How to renew a Zimbabwe passport from the UK: Step by step

Renew Zimbabwe passport

There are around 110 000 Zimbabweans living in the UK according to a 2013 report from the Office of National Statistics, and it’s likely that many will need to renew their Zimbabwean passports. If that’s you, keep reading! Although you need to get your passport issued in Zimbabwe, you can do the majority of the paperwork from the UK at the Zimbabwean Embassy in London. You will need a family member or agent to act as your representative to submit your documents for you in Zimbabwe.

If you’re renewing your Zimbabwe passport from the UK, here’s a step-by-step guide of what’s involved – without the need to hire an agency to do it for you. I’d like to give a massive disclaimer that I do not in any way purport to be a consular official and I cannot take any responsibility for actions taken based on the information in the guide below. However, I have tried to make this guide as helpful as possible and it is based on real-life experience.

Address and contact details: The physical address of the Embassy in London is 429 The Strand, London WC2R 0JR and the phone number is 020 7836 7755. At the time of writing they were open from 09h00 to 12h30 Monday to Friday. (In Zimbabwe, the phone number of the Registrar General is +263-4-790708/9.)

Website: The official website for the Embassy of Zimbabwe to Britain and Ireland is here: www.zimlondon.gov.zw (although it is not always reliable). Navigate to the menu named “Consular” and “Requirements for passport application”. Please use the information from the Embassy in the first instance, because procedures may change from time to time. There is also a contact form on the Zimbabwe London Embassy page here so that you can email them directly if you wish.

A guide to renewing your Zimbabwe passport from the UK (June 2015)

1. Gather the correct documentation

Check the Embassy of Zimbabwe to Britain and Ireland website for the requirements. At the time of writing, the required items were as follows:

  • Original and a photocopy of birth certificate
  • Original and photocopy of ID
  • Old passport and photocopy of the biodata page plus the page showing your right to live in the UK
  • £65 payable via cash or postal order

Note that you need photographs also – but it is best to get the photographs taken by a specific photo shop which is near the embassy (see below).

2. Get your passport photos

The requirements for Zimbabwean passport photos are very strict – you must wear only black clothing, the background must be pure white, no jewellery must be worn, and ears must be completely visible.

You could try and ensure all these things are correct yourself, but if there’s something wrong, it’s likely that the embassy will ask you to get the photos re-taken at the photo shop near the embassy. It’s probably easier just to go to the photo shop in the first instance.

The photo shop is extremely close to the Zimbabwean embassy and it is called The ID Photo Shop. You can get the photos done on the day of going to the Embassy, because the photos are printed instantly. The photo shop website is here and they are experienced in taking photos for Zimbabwean requirements. There is a map and directions on their website too. They are located beneath ground level, down the stairs next to the Paperchase shop on The Strand. The photos cost under £10.

3. Go to the Zimbabwean Embassy with your documents

You’ll need to go to the Zimbabwean Embassy in London, with your originals, photocopies, money and photos. Also take a black pen and some coins for the photocopier machine just in case.

Zimbabwe House is located at 429 The Strand, WC2R 0JR. It is a great central location, very easy walking distance from Charing Cross Station or Embankment Station.

Check the Embassy of Zimbabwe to Britain and Ireland website for opening times. At the time of writing they were open from 09h00 to 12h30 Monday to Friday.

The entrance is to the left of the main door – walk around the building for a few paces to the side door. It will probably look closed, but if you push it, it will open! The office isn’t usually too busy and there shouldn’t be a long queue.

4. Process your documents with the Embassy

Show your originals and photocopies to the official at the Embassy. They may ask you to photocopy something that may have been overlooked – there is a coin-operated photocopier in the Embassy for you to do this.

You will be given a P34 form and a Passport form to complete in black pen. You must complete your personal details such as height, eye colour and hair colour.

Once they are happy with those completed forms, you pay the £65 fee and they will officially stamp your forms. You will also have your fingerprints taken at the Embassy.

You leave the Embassy with all of your originals and photocopies, plus the two forms that have been stamped by the official.

5. Write two affidavits for your representative

In order for someone to submit your passport application in Zimbabwe, and for them to collect the new passport, you need to write a letter authorising them to do these things.

You need two letters – one to authorise submission of the passport forms, and one to authorise collection of the passport forms.

I’ve created a template affidavit for you at the bottom of this page. Paste the text into a document, print it twice, and complete the relevant parts of the form so that there is one letter for submission and one for collection. Fill out the name and details of your representative in Zimbabwe who’s going to handle the application for you.

6. Send your documentation to Zimbabwe for submission

Send all the originals, photocopies, photos and affidavits to your representative in Zimbabwe. You could courier the documents via FedEx or another company.

7. Your representative submits the documents in Zimbabwe

Your representative takes the documentation to the passport office in Zimbabwe and uses the submission affidavit to submit your forms. There is a different queue for applications from overseas which will hopefully be shorter than the local queue. Your representative will need to pay a fee of around US $50 for the new passport to be issued (there are more expensive options available for faster turnaround; standard is 6 weeks). A receipt will be given.

8. Your representative collects the new passport

If you’ve opted for the standard turnaround time, then after 6 weeks, your representative will collect the new passport from the passport office in Zimbabwe. To collect the passport, they will present the collection affidavit that you had supplied, plus the receipt that was provided when submitting the application.

I hope this guide helps relieve some of the stress of renewing your Zimbabwe passport!

Appendix: Sample text to use in the affidavit (See Point 5 above)

RE: PASSPORT APPLICATION AFFIDAVIT

To whom it may concern

This is to confirm that I …………………………………………………. (applicant’s name), ID number …………………………. (applicant’s ID),

hereby authorise my representative ……………………………………………. (representative’s name), ID/Passport number …………………………. (representative’s ID),

to  SUBMIT / COLLECT (delete as appropriate) my passport and necessary documentation  to / from the Registrar General’s Office on my behalf.

Yours sincerely

Name ………………………………………………………..

Signature ……………………………………………………

Date …………………………

 

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42 Responses to How to renew a Zimbabwe passport from the UK: Step by step

  1. Simba October 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    hi anyine wuth the no. for the zim embassy london the one in site doesnt seem to wrk

  2. nuri October 9, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    hi beth

    thanks for all the helpful info when i send through my affidavit does it have to be stamped by embassy or police station or can i just sign and send through and also any idea if they are currently open as the line seems to be not working at the moment was planning on going through next week

    thank you

    • Great Zimbabwe Guide October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

      Hi, you affidavit doesn’t have to be signed by a police station. You should take it with you to the embassy and you can ask them to check it over but I don’t think they will need to sign it. They will stamp all the other documentation anyway. I don’t know whether their phones are currently down, keep trying, but remember to phone during their working hours (listed above), basically mornings only. Hope it goes well.

      • nuri October 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

        thanks so ,much for the reply will try my luck next week fingers crossed.

  3. nuri October 9, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    hi beth

    thanks for all the helpful info when i send through my affidavit does it have to be stamped by embassy or police station or can i just sign and send through and also any idea if they are currently open as the line seems to be not working at the moment was planning on going through next week

  4. Ndaka September 17, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

    Thank you Beth. This has been extremely helpful

  5. Tatenda September 14, 2017 at 2:09 am #

    Hi Beth.

    What do you do if you don’t have a 3rd party to take your documents for you. Can you just send them straight to the passport office or do I need to find someone to do it for me

    • Great Zimbabwe Guide September 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

      Hi Tatenda, I don’t believe it’s possible to send it to the passport office in Zim; I think a person has to hand it in on your behalf. That is my understanding. You could perhaps hire an agent in Harare to help with this but I don’t know any.

  6. Rey September 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi Beth, thank you so much for the information. I unfortunately have a complicated situation I hope you can help or point me in the right direction. I am living in the UK since I was 15 (2003) I am now 29 and due to many unfortunate events have no status to remain (Currently working on this with a lawyer but no active case currently). The Home Office ceased my passport (Which has since expired) and birth certificate, and as I left Zim before my 16th birthday I have no ID card. My partner (Kirsty) and I are due to marry next year and have just started the process with our notice of marriage. It looks as though this is going to be very difficult (If not impossible) to do without a valid ID 🙁 How can I renew my Zimbabwean passport from inside the UK, and have you heard of any experiences like this before where you can offer advice? Any thoughts are much appreciated

    • Great Zimbabwe Guide September 4, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

      Hi Rey, thanks for your message. That is a tricky situation and to be honest I’m not sure of what to advise. Perhaps your best route is to pursue the UK passport option as it has been your home since you were 16? Otherwise go visit the Zimbabwe embassy in person and ask them what your options are, I think. All the best.

  7. Francis August 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Quick question, Is there a time limit to when I should submit my passport form. I got my fingerprints filled form and made my payment etc back in 2016 January and would like to send my docs over to a relative in zim. Do i need to do the process again or I can send the forms I completed in 2016?

    • Great Zimbabwe Guide September 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

      Hi Francis, I’m afraid I don’t know. Best to phone the embassy in Longon or go there in person to ask.

  8. Stanley July 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    This guide was spot on. Thank you Beth for this information, which the process smooth for us.

  9. Ngoni July 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm #

    Thank you Beth for the informative article. I called the embassy today asking what is required to enable me to renew my passport and I wasnt given this much detail!

  10. Janet King April 30, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Beth

    Thanks for the info. I have lost my original birth certificate do you know will they accept a copy which has been certified by a Commissioner of Oaths in Zim for a new passport application – thanks This is urgent.
    Jan

    • GreatZimbabweGuide April 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Janet, I’m afraid I don’t have a definitive answer so it’s best to try phone the embassy on weekday mornings. All the best.

  11. Sonia April 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    Any suggestions on a lost ID card please? Can I get another issued at the embassy.

    • GreatZimbabweGuide April 14, 2017 at 12:48 am #

      Hi Sonia, sorry I don’t know, best to phone them at the embassy. Best wishes, Beth

  12. Sharmie April 2, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

    Hi can you travel to zimbabwe with a passport thats expiring in one month and renew it while in zimbabwe is that possible does anyone know

    • GreatZimbabweGuide April 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

      Hi Sharmie, best to phone the embassy and ask them. All the best, Beth

  13. Sophie March 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi Beth
    Thank you so much for this info. May you be Blessed beyond measure,taking your time to do all this.
    I am waiting for my birth certificate and ID from Zimbabwe,,,,I will definitely follow the info you’ve provided.
    Again thank you x

    • GreatZimbabweGuide March 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Sophie, thanks for your kind comment, I’m glad this was helpful!

  14. Annette March 2, 2017 at 2:47 am #

    Hi Beth,
    I’m not even in the UK but your blog provided me with very useful tips that I could use for us people down under!
    Thanks a mil we need more people like you 🙂

    • GreatZimbabweGuide March 20, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      Hi Annette, that is wonderful news, thank you for taking the time to write it. I’m glad it was helpful. All the best xx

  15. John Querl March 1, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

    My husbands passport expired in december2016. We wish to get a new 8ne but he only has his original one and it is not a long version will this be ok thank you mrs margarwt querl

    • GreatZimbabweGuide March 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Margaret, sorry I don’t know – best to phone the passport office. Best, Beth

  16. Ezra Volo Sibanda February 8, 2017 at 2:24 am #

    Hi Beth
    I lost my passport but I have my ID and birth certificate. Is it possible to be given passport forms?
    Many thanks
    Ezra

    • GreatZimbabweGuide February 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      Hi Ezra, sorry I have no idea, best to contact the embassy. All the best, Beth

  17. aaron tsanga February 4, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Hi,

    I am base in ireland and want to know when the zimbabwe embassy are visiting ireland next, as i need to renew my passport.

    Regards,

    AaronT

    • GreatZimbabweGuide February 5, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

      Hi! It seems like the Zim UK embassy website is currently down so your best bet is to phone the Zim offices and ask them.

  18. Simbarashe February 2, 2017 at 2:44 am #

    Hi Beth

    What a blessing you are, I just followed the info you provided and the process was such a joy.
    I really want to say thank you and God bless. I took everything I needed as per info and within
    45mins I was done.

    Kind regards

    • GreatZimbabweGuide February 5, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

      That is wonderful to hear, thank you for your comment and all the best!

  19. Mutsa October 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! Do you remember how long the renewal process took?

    • GreatZimbabweGuide October 24, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Mutsa, it depends how you count it. Theoretically, 1 day at the embassy, 3 days to courier the documents, 6 weeks to process the documents and 3 days to courier them back. But realistically it takes a bit longer than that!

  20. Mark September 28, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Hi Beth

    Thanks for the advice – you wouldn’t happen to know when one would be able to apply for a new passport before the current passport expires? I have heard rumours before of 6 months but obviously this could just be hearsay.

    Many thanks,
    Mark

    • GreatZimbabweGuide September 28, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      Hi Mark, hope this was helpful. I can’t see a rule about this on official documentation. However, in terms of Zimbabwe travel rules, to enter Zimbabwe on any passport, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Zimbabwe and should have at least 3 blank pages left in it. So it would be wise to renew your passport before either of those take place. A normal passport takes about 6 weeks to be made and issued in Zimbabwe, so you would need to work backwards from there factoring in the time you need to go to the embassy in London and send the passport application to Zimbabwe.

  21. Tafadzwa September 6, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    Hi Beth thank you for taking your time to publish this .. Wanted to ask what do u do if you came here when you were young and wasn’t able to get he Zim i.d (chitupa).. Is there anything I need to do ?

    • GreatZimbabweGuide September 7, 2016 at 10:04 am #

      Hi Tafadzwa, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! I don’t know about the I.D. question, so perhaps phone the Zim Commission and ask for their advice. Best wishes, Beth

  22. Tendai July 31, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

    Hi Beth

    Thanks very much for your willingness to share the valuable information
    on passport processing . We followed your advice and the process was just flawless

    • GreatZimbabweGuide August 1, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Tendai, thanks for your positive comments! I’m so glad that the process went well for you. This is the reason that I write articles like this, so thank you for the encouragement. All the best, Beth

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