Foreigners living in Rwanda are set to get electronic resident identity cards, the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration announced yesterday.
The registration process for the electronic IDs kicked off in October 2012, with over 12,000 foreigners participating. Only those who registered are eligible for the current data collection phase.
The IDs will cost Rwf5,000, according to Ange Sebutege, the Communications Officer at the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration will take a maximum of three days.
“This exercise is the continuation of the process to issue electronic resident ID cards to non-nationals residing in Rwanda, which will replace paper based “Green card,” Sebutege said.
He said the holder of the electronic ID will have the right to move freely within the country without necessarily carrying their passports.
“Foreign residents who registered for the cards will have their biometrics data taken and this shall include facial and thumb print. We encourage all non-nationals to participate in this campaign. They should come along with their passports, laissez passer and or any other identification document,” Sebutege said.
He urged foreigners who wish to qualify for electronic resident cards to participate in the data collection process, which will begin next week on Monday Feb, 24 and end on March 20.
“Those who missed out can register anytime, but their biometrics shall be taken at a later date,” Sebutege said.
He added: “After this data collection phase, it will become a continuous process. Any non-resident will be approaching our offices, get registered and be issued with an electronic resident ID.”
Foreigners The New Times talked to welcomed the news, saying it would ease their stay in the country.
“I welcome the initiative. It will save me the burden of carrying my passport all the time,” Frank O’Brien, the Chief of Party with Rwanda Diary Competitiveness Programme, said.
The data collection phase will cover all the 30 districts, beginning with Kicukiro.