Getting a Passport for Your Child
If you are a parent in Nairobi, ok let me use mom instead, if you are mom in Nairobi and are looking for a way to pull your hair and appreciate the fact that you have children, here is a simple way to do that. Apply For Your Child’s Passport.
The online process has made life waaaaay easier, long before there were computers in government offices and immigration to be specific, you had to go to Nyayo house, pick the forms, go back home and fill them up and there was even a section for your chief and pastor to sign! Then you would take them back, the entire process would take up to 3 months, and even then you were not guaranteed a passport, they could have looked at you and decided your reasons for having a passport are not valid, you are from Kitui and you want a passport? For what! It was not a ‘human right’ like it is today.
Nowadays, you login to your ecitizen account, fill in the form and even pay online and all you have to do is print the forms, deliver them to Nyayo house and you have a passport in 14 days! 14. My first passport took me and a couple of other students camping at Nyayo house for a whole week because our travel date was set in stone and we had to have the passport, this was after we had applied for them 3 months prior, a week to travel, the forms were still sitting in someone’s office, untouched.
There is a list of all the other documents that you are required to have as you go to apply for the passport, including a consent letter, saying that you give your children permission to receive a passport, but you also need to be there physically as the parent, beats the purpose, but if you show up without it, you will have to look for one.
You will get to Nyayo house with all these documents; please carry your own pen, and your child/children need to be present. Because you are a parent and you have evidence, you will not have to queue on the winding queue that goes around the building, you will just walk in. Your children in tow, you will not have to queue inside, there is a counter dedicated to children, counter 10, I think.
There, you will pull out an envelope that has all the required documents and if you have more than one child, they will process moja moja.
You will then be sent to go take photos, just pray that the computer taking the details of the children is working, because they have their own booth set aside. When we got there, the comp was booting for like 30 minutes, by this time, Maya was tired, cranky and even her favourite Baby Shark video was not doing the trick, so we left to go for a walk. Like out of the gate into Tuskys to buy a snack kind of walk.
By the time we got back, the comp was still booting, but because I had children, we were served at a regular booth immediately; juice did the trick in helping Maya sit still and take her photo. And just like that, we were done, 1 hour later, could have been shorter had the computer not needed booting for sure. As I was walking out, people we had found in the queue outside were still waiting to be ushered into the lobby that was already overflowing.
- Have all the documents required, if they ask for an ID copy of a parent, have even both, especially if both parents are on the birth certificate.
- Carry a backpack because a handbag will not serve you at all, esp if you have a young baby, you don’t want to be balancing a handbag/diaper bag and a baby in a super crowded place
- Carry snacks, they come in handy
- If you want this privilege, your child should be younger than 10 years.
- If you need to apply for a new passport as well, this is the time to do it; they will process all of them together.
- If you are applying for your own passport, wear a blazer or a shirt, because apparently, it’s a rule to look ‘official’ in the passport photo. eye roll emoji
That dear moms, is how to be grateful you are a mom, because you will spend a lot less time in there.
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