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E-passports: what you need to know before applying

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

E-passports are here and we have seen a few people on social media show off the new document which the government said earlier this week will become active internationally next Monday. However, as good as this all is, going to the passport office is not always a pleasant experience. Many Zimbos have an aversion to government buildings because of all the hoops to jump through.

So to remedy this we took a trip to the Passport Office or the New Civil Registry Office and here are all the things you need to do before you set off so you are at least in the clear with the requirements to apply for the e-passports.

Who can apply for an e-passport and who can’t

First off if you are in Harare you have nothing to worry about but if you are in the diaspora, on the other hand, I have some bad news. We were told that there is no facility yet available for those abroad to apply for the new document, so if you are applying for a new travel document it’s the old passport for now. To do this you can go to your local Zimbabwean Embassy and fill out the forms. You’ll then need to send the documents to someone in Zimbabwe to complete the process for you.

Similarly for those in other cities, you will have to come to Harare to get an e-passport or apply for a traditional passport at your local passport office. As said by the government late last year, they are still issuing old passports. And on the point of old passports, you can still use the one you have until it expires. There was quite an uproar, justifiably so, when a deadline of December 2023 was put on old passports but the government backtracked on that.

So… if you have a passport that still has a considerable amount of years on it, the document is still valid until the expiration date. The only caveat is if there are some VISA requirements that demand that you have a passport for the duration of the VISA. We were told at the enquiries desk that this instance is the only one where, if you have some years left, you can apply for an e-passport but that’s if you are in Harare.

Documents and fees

To apply for an e-passport we were told that for adults you will need:

  • Your ID and copy
  • Original Birth Certificate and a copy
  • Old or expiring passport and a copy

You will also need to bring with you US$120.00 (US$20 application fee and US$100 for the passport) for the normal e-passport or you can apply for an emergency e-passport that costs US$220.00. The ordinary passport is issued in 7 working days from the date of application while the emergency e-passport comes out in 3 days. However, to get an emergency document you’ll need to make a booking and the Passport Office is only starting that in March 2022.

ALL PAYMENTS ARE IN UNITED STATES DOLLARS, THERE IS NO ECOCASH OR SWIPE (Come with twenty or ten-dollar denominations to expedite passage if you can)

For children and those under 18 years old, if this is their first application for a travel document, they will need to come with a parent and the following document:

  • Parent’s ID and birth certificate and copies of each
  • Birth certificate of the child and or ID if they are of age (plus copies)
  • Old passport expiring passport with a copy of it (if they already had one)

The e-passport for under 18s lasts 5 years and prices are the same as above.

For those who have unfortunately had their old-style passports stolen and want to apply for an e-passport, you need to bring a police report for the application.

Before proceeding, it is recommended that you go to the reception and make sure everything is in order. They will direct you to CBZ Bank to make the passport application fee. The bank has a branch in the mezzanine hall.

The passport office parking

When we were at the passport office we saw a few cars clamped by City Parking because they had elapsed the time that they had paid for. From what we saw the process is smoother than the old passport system but you have to be mindful of your vehicle if you are coming alone.

The guesstimate we were given by those who were there was to pay for two to three hours which is ZWL$360.00 (3 hours) so that you have enough time to complete the process. The preferable alternative is to commute or get dropped off at the Passport Office in order to avoid dealing with City Parking.

On that note, parking is limited because, for whatever reason, there was no provision put in place for the New Civil Registry Building (Cnr Herbert Chitepo and Leopold Takawira) to accommodate more than a street’s length of parking spaces. So you will have to get there early if you are coming by car and intend to leave it outside.

You can contact the Civil Registry Office with the following numbers, 0242706311 or 0242702295-8

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73 thoughts on “E-passports: what you need to know before applying

  1. what about those who had previously applied for passports in 2019 and they haven’t received them. can we still apply for e passports or?

    1. At least you should be proud kuti your country is moving forward technologically dont just criticize
      #trust the process

  2. e-Passports only in Harare……..🙄
    CBZ has a branch in the mezzanine……🧐
    They want USD only…………….😳
    Pay for 3hrs parking or walk…….🥵

  3. Thanx Valentine for a thoroughly researched article, all the questions i had on this travel document have been satisfactorily answered. One of the few Techzim writers who actually takes the time to research, if only we had this same ethic at your financial news section which is still quite mediocre.

    1. From what we were told if you still have a valid passport or if there was one in processing you should only apply for an e-passport when it expires. But I encourage you to reach out to the passport office to get more information 0242706311 or 0242702295-8

    1. Didn’t ask about this but you can contact the passport office with the following numbers 0242706311 or 0242702295-8

  4. As an adult and don’t have an old passport how do we apply and also of the person has another country’s passport and wants a zim one with dual citizenship how do we go about this…thank you

  5. Thank you for a useful and informative article.
    If one’s passport is expiring in July 2022, is one allowed to apply now as other countries usually require a passport with 6 months + validity in order to enter ?
    And is one allowed to apply on behalf of one’s spouse ?

  6. Jeez this country is full of nonsense …….how will they expect us to pay USD but they are falling to pay civil servants using USD ……..so zim government in otherwise is trying to tell us that we should go to America and steal usd so that we can apply for e passport……….this country is abusing human rights … And we are slaves at our own country……… Is this right

  7. The epassport is for how many years?.
    Also some time passports where applied according to alphabet are they still doing that

  8. Hi any link or information for epassport application if you in zim or SA how does it work looking forward for your help.

    I thanks you

  9. To my opinion it’ll be difficult for those who are in Matebeland (BYO) (PLT) (GND) etc. Sonke isizwe sika Mthwakazi ngoba Harare ikude imali yetransport plus paying for passport so please can they choose between BYO or GNDA to the second civil registry office

  10. How about those who have never had passport before is it easy to apply a passport cos I heard u said when you want to apply an electronic passport you should bring your old passport , ID and so on and how much is that to apply t when you haven’t done t

  11. Hi, so I need to apply for a new passport as mind is about to expire, but I’m in South Africa. I have gone to the zim consulate and filled out the form to send to zim for processing. I belive that this is for an old passport, am I correct? Will I be able to use this passport until it expires in 10 years time? And then I can apply for the E-Passport when it expires?

  12. Hi how are you.. I did apply my passport in 2019 since now no feedback. Is it possible to apply the new one before I get the old one

  13. Hi, are the e-passports currently being processed in Harare? and if so how long to they actually take to come out?
    Also how long does the normal passport for $200 take to come out?
    NB: not the time frame given, but the time it actually takes from people’s experience?

  14. Thank you TechZim for such an informative article. I have been searching high and low to get authoritative and detailed information on the application process for a passport. This is the best I have seen so far, and I hope similar details will also be posted on the official govt website.

    It would be helpful if you could also provide more information on how to book for an emergency passport, as you mentioned that applicants need to book for emergency passport at the Passport Office.

    Also please do an update on how the decentralization to other passport offices is porceeding.

    Thanks again for a fantastic and helpful article, well done TechZim!!

  15. Thank you TechZim for such an informative article. I have been searching high and low to get authoritative and detailed information on the application process for a passport. This is the best I have seen so far, and I hope similar details will also be posted on the official govt website.

    It would be helpful if you could also provide more information on how to book for an emergency passport, as you mentioned that applicants need to book for emergency passport at the Passport Office.

    Also please do an update on how the decentralization to other passport offices is porceeding.

    Thanks again for a fantastic and helpful article, well done TechZim!!

  16. My old passport expires Sept 2022, am i able to apply for the new E-Passport before my old one expires. Or i wait till the old expires first.

  17. If l am outside Harare can l pay for the application fee in advance at any Cbz bank inZim then later proceed to apply in Harare

  18. Hie i applied my passport in 2019 bt now im still struggling to submitte my form when i get to passport office always a story to tell …is this form not expired??

  19. Halla …well, I want to know how much emergency E-passport …and how many days will it take for me to wait for it to come out ….?

  20. Hie. I want to know that how much is emergency E_passport and how many days does it take for me to collect it.l also want to know that do l first book an appointment how do l go about

  21. Maswera sei,ko zvamati maUS chete apo ko tinomawanepi hanty tese tiri muZim here? Zvanga zvakadii kuti mushandise rtgs yedu or swipe nekuda kwekuti maUS acho haawanike nemutengo wakatarwa

  22. is there any contact details for checking progress on the passport application? I applied for passports and was advised to apply for the $120 e passport. its been 4 weeks now without any communication. anyone knows how long it takes?

  23. Good day i apply for passport in South Africa at embassy so i want to know how much dollars i have to send in Zimbabwe i need for 7 days thanks

  24. I need e passport online I have my old passport it will expire 2025 .What should I do online .

  25. Its my first time to apply for an passport . So l wanted to ask am l allowed to apply for e – passportPrude

  26. Ko vanhu varikungono applier kuHarare chete ere ko kwaMutare for those who are in Manicaland province,it is very difficult for people to go to Harare.What about the issue of paying in USD I don’t think is true that our good gorvenment is suggesting that people should pay in USD:NOTE our good currencies-rtgs and ecocash and swipe we are very fortunate that our economy uses a multi-currency regime

    Thank you

  27. Hello people
    Has anyone paid using ecocash.I am suspicious of the ecocash number 0778497155 i got from the epassport chart platform. Anyone to confirm this before i make any payment.

  28. I saw someone asking about applying before the passport expires. I applied for mine a year before it expired and I got it. About the ecocash, Pls. don’t give your money to thieves. I read the infor. above and it says strictly USD.

  29. What’s the deference between the two passports in Zimbabwe infact what’s the benefits of using the epassport over the old passport

  30. Applied my e_passport on Wednesday 20 July till now l haven’t received a msg went there at Makombe was told to come back check Friday… today its August 1 2022 ..its already 8 days l don’t get this ..someone balance me

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