Following a massive backlog that has seen many Zimbabweans stranded without travel documents, The Government has allowed the Passport Office to charge in United States Dollars for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.Many Zimbabweans, especially in the Diaspora with expiring passports, found themselves in a fix as they risked being deported from their host countries for not having valid documents.
"PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE HONOURABLE KAZEMBE KAZEMBE ON THE CURRENT PASSPORT SITUATION
The ministry, through the Department of Civil Registry, is responsible for; among others, production and Issuance of travel documents including passports.
The Civil Registry Department is experiencing a backlog in the production of passports. The backlog is currently at 359 288 backdating to August 2018. This is mainly due to the limited availability of foreign currency to procure the required consumables such as ink, films, ribbon and passport paper. This situation has been exacerbated by the low passport fees being charged by the Department. The Department is charging all its clients in local currency yet consumables for the production of passports are imported and require foreign currency.
The Ministry is aware of the high expectation from members of the public for timely provision of service delivery particularly in the areas of issuance of travel documents. The Ministry is also aware of what citizens are going through especially those living abroad whose passports have expired. Citizens in the diaspora need to have valid passports in order to regularize their stay in the host countries.
As a way of assisting the Department. to attend to requirements for passports by citizens In the diaspora, Government has therefore authorized the Department to charge USD$318 for passports; in respect of those In the diaspora. The application will be prioritized on an urgent basis.
Further details on the Implementation of this decision are being worked out by the Civil Registry Department in consultation with other stakeholders."