The Immigration department will start issuing passports on the same day of application starting July 1, 2020, officials have said.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said applicants of identity cards, birth and death certificates will also have their documents processed in a day.

The new changes, however, apply only to applications filed within Nairobi, he said

“Last year, I interacted with citizens at their most vulnerable moments and the pain and misery I saw them go through is unacceptable in Public Service,” Dr Matiang’i said yesterday during the official opening of a three-day high-level security meeting in Mombasa.

“By July 1, this year, issuance of ID cards, birth and death certificates and passports shall be a same-day service except for applications originating from outside of Nairobi and abroad,” he said.

The practice is that it takes at least 10 working days to get first passport once the form is physically submitted.

Subsequent passport applications and renewals take at least five working days to process.

National ID applicants also wait for about 10 working days, according to information provided on eCitizen, a government digital platform.

Ironically, applicants’ documents have been lying at Nyayo House since as late as 2015, shedding a spotlight on the inept manner with which the Immigration officials handle their duties at Nyayo House.

Wednesday, Director of Immigration Alex Muteshi told the Business Daily that applicants will no longer wait for the documents from July 1 as “time has been given to put the necessary system in place.”

He said these include digitisation of records and more printers to meet the growing demand for passports.

He, however, did not disclose the budget the department requires for the upgrade.

Applicants queue at Immigration offices from as early as 6am to get a chance of submitting the hard-copy forms.

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