KIGALI, RWANDA – Rwanda on Tuesday announced a one-year extension to the deadline for phasing out existing passports. The Government is gradually phasing out obsolete passports in favour of biometric East African e-passports. According to a communiqué issued by the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, the phase-out of Rwandan passports has been moved back from June 27, 2021 to June 27, 2022. In the next month, almost 100,000 passports would expire. Because of Covid-19 travel limitations, many Rwandans living abroad have been unable to return home and obtain new passports.
The decision to phase out Rwandan passports was made in accordance with Rwanda’s goal to strengthen regional integration with EAC partner states beginning in June 2019. The EAC heads of state decided in March 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania, to accept a new generation of passports and phase out the existing ones.
The e-passport allows holders to travel to more countries without the need for a visa.