What Are Tanzanian Electronic Passports

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Travelling can be fun and exciting and each trip will bring with it its own challenges and triumphs and that’s why we want to see different parts of the world. One unavoidable part of modern-day travel has to be the admin. Depending on the country you’re from and the relationship with the country you are travelling to you may need to deal with a range of visa and passport issues which are subject to change. 

On 1st March 2020, Tanzania phased out its old passports and became only the second country to introduce electronic EAC passports. This move to the electronic passport has had many travellers concerned which is why we’ve put together a compressive guide for you.

Delve into this article to read everything you need to know about this new e-passport. This is a complete guide of the EAC Tanzanian Passport.

Why has Tanzania introduced new electronic passports? 

The East African Community (EAC) had signed an agreement in December 2016 at the Head of States summit which stated that the member countries would begin to roll out electronic passports. Following Kenya, Tanzania has phased out the old passports and other countries such as Uganda and Rwanda are currently in the process. 

What happens to the old passports?

Following February 1, all the old Tanzanian passports have been rendered invalid, and the citizens currently living in Tanzania will be required to obtain the e-passport to travel abroad. 

Also, for the Tanzanians residing out of the country, a month-long period was allowed during which they could travel back to Tanzania on their old passport, and get the electronic passport issued.

Old Passport

Old Passport

Image Source: Tzembassy.Go.Tz

Does the new passport really have any benefits?

The new electronic passport has been introduced with several features such as an electronic computer chip which stores the citizen’s biometric information, a digital photograph, biometric identifiers, and additional security features.

The government states that the e-passport will help them curb frauds – as it will be difficult to make copies of the e-passport – and help ease clearances at airports with the help of e-readers. Also, the electronic passport has a longer validity period and contains more pages than its predecessors.

Where can I apply for the new passport?

In addition to the immigration centres previously present throughout the country, the government has set up an additional 31 centres to aid the issuance process.

Also, embassies abroad have been equipped to ease the Tanzanians residing in foreign countries. Since 2018, over 280,000 e-passports have been applied for and been issued by the state.

How do I apply for the new passport?

Please visit the official immigration website of Tanzania where you can start the process by making a new application for the e-passport. 

Fill in the correct details, upload the documents required for passport issuance, and fill out the complete application. Then, you will receive a Control Number, after which you will need to pay the application fee.

After the payment, you can download, and print your application. Attach the documents specified, and submit the complete application to the nearby Immigration Centre. 

New Passport

Digital Passport

Image Source: Pachodo.Org

What documents will be needed?

The documents needed depend on your application type, and circumstances. Still, you should have the following documents prepared before applying:

⦁ Your Birth Certificate

⦁ Parent(s) Birth Certificate

⦁ National Identity Card

⦁ Passport Size Photo

⦁ Proof of Residence

⦁ Purpose of Travel

How long does it take to get the electronic passport? 

Although the processing time for the passport depends on certain factors such as the nature of the application and the number of applications being currently processed, it usually takes around 2 weeks for the passport to be issued. 

Please note that the two-week estimate is based upon the assumption that there are no issues in your application, and a complete set of documents has been attached.

How long does the e-passport last? 

The e-passport is valid for 10 years, and you will be required to renew the passport three months before its expiry if you have to travel frequently. This was everything you needed to know about Tanzania’s EAC passport! Head over to Tanzania this summer for a wonderful vacation! 

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