Applications and payment have to be done on the government’s E-Citizen website. If you don’t already have an E-Citizen account, you will need an active Kenyan mobile number to register. A verification code will be sent to that number within seconds. You will then enter that code online to verify your account then you can access all government services from there.
Please note that the mobile number must NOT have been used by anyone else to verify an E-Citizen account. If you are in the UK, the Kenyan High Commission in London can get your UK mobile number authorised in Nairobi.
Documents Required Online
To complete your application, the online the form will ask you to upload certain documents depending on your type of application and circumstances e.g. if you are renewing your passport the application will request a copy of your ID (Front and Back), a copy of your recommender’s Kenya ID card (Front and back) and copies of the last 4 pages of your passport. To get around the 195KB maximum size limit for each upload, scan each document as a low resolution black and white PDF document then upload. You can also use a free online tool such as Small PDF to reduce the size of your documents.
Once on E-Citizen, you may find the passport application form tricky to fill in. For example, filling in your address is not straight forward as you may get a prompt that you’ve typed too many characters. So for instance if your address is 12 Rosewater Avenue, Finchley, London N12 7BP you will fill it in as:
- Country of Residence: GB –
- Postal address: N12 7BP –
- Phone Number: +447…(use your UK number here) –
- Estate/Sublocation: Finchley –
- House Number/Kijiji/Village: 12 Rosewater Avenue.
YOU will also need to declare whether you have Dual Citizenship or not. Those who acquired the Citizenship of another country before the promulgation of the new constitution on 27 August 2010 will have automatically lost their Kenyan Citizenship and will first need to apply to regain it before getting the new e-passport. It does not matter whether you have been issued with a passport after 2010.
The online form might not ask for proof of when you got another country’s Citizenship but you will definitely be asked you attend processing at the Kenyan High Commission, so carry an original and x2 copies of that county’s (e.g. the UK) Naturalization Certificate.
If you acquired foreign nationality before 2010 and have since applied for and successfully regained your Kenyan Nationality, take the certificate confirming you have regained your Kenyan Citizenship (Original + 2 copies). This is not to be confused with the Declaration of Dual Citizenship which is a different document altogether but take Original and x2 Copies of that too.
If applying on behalf of a child, the constitution states that “A person is a Citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a Citizen” (Article 14.1) Now, if the Kenyan parents got another country’s Citizenship before 27 August 2010, then they would have automatically lost their Kenyan Citizenship, meaning children born after the parents lost Citizenship will not be Kenyan either and all will need to apply to regain Kenyan Citizenship before getting the new e-passport. The children might be required to apply for a Kenyan Birth Certificate before applying for the e-passport (Registration of The Birth of a Citizen of Kenya Occurring Abroad).
You will need their overseas Birth Certificate details to register them as Kenyans born abroad.
It does not matter whether the children already have the old-style passport.
You WILL also need the address, phone number (with international code eg +2547..) I.D number and place of birth of at least one of your parents to fill in the form. Their passport number is optional as not all parents have a passport. If you can get a copy of their ID, even better just to be on the safe side. When filling in their address, you will need to somehow shorten it so it fits in the form. For Example, if the full address is P.O Box 8942-02485 Ronald Ngala Street you can shorten it to 8942 R NGALA ST. In case both parents are deceased, the form might ask for death certificate details of at least one parent. Get a copy if possible.
Fill in your recommenders’ details the same way then upload the required documents. The Recommender can be any Kenyan known to but must not be related to you. They will have to sign your form so it’s better if they don’t live too far away from you.
Make sure to review your form before submitting to ensure everything is in order.
Once you’ve paid for your application, download a copy of your completed form and a copy of your payment receipt to your computer or device.
You will then need to print x1 Copy of the completed form and x3 Copies of the payment receipt.
Your recommender will need to sign and date their section of the form and you the same.
You can then go over to the Kenyan High Commission Website (Not E-Citizen) and book an appointment.
Documents You Will Need at the High Commission Appointment
The London High Commission website has listed what you need to bring to your appointment BUT has not made it clear that you also need to bring original documents along with the copies they’ve asked for, so carry:
- x1 COPY of completed application form
- x3 COPIES of payment receipt from E-Citizen
- Original and x2 Copies of the last page of your passport (the page with your picture and details)
- Original and x2 Copies of your Kenya ID card (Front and back)
- Original and x2 Copies of Kenyan Birth Certificate
- Original and x2 Copies of UK Residence Permit/Visa. If you have UK Citizenship also take Original Naturalisation Certificate + x2 Copies
- x3 Passport Size Photographs (UK Standard Size) – The website mentions 2 photos but they actually need 3. Write your names on the back of each one.
- x2 COPIES of recommender’s Kenya ID card (Front and back) – careful with this one.
- Original and/or Copies of any other relevant documents if applicable e.g parent’s death certificate.
You will get your original documents back on the day (apart from the old passport) once they’ve been checked against the copies.
Your old passport will be returned together with your shiny new E-Passport!
To save yourself another trip to collect your passport when it’s ready, you can purchase a pre-paid Special Delivery Guaranteed envelope from the post office, self-address it and leave it with the embassy staff. The Guaranteed by 1PM envelope costs around £7 and is insured for up to £500 in case of loss or damage.
Good Luck and be ready to have a digital photo and finger/handprints taken if you’ll have cleared all the hurdles!
Tips and Warnings
Although the e-passport requirements are very rigorous, subsequent future renewals will be so much easier so it’s definitely worth ‘getting in the system’. They are cleaning up the system to conform to international e-passport security standards. Also, many Kenyan passports were fraudulently or erroneously acquired/issued in the past. If you have Dual Nationality and have found it simply impossible to satisfy all e-passport requirements, you can always have your UK Passport endorsed at the Kenyan High Commission for Visa-Free travel to Kenya as a last resort.