Public welcomes new travel document

Residents of Nyagatare, Muhanga and Gatsibo districts have welcomed the issuance of new electronic travel document, commonly known as Laissez-Passer.  On Tuesday, the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration launched the official issuance of the ultra-modern Laissez-Passer that will enable residents to even travel to the newly established Republic of South Sudan.

Residents of Nyagatare, Muhanga and Gatsibo districts have welcomed the issuance of new electronic travel document, commonly known as Laissez-Passer.

On Tuesday, the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration launched the official issuance of the ultra-modern Laissez-Passer that will enable residents to even travel to the newly established Republic of South Sudan.

The document has a validity of two years.

According to Fred Bayingana, the head of Immigration and Emigration in Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts, the new travel document will facilitate Rwandans to freely extend their travel to six countries, including South Sudan.

“This new document is in a passport form. It is different from the old ones we have been issuing,” he said.

According to Bayingana, the new travel document costs Rwf10,000 for people above 16 years and Rwf5,000 for children under 16.

Speaking to The New Times, members of the public welcomed the new travel document.

“We are very excited with the new documents; the old ones were difficult to handle because they were in paper format, but these ones are very smart. I had never seen such a Laissez-Passer in many countries I have lived in,” said Pastor Christopher Ruterana, who obtained his new Laissez-Passer at the immigration offices.

A student, Rosemary Kakigaga, commented: “This new travel document is smart. As students, we were discouraged to keep the old ones because of their size…but we are happy with the new ones and the charge is affordable.”

Meanwhile, during the launch of the new travel document at the Immigration offices in Nyamabuye Sector, Muhanga District, yesterday, an area resident Etienne Rugwizangoga, noted that the cost of the document was worth the two year guarantee.

“The cost is considerable given that it has a validity of two years without getting back to the Immigration authorities for renewal every year,” he noted.

Muhanga District Immigration Officer, Francis Senyenzi, said that the new technology was a response to residents need for quick service delivery adding that there will be mobilisation and awareness campaigns.

“With this new technology, we shall be able to have thrice the number of residents served in a day. Each client will take only 10 minutes to receive the travel documents hence better service delivery,” Senyenzi said.

The new document will supplement the ordinary passports which have a validity of five years and cost Rwf50,000.

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