Uproar by Kenyans living abroad as government doubles passport fees

Kenyans living abroad will have to pay more for their passports after the government introduced special fees to almost double the current amount, local media reports.

The move has angered Kenyans especially those living in the US and Canada with some seeing it as punishment for their outrage after fiery lawyer Miguna Miguna was deported to Canada early this month.

Kenyans living abroad have been classified into five broad categories with those living in the US and the Caribbean countries expected to pay the highest fees. Previously, the regulations were silent on fees payable by those applying for passports from embassies abroad, only setting out one uniform fee structure.

“This is a clear move by a corrupt government that has run out of money and ideas on how to create wealth to improve the welfare of Kenyans,” Mr. Anthony Muhula, a Kenyan resident of Montreal, Canada told the Daily Nation.

“Instead, (it) is now frantically looking for ways to fill the hole in the government coffers they raided to finance the campaigns. Kenyan abroad should resist this exploitation!”

The five categories are Americas and the Caribbean, United Kingdom, Africa, Australia and Asia and the European Union.

The regulations signed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi indicate that
Kenyans in the US and the Caribbean will pay $80 for a 32-page passport, $109 for a 48-page passport and $138 for a 64-page passport.

Initially, the passports cost $45 , $60 and $75 for a 32 page, 48 page and 64 page respectively.

Diplomatic passports will go up by almost $100 for those living in the US and the Caribbean countries.

From $75 initially, those who want to hold diplomatic passports will be expected to pay $170.

For those living in the United Kingdom, a 32-page passport will cost $64. They will pay $75 for a 48-page passport while a 64-page passport will cost them $127.

Kenyans living in the EU will part pay $74 for a 32 page passport, $94 for a 48-page passport and $111 for a 64-page passport.

Kenyans living in Africa, Australia and Asia will pay $50 for a 32-page passport and $65 for a 48-page passport. A 64-page passport will cost them $80.

The changes were triggered by an amendment of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations 2012 that were put in place by then Immigration Minister, the late Otieno Kajwang’.