I have recently decided that I am going to move to South Africa, where power outages are far and in-between, and where data prices are, hopefully, better than they are in Zimbabwe. See, Zimbabwe is a beautiful country. However, it can be rather painful to live in. As a freelancer, the fact that I only get electricity in the dead of the night has actually drained the joy out of my work. Now I need to wake up at 11 o’clock to fulfill my contracts. That’s not a very sustainable situation. Anyway, I plan to migrate to South Africa. The only problem is that my passport expired about a year ago. So, I need to renew it before moving away. So, what’s the passport fee in Zimbabwe?
Cost of renewing a passport in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe now has two categories when it comes to the renewal of passports. Those that are in the Diaspora can do so at a cost of USD318. This facility will soon be opened to everyone with the free funds. The good thing about this is that you will get your passport after a day, should you decide to go down this route.
Can People in Zimbabwe Pay for their Passports using USDs?
This is a question that has been receiving conflicting answers over the past few weeks. According to the minister, the USD is outlawed in the country, so people here cannot be asked to pay USD 318. Indeed, there is need for a statutory instrument to be crafted that will allow Zimbabweans who have free funds to pay for the renewal of their passports using USDs. On the other hand, I have heard stories of how the people at Makombe are just issuing emergency passports to anyone who has USDs. That’s reportedly the case whether or not one has USDs.
Update: Initially, the Registrar General’s office was accepting USD payments from anyone. However, they later made the facility only available to those that had permits and visas from abroad. It does appear, however, that the facility to pay USDs will soon be opened to everyone following intervention by Cabinet.
Passports in Zimbabwe are Expensive
Whatever the case may be, it remains a fact that Zimbabwean passports are some of the most expensive in the world. I told a client in the US about needing to pay $318 to renew my passport and he responded in shock. Apparently they pay way less over there.
What will I do?
I am in a hurry to get away, so I am probably going to fork out $318 to get my passport renewed. I can’t honestly wait years to get my document. At the time of writing this article, the passport office was reported only processing passports from October 2018. That’s over 2 years to get your passport. Clearly, not a sustainable option!