Namibia and Botswana have signed a memorandum of agreement which will allow citizens of both countries to enter the territory of the other using national ID cards. The move is meant to facilitate movement between the two neighboring Southern African countries.
Paula spoke to Home Affairs Public Relations officer Mr Sakeus Kadhikwa and here is everything you need to know about the new ID:
The government of Namibia launched its new ID in 2021 and this was launched by the head of state Dr. Hage Geingob. Namibia has ever since been in negotiation and talks with our counterpart Botswana.
The Ministry of Home Affairs immigration safety and security said this recently commissioned agreement only caters for Namibians who have the new IDs. The ministry is urging all Namibians to acquire the new ID to be able to enable travel to Botswana.
The TransKalahari and Mamuno border posts are the only ports of entry/exit that will accept the New ID cards when travelling to Bostwana. Should you want to go to any other African countries then you will be required to present your passport.
The New ID allows you to stay in Botswana for 30 days and not more than three months per calendar year 90 days (about 3 months).
The same rules apply for Batswana residents in Namibia.
The New ID features have replaced some of the features on the current ID. The fingerprint on the Old ID was replaced by QR code on the new ID.
And as well as the barcode reader was replaced by an MRZ – a machine-readable zone.
The New ID does not replace nor force the current ID. The new ID look was introduced with the sole purpose of moving Namibia towards the direction where the world is headed – digitalized. The New ID can be used as a traveling document, to Botswana only.
The current ID is still a valid national document and can still be used at any National institution.
The current ID will however be phasing out gradually in future.
The Home Affairs Ministry have discontinued printing the Old ID and whoever is turning 16 or or applying for a duplicate of the current ID will be issued with a duplicate or with the new ID.
The requirements for application are still the same.
First time applicants (someone who was never issued an ID), will be issued one free of charge. All you need is your original birth certificate and a certified copy when applying.
For those applying for a duplicate for the first time– e.g lost ID’s or altering any information on your current I.D – you need N$150, and no Police declaration is required.
The charges are on an incremental basis. Application for your first duplicate will cost you N$150, the second duplicate is N$300 and another N$150 on top of that for every time you apply for a duplicate.
The turnaround period for a new ID is about seven working days minimum to a month maximum.
The Ministry notifies the applicants via SMS as to the status of their application; the first notification to inform you that your application has been received and is being processed, you’ll then receive the second SMS to inform you that your ID is ready for collection.
Written by: Paula Christoph