Passport, ID Applications Go Online As Gvt Struggles To Clear Backlog
16 June 2024
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By Correspondent- The government has announced plans to launch an online application platform for passports and national identity cards to address the backlog of applications.

Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe informed state media that the advanced online platform, set up by the Civil Registry Department (CRD), aims to streamline the process of accessing essential civic documents.

The platform is expected to be operational before the end of the year.

Next month, authorities will unveil the Zimbabwe Population Registry System (ZPRS), a central database for all Zimbabwean citizens’ demographic information.

The ZPRS will be a key component in operationalizing the online application platform for civic documents. Currently undergoing final testing, the ZPRS will hold citizens’ details such as names, dates of birth, and places of residence.

It will link various government departments, including hospitals, allowing for instant birth and death registrations, further enhancing efficiency.

To facilitate the digital migration, the CRD has secured high-tech equipment, including servers, in preparation for the rollout.
Kazembe said, “The online passport application is expected to be working before the end of 2024. The Zimbabwe Population Registry System is in the testing phase for some modules, and the system is expected to be implemented at the beginning of July 2024. The Electronic Document and Records Management System is in its development stage and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.”
Online passport application processes vary depending on the specific country’s system. Typically, an applicant visits the official website of the passport office or a designated online portal, creates an account by registering with personal details, and initiates a new passport application. This involves filling out electronic forms, uploading scanned copies of required documents, and making the application fee payment online. The platform also offers a tracking system to monitor the application status, and some systems allow for booking appointments for biometric data capture or document verification at a designated passport office. Applicants might be notified to collect their passport in person or have it delivered by mail upon approval.

This announcement comes as the government has completed setting up an e-passport center in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of five being established in foreign countries. Training of embassy staff responsible for issuing travel documents is nearly complete.

After South Africa, the government plans to open additional e-passport offices in the United Kingdom and the United States.

At least 14 e-passport offices have been set up countrywide, with more than 100,000 travel documents issued since the introduction of e-passports in January 2022.

E-passports are currently being processed at the Harare passport registry and provincial and district offices in Bulawayo, Gwanda, Gweru, Lupane, Marondera, Beitbridge, Chitungwiza, Hwange, Mazowe, Murewa, Zvishavane, Chinhoyi, and Guruve.

This year, the CRD aims to establish e-passport offices in Gokwe South district and Mutare.

Source-State media