Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration introduced a new electronic travel document commonly known as Laissez-Passer. The newly launched travel document has a validity of two years and will enable Rwandans to freely extend their travel to six countries, including the South Sudan. According to an official from the Immigration and Emigration Directorate, the Laissez-passer which is in a passport form costs Rwf 10,000 for people above 16 years and Rwf 5,000 for children under 16.
The new passport-like document was launched in the Eastern Nyagatare District and residents there welcomed this new technology saying that the old ones were difficult to handle because they were in paper format. One resident who had just obtained one confirmed that Rwf 10,000 (less than US$ 20) is a reasonable cost given that it has a validity of two years without getting back to the Immigration authorities for renewal every year.
The new technology is widely viewed as a response to residents need for quick service delivery as it will enable the immigration and emigration officers at district level to increase the number of residents served in a day. It is believed that the issuance of the new travel document will take only 10 minutes for each client. The new document will supplement the ordinary passports which have a validity of five years and cost Rwf 50,000.
Residents of the 3 districts of Kigali City will get the new travel document at the Immigration and Emigration directorate General, whereas applicants in other districts will get them from Immigration and Emigration departments in district offices.