The Civil Registry Department (CRD) will this year launch an online platform for passport and national identity card applications to improve access to the vital civic documents.
The authorities are currently finalising the upgrade of the Zimbabwe Population Registry System (ZPRS), the official platform that stores and manages demographic data of all Zimbabwean citizens, which is managed by the CRD.
The ZPRS database contains information on each individual’s name, date of birth, sex, nationality, marital status, place of birth and place of residence.
It also contains information on each individual’s national identity number.
For years, getting a national identity document, passport had been a tall order for many Zimbabweans.
Following the historic launch of the electronic passport by President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa on 14 December 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage advised that the Civil Registry Department began issuing e-passports at Central Registry in Harare on 18 January 2022.
The Central Registry’s implementation partner finalized setting up of supporting infrastructure required to issue e-passports in Bulawayo.
The rollout of the e-passport to the remaining eight (8) provinces was completed in 2022. In the meantime, persons applying for passports in provinces where the e-passport system is not yet operational (including at Zimbabwe’s Missions abroad) will be issued with machine readable passports, which remain valid.
Accordingly, the issuance of the e-passport does not in any way affect the validity of machine-readable passports.
In terms of Statutory Instrument 16 of 2022 on Citizenship (passport Fees) Regulations 2022, which came into effect on Friday 21 January 2022, the fees payable for electronic readable passports are as follows; a) Ordinary passport USD $100; b) Emergency or express passport USD $200.
An additional fee of USD $20 shall be charged for every electronically readable passport application to obtain a Quick Response (QR) code.
In terms of the provisions of SI 16 of 2022, the total fees payable for machine readable passport are as follows;
a) Ordinary passport USD $ 100; b) Emergency or express passport USD $ 200.
The Central Registry advised that the passport backlog is being addressed. All persons, who had applied for machine-readable passports, before the rollout of the e-passport, will be issued with machine-readable passports. However, these cannot be converted to the e-passport.
Regarding the issue of online passport applications, the Ministry of Home Affairs advised that arrangements are not yet in place.
However, in line with Zimbabwe’s quest to improve the ease of doing business in the issuance of travel documents, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it will strive to ensure that online facilities are availed for the convenience of all citizens.