The Kenyan government has decided to increase the fees paid by diasporans seeking to renew their passports. The new changes announced by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i have been seen as a punishment for the Kenyans in diaspora.
The diasporans will henceforth be categorized into four groups: US&Caribbean, EU, UK and Africa, Australia&Asia. The US&Caribbean group will pay the highest fees followed by the Kenyans based within the EU. Below is a table of the new diaspora categories and the new fees.
|32 pages||48 pages||64 pages|
|Standard Price in KE||4,500||6,000||7,500|
|US & Caribbean||8,144||11,198||14,252|
|European Union (EU)||7,506||9,383||11,260|
|United Kingdom (UK)||6,399||8,532||12,799|
|Africa, Australia and Asia||5,090||6,6617||8,000|
Although, the move has not been welcomed by the diaspora, we have to remember that the diaspora has always paid a higher price for government services compared to Kenyans in Kenya. For example, the 32 page passport would cost you €4500 in Kenya, while at the Embassy in Berlin the fee was at €60 approximately KShs. 7520 (at today’s exchange rate). This is nothing new, but at least we previously had the convenience to apply for the passport renewal in our countries of residence. Below is a table comparing the fees in Kenya to those charged at the Embassy in Berlin.
|PASSPORT TYPE||Fee (Kshs)||Embassy Fee|
|32 Pages Ordinary “A” Series||Kshs. 4,550||€ 60|
|48 pages Ordinary “B” Series||Kshs. 6,050||€ 80|
|64 Pages Ordinary “C” Series||Kshs. 7,550||€ 90|
|East African Passport||Kshs. 990||–|
|Diplomatic passport (48 page)||Kshs 7,550||–|
|Mutilated Passport||Kshs 10,050||€ 145|
|Lost Passport||Kshs 12,050||€ 150|
I won’t ask why the CS for Interior is talking about passports, but my hope in this development is that the diasporans will have the comfort to apply for the new ePassports in their host country. If the government plans to continue forcing the diaspora to go back to Kenya to apply for the new passports, then I hope the new price will allow for express issuance. If not, then I don’t believe these changes will affect anyone. Many will instead prefer to apply for the passports as Kenyans based in Kenya and use the extra cash to fasten the issuance process. What do you guys think?