How to signup for an Electronic East African passport

The East African passport is a travel document everyone wanted to see come true before the middle income dreams come to life. But then, no one knew that 2018 would usher in the once rumored EAC concept. Well, today the minister of Internal affairs in Uganda received over 24,000 electronic passports and getting one of these involves the same techniques required anywhere in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda or Burundi

While National ID cards have been the cross border passes to any country within East Africa. The East African passport is an international pass that replaces all ordinary forms of passports in Uganda including diplomatic passports. However, if you wish to get a new electronic East African passport, here is all you need

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A Valid National ID card

The national Id cards registration exercise was kicked off in 2014 with region wide protests of what the card holds inclusive of the chunks of data collected on registrations. Even though, a few citizens rejected the exercise up to now, acquiring a new passport now requires you to have a valid National ID card issued by your mother country

For instance, If you are a citizen of Kenya, you must have a valid national ID card in order to qualify for a new electronic passport. Additionally, the biodata registered to the East African passport weighs as that of a national ID card meaning its not a unique card but rather a regional pass

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So in case you wish to get a new e-passport, you need to prepare a valid national ID card to be presented at the ministry to further process a new passport with ease. In addition, no other forms of identification such as LC endorsements or bank statements are required. But instead, a single National ID card is the ultimate savior for a brand new passport

Passport Size Photos

As per the new electronic passports, we’re not sure whether passport size photos are really relevant at a time when ordinary passports are being phased out. However, you need between 2-3 passport size photos in order to get a new passport not until the ministries choose to shift to National ID like instant photo capturing standards. For now, the passport size photos rule is still valid since these passports are new to East Africa and maybe sometime in the future all you’ll need is a National ID and passport fees.

Passport fees

The cost of a new East African passport varies from country to country. However, a diplomatic East African passport is rumored to cost about KShs 7,550 (UGX 250,000 TZshs 150,000 RWF BIF 135,000). This means that each and every citizen now has the power to own a new electronic passport alongside the National ID card to travel in any corner of the world

Your presence at an issuance office

Among the notable features on the electronic passports, an embedded chip can be evidenced to the cover of the passport, meaning a full copy of your personal data can be obtained through a scanner you’ll get to meet at several airports and borders. However, obtaining the passport personally at your local ministry office grants a chance to be perfectly sure of the information portrayed on your new electronic passport including valid Biometric data recorded. Well, below is a list of the relevant passport issuing offices housing the immigration departments of the different East African countries

Kenya: Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government

Uganda: Ministry of Internal Affairs

Tanzania: Ministry of Home Affairs

Rwanda: Directorate of Immigration and Emigration in Rwanda

Burundi: Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation


The same feeling you get when the lotto draw turns out with lucky digits in your favor is the same way owning a new electronic passport can feel. With no hustles or local council (LCs) offices involved, obtaining an East African passport has one of the easiest steps compared to any other Government affiliated services. Nevertheless, we are happy that Electronic passports are finally here and travelling to anywhere in the world is now classified by a full East African region

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