Beginning June 1, Germany will only accept travellers carrying electronic passports.
This may affect Rwandans, including citizens of member states of the East African Community.
So far, Germany embassies across the continent have stopped giving visas to holders of old generation passports and only give visa appointment to those with e-passports.
Germany, which is within the Schengen ring, is adhering to laws that demand visas be more than 90 days old.
For example, the Germany embassy in Nairobi said Kenyans planning to travel to Germany after June 1 will only be getting visa appointment after acquiring the e-passport.
“Pursuant to current Schengen laws, passports must still be valid at least 90 days after the end of the validity of a given Visa, so for visa applications for travels ending after June, 1, 2019, from now on — only new Kenyan passports can be accepted,” the Embassy said yesterday in a notice posted on its website.
For Rwanda, the Ordinary Machine Readable Passport is mostly in use but in November 2014, the government approved the electronic version.
Compared to East African countries, only Burundi is issuing its citizens with e-passports already- more than 100 countries around the world are also issuing these electronic passports.
An electronic passport is just like an ordinary passport, but it has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.
According to Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, e-Passport will enable Rwandans to use online services such as automated border clearance or “e-gates”, automated issuance of boarding passes, faster travel arrangements with airlines and will facilitate quicker clearance at immigration checks.