Rwanda’s Immigration department on Thursday announced it will replace all passports with East African e-passports.

“All passports issued before June 27, 2019, will be phased out, and replaced by the Rwanda East African electronic passport after June 27, 2021,” the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration said in a statement, meaning it will nullify all its single-nation passports. 

Holders of the Rwandan passport were given a two-year grace period to replace their travel documents with East African e-passports, when the country began issuing them in line with the country’s commitment to promote regional integration with EAC partner states from June 2019. 

The statement also urged the public not to wait until the expiry date to apply for new passports, adding that applicants are required to apply for them through the online platform Irembo, which enables the public to access government services.

The e-passport, which is also used in other EAC partner countries including Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, grants its holders access to more countries without stringent visa requirements, according to the statement. 

EAC Heads of State launched the East African e-passport and directed the commencement of its issuance during the 17th ordinary summit in March 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania.  

Source: Daily Nation

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