NAIROBI – Amidst harsh economic times, Kenyans will now pay more for passports, IDs and other key services under the Immigration Department following announcement of new levies by the government on Wednesday.
According to a gazette notice dated November 7 by Interior and National Administration CS Prof Kindiki Kithure, passport fees for ordinary booklets with 34 pages have gone up by Sh3,000 to Sh7,500, Sh9,500 up from Sh6,000 for a 50-page booklet, while a 66-page passport will cost Sh12,500 from Sh7,500.
A 50-page Diplomatic passport has doubled from Sh7,500 to Sh15,000, while Kenyans seeking to replace a lost or mutilated passport will have to pay Sh20,000.
Kenyans who have turned 18 years of age will now have to part with Sh1,000, a service that was previously offered for free.
For those seeking replacement of IDs, the cost has been increased by 20 times to Sh2,000.
The new levies will also impact fees for crucial documents such as birth and death certificates, as well as marriage certificates.
Those seeking visas, citizenship, permanent residence, and work permits will have to dig deeper into their pockets.
The changes affect the Births and Deaths Registration Act, The Registration of Persons Act and the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act.
Civil servant cards and staff badges will both cost Sh1,000 from the previous Sh100 and Sh350 respectively.
Immigration visas and other consular fees have been revised to $100 and $500 for single and multiple journey visas up from $50 and $100 respectively.
The increments have drawn uproar from Kenyans and some politicians.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa (UDA) opposed the levies, terming them retrogressive.
“People get dishonest in the presence of power and money. These characters seem power drunk, eating taxes with a big spoon, wearing the most expensive designer shoes and vomiting remnants on Kenyans who walk bare feet!””
“Things are taking a wrong trajectory and I’m raising my voice! Wananchi are suffering and the government must listen! A marriage certificate, for example, has cruised from 30k to 100k! Are we for real? Why oppress citizens?” Barasa posed on X, formerly Twitter.
Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba (UDA) termed some of the fees and levies as punitive.
“Honestly, we may be in dire need for money, but I beseech all to consider and allow students to pursue their careers. Charging them exorbitantly on internship and pass out is grossly punitive,” the legislator said.