We've 10 Or More Years To Completely Phase Out Non-biometric Passports - Government1 year ago
The Registrar General’s office has said the country has about 10 or more years before it completely phases out the non-biometric passport.
This comes as the issuance of passports started in January with the first batch now out. President Mnangagwa launched the country’s e-passports in December last year.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera also told The Sunday News that the Bulawayo Registrar-General’s Office was already being equipped with systems capable of processing e-passport applications ahead of the roll-out over the next few weeks.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Cde Ruth Mavhunga Maboyi said they chose Harare because that is where the infrastructure is at the moment.
The government announced last week that the documents will start being used at ports of entry by Monday, 6 February 2022.
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An official from the Registry department also said that the application process will later be extended to embassies and consulates to allow those in the diaspora to apply for the e-passport. Added the official:
At the moment we are targeting about 15 missions but that will be decided by the density of the people in those countries.
… the traditional passports are not expiring, and in fact all the other provincial offices are still processing them. So what it means is that if you get your traditional passport today, it will be valid for the next 10 years.
So in short we still have about 10 years or slightly more for the country to completely phase out the non-biometric passport.
The official added that members of the public must not confuse between e-passports and online applications. Said the official:
E-passport simply means that while with the traditional passport, your details were printed, with the e-passport the details will be kept in a chip similar to that of a bank card.
E-passports are mainly essential in dealing with fraud because the information is only readable by a machine and no one can tamper with it.
More: The Sunday News