Social media information is now a mandatory requirement for ESTA and visa applications for the USA. This latest change in visa policy is part of US President Donald Trump’s plan to set a “uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures”. In the past, only travelers who were deemed to need additional screening, such
| Post byOnlineVisa
The United States will not issue visas to Kenyan citizens who are yet to obtain a Kenyan e-passport, the US Embassy in Nairobi has announced.
In response to an enquiry from a Kenyan citizen, the US government has stated that it will cease to issue visas to those with the old, non-electronic passport. This is the first major Western country to make the new Kenyan e-passport a mandatory travel requirement, and the declaration is expected to incite high demand for the electronic travel document.
An Embassy spokesperson clarified that Kenyans will still be able to make a US visa appointment using their current passport, but that an new e-passport will have to be obtained before a visa can be issued. They added that those with valid US visas in old passports will also have to get a new e-passport before being allowed entry into the United States.
The move puts added pressure on citizens to obtain a Kenya e-Passport, following a previous announcement by the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, that government officials are now banned from foreign travel without the new passport type. This was later confirmed by the Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Macharia Kamau, who said his office would not process visa applications for senior government officials if they have not obtained an e-passport.
The new Kenyan e-Passport
The Kenyan e-passport was launched in August 2017, and the system was intended to be fully implemented by the end of that month, to allow the phasing out of the old documents. However, Deputy President William Ruto later announced that the obligatory deadline for obtaining the e-passport was subsequently postponed to 2020, in order to allow Kenyans more time to apply for the new document.
By January 2019, around 400,000 Kenyans had obtained the electronic travel document, although it was still possible to travel using the old passport. Since the new compulsory requirements for travel were announced, the Immigration Department has seen a vast increase in Kenyan e-passport applications from both inside the country and from Kenyans living internationally.
In theory, Kenyans living abroad were to be able to apply for the new travel document from one of several international passport application centres, located in London, Paris, Washington DC, Pretoria, Dubai, and Berlin. However, many Kenyan expats have reported having to return to their homeland in order to submit an e-passport application.
The Kenyan e-passport was introduced as part of a global effort to curb forgery of passports. The e-passport is fitted with an electronic chip which makes forgery far more difficult than for previous passport types. The chip contains the details of the passport holder, which also makes it easier to read the contents of the passport if the document becomes damaged. The Kenyan electronic passport has been implemented with a blue cover, following an agreement reached between several East Africa countries to create a uniform passport design to represent the region. Blue was chosen to symbolise Lake Victoria, the large body of water which spans several East African nations.
To learn about countries other than the United States for which Kenyans are required to get a visa, citizens of Kenya can visit onlinevisatravel.com to check visa requirements for every nation in the world.
- Read More
- Read More
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the United States of America has introduced a number of travel restrictions and issued guidelines to its own citizens returning home from abroad. The novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, originated in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province and has quickly spread to many countries around the world. The
- Read More
Not every traveler heading to the United States of America needs a visa. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA for the US provides another option for eligible visitors. Introduced in 2009, the ESTA is an online system that allows travelers to register their details ahead of their trip to the United States. For
- Read More
Foreign national employees in the United States planning to travel outside of the US over the holiday season are advised to plan their trip and make sure the necessary travel documents are in order well in advance. The warning follows news US embassies and consulates around the world are more understaffed this year than usual,
- Read More
Poland has joined the US Visa Waiver Program allowing easier entry into the USA. Discover with the changes are and how they’ll affect travel.