navigate to the eCitizen passport registration portal. Locate and click on the passport registration form. Read all the instructions and fill out the application form carefully. Choose your preferred mode of payment and pay for the passport fees. After completing the application form, download and print it. You are required to submit the form at a physical location, i.e., immigration offices available in almost every county in Kenya.
Once you arrive at the immigration offices, make sure your passport photos are taken and your height is measured. Do this before proceeding with anything else in the offices. You can decide to do your own passport photos. You should have at least three.
Make sure that you dress decently, preferably in official clothes while taking passport photos.
How can you replace your lost or mutilated passport?
Replacing a lost passport will cost you a minimum of Ksh.12,050. Once you have the money, the process of replacement is quite simple. You will need the following;
- Your national ID
- An abstract from the police
- A duly filled application form with necessary fees paid up
- A written document explaining the circumstance of damage to your mutilated passport
- A copy of the lost biodata page if available.
- A sworn affidavit to support the claim of loss or mutilation.
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As you apply for your passport, ensure you understand the types and how to apply for one. For instance, if you have a single trip to Tanzania, you should consider an East African passport. A trip to South Africa, however, will require an ordinary passport.