President William Ruto holds a child after officially commissioning the the Bungoma Immigration office on Friday, May 31, 2024....READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

President William Ruto on Friday opened the Bungoma Immigration office that targets the issuance of passports and other travel documents within the greater Western Kenya region.

Residents of Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia counties with a combined of population of around six million people are expected to be the main beneficiaries of the new office located within Bungoma town.

The President who is on a three-day visit to the county to host this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations on Saturday issued the first batch of passports processed in the new office.

“We really appreciate the opening of this office as we can now easily apply for and collect passports without spending a lot of time and money travelling to Kisumu or Eldoret,” said Brian Simiyu, an IT graduate who hopes to pursue job opportunities in Dubai.

Sixteen-year-old Blessy Okwisa, a Form Two student and anamateur hockey player, said she dreams of playing for the national team and using her passport in international competitions.

President William Ruto presents a passport to Form 2 student Blessy Okwisa as Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok and Broadcasting PS Edward Kisangani look on after offcicially opening the Immigration Office in Bungoma town, May 31, 2024.

Besides the issuance of passports, the new office will also offer a dedicated eCitizen desk and services such as work permits, residency applications, Electronic Travel Authorization, temporary permits, Interstate pass, refugee travel documents and Certificate of Identity and Nationality.

The location of the office is considered strategic as Bungoma town is only 35 kilometers from the border town of Malaba and other nearby international crossing points.

The town has witnessed a surge of visitors mainly from the East African region.

Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok said the Bungoma office will serve around 500 clients daily thereby easing the pressure on the Eldoret and Kisumu offices.

He said more regional Immigration offices are planned for across the country as the government pursues the goal of making passport services cheaper and faster.

“We have a vision to make acquisition of passports an affordableand faster service. With the opening of more offices alongside other reforms we are undertaking, we believe it should be possibleto issue passports within three days.”

President William Ruto holds a child as he skims through a passport after officiailly commissioning the Bungoma Immigration Office, May 31, 2024.

The PS who was briefing the media about the new office urged Western Kenya residents, many of who engage in cross-border movements, to take advantage of the new office to regularise their travel papers and residency status.

He said the government is aware that many members of border communities in the region hold registration documents from at least two neighbouring countries owing to social-cultural and economic ties without formally applying for dual citizenship.

The government, he said, has relaxed the vetting process for communities living along border areas to make it easier to acquire National ID cards.

Speaking at the same function, Broadcasting PS Edward Kisangani urged Bungoma residents to fully exploit the convenience offered by the eCitzen platform to access over 16,000 government services online….CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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