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Do you want to get an e-passport in Malawi?
A Malawi e passport is issued to Malawian citizens for travel purposes. Malawi now issues e-passports to its citizens. Government of Malawi has phased out the old type of passports. This means that anyone who is going to get a passport this year is going to get the new kind of passport.
What is a Malawi e passport?
The modern passport has come to comply with the international aviation standards. An e-passport is uses a chip that stores information more securely using advanced technologies than the the old type of passport. Information stored by the embedded chip is easily readable by machines. The electronic chip holds the same information that it printed on the passport’s data page.
In this blog post I will detail the process that one has to follow in order to get a Malawi passport. One interesting thing to note is that the process to get a passport is very easy one.
In order to get a passport a person has to meet basic requirements as stated below.
ü A Malawi Passport is issued to a Malawian Citizen Only.
ü A passport can only be issued to a Malawian who is in possession of a Malawi National Identity Card.
ü Applicants must bring their National Identity Card along with their application for passport.
ü Children under 10 years of age will be issued with passports valid for 5 years.
ü Failure to give all required information and supporting documents can delay the issuance of the passport.
ü A full set of fingerprints is required from all applicants.
ü Supporting documents of Citizenship will be required from applicants who are not Malawian by birth.
ü A child will be issued with his/her own passport. If not in the possession of a National Identity Card, parent’s /
ü Guardian’s National Identity Card will be used.
ü Passport Application forms MUST be filled in CAPITAL LETTERS using Black ink.
Types of Passports in Malawi and Duration of processing them
Duration for processing the passport depends on the type and service type of the chosen passport. There are four types of passports, namely, ordinary, diplomatic, service, and minor. The normal passport is processed within 20 working days.
Ordinary Passport: This passport is valid for 10 years. Any eligible Malawian can apply for the ordinary passport.
Children/Minor Passport: This is issued to children under the age of 10 years. It is valid for five years. A child is issued with a passport with consent from the parent or a legal guardian.
Service Passport: A service passport is issued to senior government officials starting from grade H or higher. A letter from the responsible ministry is required to certify the grade of the applicant.
Diplomatic Passport: A diplomatic passport is valid for ten years, except for members of the parliament which is valid for five years.
Additionally, the passport are categories into three as regards to the duration processing them. There is urgent, express, and normal. The urgent passport will be processed withing 5 working days, the express passport within 2 days. Diplomatic/service passports will also be processed withing two days. Normal passport is expressed within 20 working days.
How much is a Malawi Passport?
Malawi passport fees in 2020 are relatively costly than the phased old system. Introduction of the Malawi e passport has come with new passport prices. The normal passport with 36 pages which is processed withing 20 working days is the cheapest. The cost of processing this kind of passport is MWK 90,000.
The cost of a passport also varies depending on number of pages for the passport booklet. For, instance, issuance of a 36 paged ordinary passport is at K90,000 and while an ordinary 48 paged passports is at K130,000. Issuance of a new ordinary passport for children is K80,000.
The actual process
There are few things that happen at the immigration office when processing a passport.
The first thing is getting passport photos. They charge K1000 for a pair of passport photos taken at the immigration office.
The second step, is to collect the application form. It is a two paged document that has to be filled with black ink in block letters. The form is collected for free. Application forms for the passports can also be obtained from the immigration website.
Getting the form in advance will enable the applicant to fill the form before hand and save some time. Note that the forms downloaded from the immigration website comes with a unique bar code number. As such the forms should not be duplicated or photocopied.
Thirdly, the applicant goes to the verification counter. Details on the national Identification card are used during the verification process.
After, verification the applicant is ready to go ahead to the next counter to make payment. Payment is made directly at an in-house bank counter within the immigration offices. Payment receipts are issued, one is receipt is kept by the applicant while the other is attached to the application form.
Following the payment step, the applicant goes to the last but one step. At this counter finger prints are captured . All sets of finger prints on the left and right hand are required. A face photo is also captured. The applicant also provides a signature on this staged.
Upon going through the stages mentioned the applicant is ready for the last step. He/she goes to the interview desk. This is the last steps where the form is submitted.
Thereafter, what remains is to wait for the passport to be processed and issued. Waiting period depends on the type of passport applied for.