The Department of Immigration, through the project called the Consolidated Immigration System, upgraded the Zambia Immigration Management System (ZIMS). The system upgrade which was officially launched by the Minister of Home Affairs on 12th April, 2019, has consolidated the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in operations of the Department. Further, there has been an upward adjustment to the fee for the multiple entry visa
The implementation of the upgraded system and the fee adjustment will have the following implications:
A. On-line submission of permit applications
In the same way it has been with the e-Visa, applications for various immigration permits can be submitted online. Depending on the type of service being applied for, this means, individual applicants, human resource personnel of Zambian based companies, Registered Immigration Consultants and Practicing Lawyers, are able to submit applications for immigration permits online. An eServices User Guide has been made available on the Department’s website.
B. Digital Payments
Fees for Visas and Permits are being paid with the help of a secure Electronic Payment Platform, hosted by Barclays Bank Zambia. A wide range of Debit and Credit Cards can be used on this platform. Electronic receipts have also since replaced the Conventional General Receipts that were previously issued manually.
C. Introduction of Digital Permit Cards
The upgraded system has also introduced a convenient digital card permit, replacing the booklet. The new permit card will be printed on demand, meaning the permit card will only be printed when the applicant presents themselves to the respective office where their application was processed.Applicants who applied for various immigration permits on or after 3rd December, 2018 and issued with approval letters, can now collect their digital permit cards. For a start, only Immigration Headquarters will be issuing the new cards. This function will be decentralised to the provinces in due course and the public shall be kept informed on these developments.
The booklet permits, other than the Residence Permit, will continue being valid and will only be replaced with the digital permit card at the point of applying for change of condition or extension of a permit. There will be no extra charge other than the fee paid for the change of condition or extension.
However, holders of Residence Permit Booklets will be required to apply for replacement of the booklet type permit with the digital permit, at the standard statutory fee for replacement/duplicate. The deadline for replacements is 30th April, 2020. It should be noted that for holders of Residence Permits who apply for any variation such as change of occupation and change of company will still need to pay for replacement of the permits in addition to the variation applications.
The spouse and children accompanying the principal permit holder will be issued with individual Digital Permit Cards called Dependants Permits as opposed to them being included on the permit of the principal holder, as has been the practice with the booklet permits. The issuance of the Dependants Permits will not commence at the same time as the other Digital Permit Cards, but rather on a later date to be communicated. The card will attract its own fee. In the interim, such dependants will only have their passports endorsed.
D. Increased fee for Multiple Entry Visa
With effective from 29th May, 2019, the Multiple Entry Visa fee will increase from $80 to $150. This is in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 9 of 2019. The fee adjustment only applies to the Multiple Entry Visa. Fees for other types of visas and permits remain unchanged.