Going to the passport office was such a drag, some even mentioning that instead of sending people to Chikurubi prison, they should have been sentenced to “making a passport application” instead. Yeah, it was that bad. And you read that right: “was”…
A recent visit to the Passport Office (Makombe Building) in Harare made us change the way that we thought of the whole process. From people having to que from 3pm the day before so that they are ‘in time’ to submit their application to now people spending often times less than 30 mins at their offices, one would think that we are now repulsive to them and they’d want to get us out of their face as quick as possible.
To help make your trip to the Passport Office a pleasant occasion, here are tips that will get you in and out before you can say “passport application” and you can use that extra time to do more productive things like playing Candy Crush or Temple Run.
We visited the Harare Passport Office, and attained these answers from them, but I’m sure that the answers gained from here are just as applicable at any of their offices around the country.
Passport Office Operating Times
The Offices are Government offices, but they don’t operate at your average civil servants’ hours.
Monday – Friday: 7 A.M. to 3 P.M.
Saturday : 8 A.M. to 1 P.M.
These are the hours for both submissions and collections. If you are there before the cut off time and have submitted your documents, you will be served even though they might close. However, if possible, get there well before cut off time.
What Documents Am I Required To Bring
Strangely enough, their requirements are rather straight forward:
Original long birth certificate
Marriage certificate (if you’re female and your surname has changed)
Photocopies of the above (no need for certification)
What About Children?
Children under the age of 18 years will have to bring:
Original long birth certificate
One of their parents (or legal guardian as appointed by the High Court)
I.D. of parent/legal guardian
Photocopies of the above (no not a photocopy of the parent, just the documents)
How Much Does A Passport Cost?
One day – $318
Three day – $253
One month – $53
Application form is part of the fee that is charged. The form is free. Even if you come with your own form, you will pay the same amount.
How Do I Get An Emergency Travel Document (ETD)
Bring your I.D. and birth certificate and $38 application fee.
It takes 24 hours to process and is valid for 6 months. However, certain countries like South Africa and Botswana do not recognise it and you will not be able to travel to those countries with an ETD.
Can I Have Dual Citizenship?
Though a landmark ruling was passed by the Constitutional Court in 2013 allowing Mutumwa Mawere the right to dual citizenship, there has been no law or Act of Parliament that enforces it. As such, people we spoke to at the Passport Office stated that one has to renounce any other citizenship when applying for a Zimbabwean passport. If this is legal, might be a fight that you might want to take up, but this is the information that came from their offices.
A $10 application fee is needed and a form will be filled in at their offices, they will send the form and notification to your “former” country of nationality to advise them that your are no longer a citizen there.
This is only applicable if you are illegible for citizenship to another country, in the event that either of your parents are from out of Zimbabwe, you were born out the country or your spouse is a foreigner.
I Need My Passport Urgently, But I Applied For A One Month Passport
If you have applied for a one month passport and circumstances change that you now need it faster, all you have to do is to top up and pay the difference and you will now get your passport at that new period. The same applies if you have applied for the three day passport.
At the point of application, a local mobile number will be put on your application form, as to how the office can contact you. When your passport is ready for collection, an SMS will be sent advising you to come through. You could take a chance to go a day or so before, but then this is a chance, you may/may not find it ready.
If you have lost your receipt, come with your national I.D. to collect your passport. No payment will be needed for a lost receipt.
Apply From Out Of Zimbabwe
To apply from out of Zimbabwe, one has to be legally in the country from which they will be applying (necessary permits will have to be shown). You have to go to the Zimbabwe embassy in your country of residence (if there is none, then to a country nearby that has one) and get the application form, take your photos and have your finger prints taken. You can not do this elsewhere, as it has to be done by a Zimbabwean Government representative office.
Once you have filled in the forms, they are then sent in a diplomatic bag to Zimbabwe, but we were told that it is quicker if after filling in the form, you take it and send it to Zimbabwe by courier (DHL, FedEx, or whatever works where you are).
Getting Someone To Submit And Collect On Your Behalf
In order to get someone to submit your documents on your behalf, you need to write a letter to the Registrar General, stating your name, I.D. number and the name and I.D. number of the person whom you are giving authority to transact on your behalf. This letter should state your authorising them to submit and collect your documents on your behalf.
The person whom you send must:
- Have an I.D.
- Share the same surname as the person whom they are submitting on behalf of
Passport Office Contact Details
The Registrar General have a website, that contains information pertaining to your passport application, as well as Birth Certificate and National I.D. application. Should the information that you are looking for not be there, here are their phone numbers: +263-4-779486/7 and +263-4-753228/9 (However, when we tried to call them to get answers to the questions above their phones were continually busy).
Disclaimer: Please note that we are in no way affiliated to the Registrar General’s Office and offer this information as a service to all Zimbabweans. We are not consultants and do not offer third party passport application services.