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Joy in the Diaspora as Matiang’i extends e-passport deadline

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Kenyans in the Diaspora have taken to social media to thank the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government for extending the deadline for the migration to the new generation chip-enabled passports.

In a statement released on Monday, February 24, the ministry headed by Dr Fred Matiang’i announced that it had extended the deadline by 12 months and set March 1, 2021 as the new compliance date.

“The government is progressively phasing out the old, ordinary passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the new passports with ICAO specifications,” said Matiang’i.

“However, we note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometrics e-passports,” he added

“Due to this, the government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for traveling,” the Ministry statement read in part.

The statement further noted that the Ministry  had set up six other centers in the diaspora, with three in Europe (Berlin, Paris, and London) and one in the US (Washington DC).

The government has also set up a center in Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai to facilitate the new passport measures.

“Thank you Matiang’i, Wrote John Njoroge.

“Ungekuwa karibu ningekubuiya kiruru,” tweeted Joe Karis.

Wambuijoan wrote: “That is why I love Jubilee Government. Inatupeaga deadline halafu inaongeza, Hata uchaguzi wa 2017 tulifanya twice.”

Before Monday’s announcement, long queues were being witnessed at various embassies, High Commissions and consulates as Kenyans in the Diaspora sought to beat the earlier deadline

The ministry also  announced that in an effort to rationalize the issuance of the e-passports, it has set up and operationalized four passport control centers across the country.

The four centers, they announced, were located in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret, and Embu.

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People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.

Mr Matiang’i called upon all those who were yet to convert their old passports as earlier urged to take advantage of the new extensions to fulfill the requirements.

“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of the period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports as early as possible.

“They should do this to avoid a last-minute rush, unnecessary jam-ups at the centers and traveling inconveniences,” the statement reads.

Matiang’i also  announced thathe government will ensure that  same-day issuance of passports became a reality by July 1, 2020.

Here is the full statement:

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

 

So what is an e-passport?

An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier.

For instance, the United States requires that the chip contain a digital photograph of the holder.

U.S. e-Passport Requirements

The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006. Additional information on VWP e-Passport requirements.

All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.

The inspection process for an e-Passport holder is the same as that for a non-e-Passport holder. When arriving at U.S. ports of entry, e-Passport holders will be directed by signage or personnel on the appropriate U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth to use.

Benefits of an e-Passport

E-Passports help to

  • securely identify the traveler,
  • provide protection against identity theft,
  • protect privacy and
  • make it difficult to alter a document for use in gaining admission to the United States.

The biographic and biometric data contained in the electronic chip can be compared to both the traveler and the travel document being presented. There are multiple layers of security in the e-Passport process that prevent duplication.

International Cooperation

The United States and its VWP partners have worked together through extensive testing to identify a technology solution to support the production of e-Passports and e-Passport readers. Successful testing in the United States and overseas has been an important step forward in a larger, comprehensive effort to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade through international cooperation.

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Diaspora

Americans abroad must return to the US immediately, says Pompeo

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Americans abroad who still wish to return to the United States to do so “immediately,” saying commercial and government-chartered flights could soon cease amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We don’t know how long commercial flights will … operate,” Mr Pompeo said Tuesday, adding it is not a sure thing that flights being chartered by the US government specifically for Americans to return home due to COVID-19 fears will be available in some countries.

The US top diplomat urged any Americans abroad who want to get back to US soil to contact the American embassy in the country where they currently are to begin making plans “immediately” to get a flight back to the States.

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Kenyan who Returned from Abroad Detained at Nairobi Hotel over Sh45,000 Quarantine Bill

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A Kenyan-born student who flew in from abroad  was on Friday detained at a high-end hotel in Nairobi for “failing to pay a Sh45,000 bill.”

However, the student -Mayombe Odubah -claims she was forcefully transferred to Pride Inn hotel by uniformed policemen following a government directive that everyone arriving in the country be isolated for two weeks.

The 20-year old law student at Middlesex University in Slic-en-slac, Mauritius told Nairobi News she informed the police, and hotel management that she could not afford to pay the Sh9,000 hotel day bill.

She also wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health explaining her financial position, a document that is in possession of Nairobi News.

“Most passengers refused to go to the hotel but police forced and threatened us,” she explained.

“I spoke to the management and informed them I didnt have the money. A Mr. Amusala told me to spend the night because I wasn’t allowed to sleep at the lobby at Sh7500 for the night and allow my matter be handled the following day. He has since stopped picking my calls. I have since been transferred to JKUAT, which is cheaper, but the hotel has refused to release me. My parents cannot afford this cost. I am worried.”

Oudubah says she was tested for coronavirus in Dubai on her way back home and turned negative.

President Uhuru Kenyatta recently announced all visitors arriving in the country will be placed if forced isolation at their cost, in a move aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

-NN

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SAD: Kenyan man dies in a road accident in US

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It is with great sorrow and grief that we announce the passing of our son Eric Kyalla in a road accident on Sunday March 22, 2020 in Columbia, Maryland at the tender age of 27.

He is the son of Boniface Kyalla and Susan Waithera Kyalla of Columbia, Maryland. He is brother to Edwin Kyalla. Brother in law to Yudelle Shiro Kyalla. Uncle to Isabel Kyalla.

Nephew to Andrew Kanyote, Patricia Njenga, Catherine Njenga, Pastor Lilian Mwatha, Dorcas Njenga, and Ruth Itotia.

Grandson to Dorcas Kanyote and Hellen Njenga.

Cousin to many in Maryland and in Kenya.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we will not have meetings. Burial will take place in Maryland. Details to follow.

For financial support please send CashApp to:
$SusanKyalla 4109007275 and $BonifaceKyalla 4435540614

For more information please contact:
Andrew Kanyote: 443-622-4226
Karanja Mwaura: 410-409-9340
Patricia Njenga: 410-925-5029
Julie Weche: 410-303-3335
Edwin Kyalla: 925-961-2413
Pastor Lilian: 443-759-1086
Joshua Nzueni: 240-593-3403

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

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