Dar es Salaam — The Immigration department has called on Tanzanians who intend to travel abroad in the near future to make sure they acquire e-passports before July 2019 to avoid inconveniences.
In a statement issued today, June 3, the department's Communications officer Ally Mtanda, said it was mandatory for a passport to be valid for at least six months for the bearer to apply for a visa.
Mr Mtanda said this was in line with migration towards the use of electronic passports which were launched in February 2018 by President Magufuli.
"The Machine Readable Passports will be invalid with effect from January 31, 2020, we already have in place infrastructure to issue the new passports in 29 regions, Immigration Headquarters, Zanzibar main office plus 23 foreign missions," he said.
He named the foreign missions as London-UK, Paris -France, Washington DC and New York- USA, Ottawa - Canada, Telaviv- Israel, Jedah and Riyadh- Saudi Arabia, Moron- Comoro, Nairobi and Mombasa-Kenya, Berlin -Germany, Algiers -Algeria, and Rome -Italy.
Other missions with the infrastructure include Abuja- Nigeria, Cairo -Egypt, The Hague- Netherlands, Brussels -Belgium, Lusaka- Zambia, New Delhi, Lilongwe- Malawi, Beijing -China and Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia.
Only e-Passport holders to qualify for the Schengen visas
Mtanda also said the department was looking forward to install such infrastructure in Harare- Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique in the near future.
According to the Immigration Department, the e-passport is more secure as it features a microchip making it tamper-proof.
Over the weekend countries in Europe's border-free Schengen area said they would stop accepting visa applications on the old MRP passport with effect from June 1.