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Everything you need to know about Zim’s new e-passport

Passport, online passport application, Ministry of Home Affairs, Zimbabwe National Digital Registry, e-passport application

So it looks like Zimbabwe is finally moving towards e-passports according to Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021,

IT is hereby notified that the Minister has in terms of section 22 of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 4:01), made the following regulations:

… The Minister hereby notifies that henceforth the Government will cease the issuance of the current type of passports and in place thereof will be issuing electronically readable passports (e-passports) whose charges are as specified in the Schedule.

The current type of passports, issued before the date of operation of these regulations, will cease to be acceptable internationally by 31st December 2023, and will therefore need to be replaced by e-passports in terms of these regulations.

The Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations, 2021, published in Statutory Instrument 201 of 2021, are hereby repealed.

SI 273 of 2021

Old type passport holders have until the end of December 2023 to make the switch and the new e-passport which to be honest is kind of inconvenient if you spent a day plus in a queue for a conventional passport and the government wakes up and decides to make this change.

What is an e-passport and what are its advantages?

An electronic passport or e-passport is a conventional passport with the addition of a readable electronic chip that carries the same information that is printed on the physical document. On top of the conventional information, some e-passports also have on their digital record, biometric data, the bearer’s photograph and in some cases the holder’s iris pattern.

All of these features are meant to protect citizens from identity theft because it is very 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. I am sure that many of you who have travelled abroad were green with envy at EU citizens skipping through customs while even at the Harare International Airport returning residents have to queue for some time to be cleared. Local Airports will need to be fitted with eGates (Automated Border Control) that will scan the passport and or the document holder’s face.

Image Credit Left: Financial Times
Image Credit Right: Great Zimbabwe Traveller

Only when an automated crossing doesn’t check out will the traditional manual crossing with a border control officer be necessary.

How much are the e-passports going to cost and drawbacks?

According to SI 273 of 2021, an ordinary e-passport will cost US$100.00 and an emergency one will be US$200.00 which is pretty pricey. The only drawback might just be implementation. If the government has dotted its “i” and crossed its “t” as far as the competence of border control staff and robustness of security of both the encryption and the readers at the terminal then we might be alright with this one…

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86 thoughts on “Everything you need to know about Zim’s new e-passport

  1. Herald has a different version. Seems they are saying you will only be required to get an e-passport at the expiry of a valid traditional passport.

      1. Pliz whoever is in charge of this e passport thing pliz be transparent enough as to how people and where must register online for these e passports coz some of us our passports already expired and are supposed to renew them in a few days .So if the new e passports are now being rolled out pliz we beg you to make all the links ,relavant information available to people so that we won’t fork out 318$ now only to find out that these passports are expiring in a year’s time ,that won’t be fair .Please assist is there it’s tough out there

    1. Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021 clearly says ALL ordinary passports expire on 31 December 2023 and will cease to be internationally accepted on that date. Courts and International Immigration Border Control Officials, don’t follow politicians who LIE and tell people what they want to hear, they follow the law. Unless the Zimbabwean Government or the law clearly says the current ordinary passports will run concurrently with the e-passports and will cease to be valid when they naturally expire, they will be rejected internationally after 31-12-2023 by virtue of the operation of Zimbabwean law. Don’t follow what politicians tell you, follow the law. Politicians will not be there when some international border control immigration officer denies you entry into some country telling you that your passport is invalid because it legally expired on 31 December 2023. Alternatively, the Government should meet the cost of the new e-passport on a pro-rata basis based on the unexpired period or unused pages using the new tariff and those who paid for the US$318 should just get the new e-passport free as long as the pages will not have been finished up.

      The issue of the law saying one thing and politicians saying the opposite is clearly policy inconsistencies that confuse the public. Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights have threatened to take the Zimbabwean Government to Court over this matter. If the law says ordinary passports expire on 31-12-23, this is what needs to guide you not contrary statements by politicians who want to save face. We all know 1+1=2 and not 11, but if a politician tells you 1+1 is 11, don’t believe him or her or believe them at your own uninsured risk!!!

  2. Ah yes! Note how these are charged in USD as well! Typical of zpf and rbz! Another rip-off and further proof of how the zwd, or whatever you want to call it, is WORTHLESS!

    1. That’s my question too. If I’m already forking out money at the registrar, why should I go to another party unrelated to the process to pay an application fee? WTH!!!

  3. since they saying 2023, then they should jus say all those with those valid till 2029 can come get the digital ones at no cost as people spent a lot of money on getting these, some around 300 if not more which is unfair to ask them to folk out more money and why charge in USD when they insist our ZWL is a good currency, salaries are in ZWL, where do i get the USD, i cnt auction for that, which leaves the *******route. they are simplying saying go *****n get the USD.

    1. Then they wonder why ZWL keeps losing value. They’ve just created an even bigger demand for what little USD was around on the black market.

  4. But this is not fair some of us our ordinary passport is expired on2029 and we cost a lot of money to get and now in2024 l have to change again please be fair about this at least if you say when your passport is expired yes thats reasonable.

  5. But this is not fair some of us our ordinary passport is expired on2029 and we cost a lot of money to get and now in2024 l have to change again please be fair about this at least if you say when your passport is expired yes thats reasonable.

    1. Don’t ever expect anything to be fair in ZIM. Once you accept that, you can get on with your life much better.

  6. And the fat lady sings 🤪🤪🤪 Some have passport that they applied for long back that have not yet been processed and by Dec 2023 they would not have been processed 🤭🤭🤭 Daylight robbery chaiyo …

  7. Dai vatoti ordinary USD$1000, moda kutiza muchienda kupi?? Ndokuti mugare muno tivhote the right person into leadership

    1. In the Zimbabwean context the opposition has nothing worthwhile to offer 🤭🤭🤭 All the years they still use rented accomodations as their headquarters and most of them stay in the ghettos nxaaa Viva Zanu 🤪🤪🤪

  8. What a joke. I just collected my new passport last week and its Expiring 2031. My question is, why can’t they just embed the new chip into my now “old passport?”

  9. We lost another $318 + 200 again , nonsense guys, those with the old one must use until expiry we can’t top again more money, useless,our govt yrrrr ,I’m crying

  10. Mine expires in 2031 and I paid USD318.00. In two years time I must pay another USD200.00!! That’s daylight robbery. Why should a sovereign country charge it’s citizens in another country’s currency, for a national travel document? Zimbabwe needs to be liberated from these ZANU PF thugs who high-backed our struggle in 1980!

  11. This is what happens when a gvt realises their citizens wont offer much resistance. They will continue to look for more means and ways to rob us like cows being milked at a farm. They charge in USD and pay out in ZWL. People should just come back and vote or at least make this hellhole ungovernable simple

  12. They must just allow the old passport to expire and then one can get the e-passport.people are sacrificing to get that $318 passport then boom before it expires they must get another $200.the price of getting a passport is ridiculous crazy compared to other countries.the idea is good.Government must think twice.

  13. My passport expired in October 2020 and am still waiting for a new one which i applied for. Whats the next move? Do i have to reapply again or these are the passports (baclog) meant to be cleared by December 2021 ?

  14. ..100usd for passport is not bad…considering it wil make ot hard for the passport officials to ask gor bribe now…its e.good move from gvnment..implementation must be done soonest jan 2022 ..waiting period of 7days is super …

  15. iamerica same passport 145 iuganda 135
    the zim one itori cheaper
    vana zambia nana botswana havatorina epassport
    tendaiwo pagonekwa
    zvamqueque zvatopera

    1. Kenya plans to invalidate old style passports on 31 December 2021. Some countries are making it mandatory to leave the country only on e passports yet some of us are complaining about the unveiling of the epassport but it will be us again who complain that the government is lacking in implementing technological innovation and advancement

      1. Kenya announced the transition in 2016. No one is against useful innovation, just poor planning and implementation.

  16. i mean you dont even use computers at some of your government offices how will keep up with an ePassport lol can someone please free Zimbabwe from these douchebags please

  17. There are some passports with valid Visas that expire after 2023. Nekunetsa kunoita kuwana Visa ongonzi hausisina raenda nePassport.

  18. Inga zvakaoma. But those singing viva zanu asi mune yenyu zim iri different here or you just dont care about what you are leaving behind for future generations? Its gonna be this situations amplified. Check the upgrade rate of countries that attained independence after us and the degradation that has befallen our nation since 1980,hamurwadziwe nazvo here?

    1. Yep a 2nd republic 🤪🤪🤪 Anyways don’t worry much about the future generations the world as you know it is coming to an end soon do your research and read your Bible

  19. How will people living outside Zimbabwe be able to obtain their e passport? I’ve just had to go back to Zim and pay $300 for an emergency passport which took 6 weeks to process. I was unable to leave until it was ready

  20. This Government if full of tsags. I just collected my passport in April tht expires 2030. N all of a sudden zvakunzi ndichinr chitsotsi che zanu chekutsvaka mari yekuzo rigger nayo very corrupt Governement. We must vote them out ngaapinde mkomana zvipere zvose izvi. Taneta haa hoo. Day light robbery. Why in us dollar .intead yokuty vanhu using yr Dollar renyu ramunoti ndiyo mari yakanaka. But one day this currupt Government wl be out even if we doe struggling like this tichirhobwa masilati machena one day ichava history.

  21. Please Mr Kazembekazembe some of our passports expired in 2029 and people paid 318USD what do you say now you need another 200USD please respect us uyezwa.

    1. Same, expiring in 2029 and the Zimbabwean embassies in Europe they act like they can’t be bothered when one goes for a passport renewal. I’m changing to. European this is enough now…. I’ve held on for as long as anyone can.

  22. People with valid passports should be given e-passport for free or they shld let them expire 1st.

    Then why are you charging USD for government services to citizens being paid RTGS/ZW$

  23. Why is CBZ the only bank accepting the application fees ndo corruption iyoyo and yakawandisa $20 uye ichimboisirwei kuma US nyika ine currency yayo

  24. Why cant they jst leave those old passprts to expire first then we can go and apply the e pasprts,we are tired of this…no…nse..nse

  25. The way I see E-PASSPORT is very smart high technology, and is cheaper than the old one, so I really support E-PASSPORT

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