The government seeks to triple the number of Kenyan passport holders from 3.5 million to 10 million in the next five years.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki said Saturday, he is happy with efforts in the government in streamlining services at the immigration department saying that the processing of passports had been stepped up to conform to international standards.
He cited a recent delay and lack of booklets as he urged applicants yet to collect their passports to do so.
“Significant progress has been made in the past three (3) months to streamline service delivery at the State Department for Citizen Services,” he stated.
“All eligible applicants for the Kenyan passport are advised that passport booklets are now available in sufficient numbers and processing of passports has been expedited to conform to international standards. The ministry has set a target of tripling the number of Kenyan passport holders from the current 3.5 million to 10 million in the next five years.”
Kindiki explained the delay, which had spanned for a period of about a year, was due to a breakdown of a printer at the
Directorate of Immigration Services which has since been repaired.
He said the immigration department had received a total of 50,000 34-page booklets and that 200,000 more booklets are expected next week, with a further 1.2 million others expected within the next six months.
The CS said he had approved all 1,698 pending applications for citizenship in the last five years, both by foreigners and
Kenyan citizens in the diaspora seeking dual citizenship.
Kindiki said the government was keen on ensuring separated families in the diaspora are rejoined with their kin in the country since before the amendment of the 2010 Constitution, dual citizenship was not allowed.
“I approved 1,698 applications for citizenship for the years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, all of which were pending approval of the Cabinet Secretary. Of these, we approved 808 applications made to regain Kenya Citizenship mainly by the Kenya Diaspora who had previously opted to renounce Kenya Citizenship in order to enjoy the citizenship of their host countries,” he said.
“I also approved 815 applications for citizenship made by spouses and children of Kenya citizens. This was in an effort to strengthen the social fabric of Kenya society by promoting the family unit. We are doing our bit to ensure families stay together without inconveniences whatsoever.”
Out of the approved applications by foreigners, Kindiki said the State was putting into consideration genuinely skilled individuals before granting citizenship.
“I approved 75 applications for registration as citizens of Kenya made by lawful residents who have met the legal requirements and made positive contributions to the socio-economic well-being of Kenya,” said the CS.
“I signed 19 work permit appeals to allow genuinely skilled individuals to work for various organizations in our country. We continue to ensure the process involves strict vetting of the applicants so that only foreigners with special skills are allowed to work in Kenya.”