Nairobi Leads in Unclaimed Passports as Govt Increases Printing Efforts to Address Backlog

March 6, 2024

Immigration offices nationwide are urging Kenyans to collect 58,330 passports that remain unclaimed.

On Tuesday, Immigration PS Julius Bitok lamented that the uncollected booklets were occupying spaces in the office. PS Bitok noted that Nairobi holds the highest number of unclaimed passports, with 24,613 applicants yet to collect their travel documents.

“We urge applicants who have already been notified that their passports are ready to collect them as soon as possible to free up storage space,” said the PS in a statement.

Embu follows Nairobi with a total of 9,584 uncollected passports, trailed by Kisumu (6,087), Mombasa (5,759), Eldoret (4,538), Nakuru (4,466), and Kisii (3,283).

PS Bitok highlighted that the Directorate of Immigration Services is actively enhancing its operations to process and print passports, aiming to address the backlog of applications resulting from increased demand.

He further mentioned that applications are undergoing processing on a first-in-first-out basis, contingent upon the availability of specific booklets determined by the number of pages paid for by each applicant.

Last month, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki acknowledged the pain and frustration experienced by many Kenyans seeking passports for various reasons, leading to lost employment opportunities and restricted travel for medical care, education, business, or leisure.

The CS explained that years of insufficient investment in production infrastructure, accumulating supplier debts, and corrupt practices have impeded the government’s transformation program for the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services.

However, Kindiki committed to conclusively resolve the challenges surrounding passport issuance. The CS mentioned that the government is actively seeking funds to settle outstanding debts, which, he stated, will contribute to easing passport processing and enhancing efficiency at Nyayo House.

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