The Director General of Immigration and Emigration, Anaclet Kalibata believes that the new travel document will facilitate provision of effective services to nationals, especially those in the business sector and students.
He made remarks while officially launching the new Machine Readable Laissez Passer (MRLP) that replaces the previous document that was in paper form.
Speaking to the media at the immigration headquarters, Kalibata said that travellers spent a lot of time at borders as they were being scrutinised, adding that the new document was initiated to simplify such hitches.
“Our aim is to provide the quality of services to the people. The new document will be scanned at the borders, unlike the previous one,” he said.
The document is in a 32-page booklet form similar to a national passport, but green in colour.
It has a validity of two years, instead of one year, and will cost Rwf10,000 for adults and Rwf5000 for children under 16 years. The previous one cost Rwf3000.
He noted that they have distributed nine printing machines around the country to facilitate upcountry residents to access the documents instead of travelling to Kigali.
He clarified that those still possessing the previous travel document will be allowed to use them until they expire. He however added that anybody in need of the new document is free to bring the previous one before being offered the new document.
Districts already with printing machines include Musanze, Rusizi, Huye, Rwamagana and Rubavu.
The Immigration chief pointed out that some foreigners used to attempt forging the previous document to enter into the country illegally saying that it would be difficult to forge the new document as it was fitted with security features.
Michael Kagame who was among the first to receive the new document, commended the move saying that it will help them solve their travel problems immediately as it is ICT-based.
“It’s simple to keep. You can even put it in your pocket because it’s small. I travel a lot in all these regional countries and I have been facing the problem of delaying at the borders to clear my documents, but since this one is scanned, it will help us a lot”.
The new MRLP will be an addition to the existing ones such as passport, Collective Laissez-Passer issued to those travelling as a group, mainly for social activities, emergency travel documents issued to both Rwandans and Foreigners in emergency situations, and border pass issued to border communities to facilitate cross border activities.
It will be applicable in all East African member countries, including South Sudan and D.R. Congo.