How to Renew a Zimbabwean Passport

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Zimbabwean citizens wishing to renew their old or lost passport must complete a lengthy process. Applicants must obtain all the required documents and personally visit the country's embassy. Once their application has been approved in the U.S., they must send their forms and paperwork --- including a letter of authorisation --- to next of kin in Zimbabwe. The new passport will be sent to your next of kin by the passport office in the African nation's capital, Harare. They must forward it to the embassy in the U.S.; from which it will be mailed to you.

Find a camera booth that takes and prints passport-sized colour photos or visit a local photography store and ask them to take your picture. Photos must be taken against a white background and you must wear a dark shirt, top or dress (no spaghetti straps). No glasses or facial jewellery are allowed, and your hair must be tied back with both ears visible.

Organise a trip to the Embassy of Zimbabwe (www.zimbabwe-embassy.us) in the U.S., as a personal appearance is required. Based in Washington D.C., the embassy fingerprints and authenticates all documents upon arrival.

Gather together all the documents needed for your passport application. These will vary depending on your individual circumstances, and you may wish to contact the embassy before your trip to confirm the exact documents required for your case.

Visit the embassy's passport office between 9 a.m. and noon Monday to Friday. No appointment is necessary. The passport office is closed on U.S. and Zimbabwean holidays.

Complete the appropriate passport renewal application forms that will be given to you on arrival. Pay the relevant fees --- £29 for form and document authentication plus £32 processing fee as of April 2011. The forms and documents will be returned to you immediately after being stamped and authenticated.

Write a letter of authorisation that gives your chosen next of kin the legal right to act on your behalf in Zimbabwe. Send this letter together with the forms and documents to your contact in the African country. Ensure you use a reliable international courier because if the package goes astray, you will need to repeat the whole process and pay the fees again.

Phone or e-mail your next of kin to find out when your new passport is issued and when it will be sent to the Zimbabwean Embassy in the U.S.

Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Zimbabwean Embassy along with a cover note. The embassy recommends you use a secure postal method that features a tracking number.

Check your new passport carefully when it arrives at your residential or business address. Any errors or damage should be reported immediately to the Zimbabwean Embassy.

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