KIGALI - Officials at the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, yesterday met members of the Diaspora currently in the country, and promised to help ease the delivery of consular services like acquisition of passports and visas, where possible.
In a session held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, senior staff from the Directorate took time to explain the processes, and in some particular instances, the difficulties involved in the application and provision of consular services.
Similarly, Pascal Nyamulinda, the coordinator of the National ID Project,t explained what it takes to acquire a national ID, as the officials responded to numerous questions from the Diaspora.
“Those who want passports even now can come to us, this afternoon, and submit applications. We will help you. It will take not more than three to five days since you are now here,” the Immigrations Director General, Anaclet Kalibata, said after a lady from Belgium complained that it takes 30 days for the process in their countries of residence.
Kalibata, and two senior members at his office listened as the Diaspora community raised concerns about the difficulties faced, in foreign countries, when some are wrongly suspected to have forged documents because of having mismatching information.
This problem arises from the fact that, in Rwanda today, many administrative units changed names as part of the restructuring within the local government.
Acknowledging the problem, Kalibata promised to liaise with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to streamline the issues, especially by appropriately communicating with foreign countries.
“We will explain how names of places have changed here – they (foreign countries) should surely understand that a name of a place can change. What, however, can be a problem, is when the date of birth changes,” Kalibata said.
On the other hand, Kalibata told a member the group from Zambia, where Rwanda has no High Commission, that it would be difficult, for the Directorate to have presence in every country in the world to ease services.
He advised Rwandans living abroad to always make use of chances when they are in the country to process the documents.