Friday, August 12

New Passport Fees Announced

Government has set new passport fees that will take immediate effect.

The new fees are US$100 for an ordinary passport and US$200 for an emergency one.

The new fees were gazetted by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe in Statutory Instrument 3 of 2022 cited as Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations of 2022.

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday launched the country's e-passport aimed at enhancing security by preventing identity theft and forgery.

The move is in line with the government's vision of a modernized economy through the application of advanced information and communication technology systems, Mnangagwa said at the launching ceremony, which coincided with the commissioning of a new passport enrolment center in Harare.

Key features of the new e-passport include, among others, an electronic cover with a chip and a security thread fully embedded in the inner booklet pages.

"These enhanced security features will go a long way in fighting cross-border organized crime and illegal migration, thereby fostering the integrity of our immigration system," Mnangagwa said.

He added that an online application system will be introduced to allow people to apply and pay for traveling documents remotely, with a physical appearance at the registry only for biometrics.

The normal processing of a new e-passport will cost 100 U.S. dollars while the urgent processing of an emergency passport will cost 200 dollars.

All valid current passports will remain in use until they stop being acceptable internationally by Dec. 31, 2023. Enditem

A nationwide campaign to issue primary identity and registration documents will be launched next year, coinciding with the voter registration blitz ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections, President Mnangagwa said yesterday during the launch of the new secure electronic passport at Chiwashira Building in Harare.

The e-passport was launched after Government entered into a partnership with a Lithuanian company, Garsu Pasaulis, on a build, own, operate and transfer basis to produce the new passports that meet modern international standards that will allow Zimbabweans to travel without additional complications.

The switchover will also eliminate the large backlog of applications built up during the lockdowns.

The partnership will also see the company refurbish provincial and district registry offices and provide material to produce national identity cards. In addition, an online passport application system will be introduced, to allow applications and payment for the documents online.
An electronic passport or e-passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport's data page: the holder's name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-passport also contains a biometric identifier.

All of these features are designed to protect citizens from identity theft because it is difficult and expensive to steal the information stored on the document's encrypted digital record. E-passports also allow for faster passage through transit at your home border post.

The President said the nationwide registration campaign follows the impact of the delays arising from the Covid-19 lockdown.

"In the midst of these achievements, my Government is cognisant of the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the civil registration process. This has not only been the case with Zimbabwe, but the world at large.

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