New applicants for passports will be receiving their travel documents after seven days as the government moves to reform the immigration department.
Interior Cabinet secretary Kithure Kindiki said the passport printer at Nyayo House, which is broken will also be fixed in the next one week, as the State moves to end the pain of thousands of Kenyans waiting for the crucial travel document.
“On the issue of passports, I want to plead for patience as we fix the broken printer in the next seven days,” said Mr Kindiki in Nairobi on Wednesday.
“We will make sure that once the printer is fixed, all new passport applications will be received in seven working days while those in emergency need of the document will receive them in 48 hours.”
Those in emergency need of the travel documents will, however, get them in 48 working hours once they have applied for it.
One of the machines that prints the 34, 50 and 66-page booklets had broken down at Nyayo House, inconveniencing applicants who had applied for the travel documents.
A small machine that prints the 34-page passport was working though at an optimal capacity.
Printing of the 66-page and 50-page passports, had also been hampered in the last few months due to a shortage of booklets.
They were, however, sourced by the Immigration Department last Friday.
Category C passport with 66 pages, costs Sh7,550. To get a 34-page document which falls under category A, one pays Sh4,550 while the category 50-page document costs Sh6,050.
The Immigration Department normally prints 1,500 passports per day which does not match the existing demand bearing in mind the number of travellers leaving the country at one given time has been going up in the recent few months.
Demand for passports is so high because the department usually receives new applications daily.
The department, is currently grappling with a backlog of 42,000 passports that are yet to be printed to date.