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Intercountry Adoption

English

Country Information

Zimbabwe

Country Information

Zimbabwe
Republic of Zimbabwe
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Embassy Messages

Harare

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

No minimum requirement, recommend at least 6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

Recommend at least 2 blanks pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes, to be obtained at the port of entry

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever, if traveling from/through countries where it is prevalent

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

1,000 USD, more if declared/documented upon entry. See below.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Harare Zimbabwe

172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Fax: +(263) (4) 250-343
U.S. Citizen Emergency What’sApp: +(263) 0772-124-896

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Zimbabwe for information on U.S. - Zimbabwe relations. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You need a passport, visa, return ticket, and adequate funds to cover your intended stay in order to enter Zimbabwe. If you are traveling to Zimbabwe for tourism, business, or transit, you may obtain a visa at the airports or other border ports-of-entry. There is currently no option of getting a Zimbabwean tourist visa in advance through the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington. You can expect to pay 30 USD for a 30-day/single-entry visa or 60 USD for a 60-day/multiple entry visa. Extensions are possible, and require visiting the Zimbabwe Immigration Office's public window. Travelers who intend to engage in any non-tourism related activity require a visa in advance of entry. Immigration officials often detain tourists who indicate that they are journalists or professional videographers or photographers. Contact the Department of Immigration Zimbabwe for further details and information on other types of visas and entry permits. 

Zimbabwe has implemented measures to stem the flow of U.S. dollars from the country due to their cash liquidity crisis. You should:

  • bring cash sufficient for the duration of your trip;
  • depart the country with no more than $1,000, unless declared/documented upon entry;
  • prepay expenses such as hotels, flights and tours by credit or debit card;
  • contact the Zimbabwean authorities in advance to review the new currency; measures and confirm that the relevant policies have not changed.

 (See www.zimra.co.zw and www.rbz.co.zw for contact information.)

If you are traveling to or through South Africa, be aware that they require at least two blank visa pages in your passport for each entry otherwise your entry may be denied. Additionally, South Africa requires that minors traveling with only one parent or with individuals other than a parent have signed and notarized permission from the parent/s and original birth certificates. See the Country Specific Information for South Africa for details.

HIV/AIDS restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Zimbabwe.  

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

Crime: Criminals operate in the vicinity of hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas of major cities and tourist areas such as Victoria Falls. The downtown sectors of Harare, and its high-density residential suburbs, are particularly high-crime areas. 

While in Zimbabwe:

  • Always secure your possessions in public areas. 
  • Avoid displaying or carrying unnecessary valuables and large sums of money. 
  • Leave your passport and valuables in the hotel safety deposit box or room safe. 

For your safety while driving/riding in a car:

  • Be alert for “smash and grabs,” where thieves break car windows while you are stopped at intersections and take things within reach. 
  • Keep car doors locked and windows rolled up. 
  • Put valuable things under car seats or in the trunk.
  • Leave sufficient room between cars to maneuver and drive away from danger. 
  • If you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or other protected public area for assistance. 
  • Reduce your time at traffic lights at night by slowing in anticipation of the light change.
  • Be cautious of ploys to lure you out of your car and of drivers in vehicles without license plates who stop to render aid or cause minor accidents. 
  • Drive to a well-lit and populated area before making repairs or exchanging information following an accident.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to police at the Harare Central Police Station, 777-777, and contact the U.S. Embassy at + 263 04 250 593. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some crimes are prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Zimbabwe can be severe, and convicted offenders can expect average jail sentences of three to seven years and heavy fines. Authorities may detain you for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or for taking pictures of government buildings and police stations. 

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Photography: Photographing the Munhumutapa Building, which houses the President’s offices, is punishable by a jail term and there is no provision for paying a fineIt is not always apparent what the police deem sensitive and they have detained people for photographing anything they view as sensitive, no matter how innocuous it may seem. You should seriously consider the risks of taking pictures anywhere in Zimbabwe other than game parks and other obvious tourist attractions.

Political Sensitivities: U.S. citizens have been detained and threatened with expulsion for the administering humanitarian aid and expressing political opinions or criticism of President Mugabe. The streets around the President’s residence and the Botanical Gardens are closed to vehicle, bicycle, and foot traffic from 6 pm to 6 am daily. President Mugabe and senior government officials travel around Harare with large and aggressive motorcades that have been known to run motorists off the road. Security personnel occasionally beat and harass drivers who fail to pull out of the way quickly. Move quickly off the road and come to a complete stop if overtaken by a motorcade.

Currency: Zimbabwe is experiencing a cash crisis. Foreigners who do not have Zimbabwean bank cards are unable to access cash from banks or ATM machines throughout the country. The United States also has targeted financial sanctions on certain Zimbabwean citizens and entities. For more information, please consult the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for up-to-date information on these sanctions.

Roadblocks: The government frequently uses marked and unmarked road blocks to enforce order and collect fines, particularly in urban centers and on major roads. Quickly comply when instructed by police or security officials to stop at a roadblock.

Game Parks: Safety standards and training vary at game parks and wildlife viewing areas. You should ascertain whether operators are trained and licensed. All animal should be respected as wild and extremely dangerous.  Travelers should keep a safe distance from animals and remain in vehicles or other protected enclosures when visiting game parks.

Hunting: Tourists wishing to hunt in Zimbabwe must be accompanied by a licensed operator. You should request and check the authenticity of their license by contacting the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators (ZATSO). Hunters should confirm that they are not hunting on illegally seized land or on a nature conservancy as you may be subject to arrest, lawsuits, fines, seizure of possessions, and imprisonment. You should also contact the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington, D.C. to determine what permits are required by the Government of Zimbabwe for importing weapons into the country.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: The constitution of Zimbabwe outlaws marriage between people of the same gender and allows for discrimination based on sexual orientation. Consensual sex between men is criminalized in Zimbabwe, with both parties subject to fines of 5,000 USD or a year imprisonment or both.  While there is no explicit legal prohibition against sexual relations between women, societal violence and harassment against LGBTI individuals is pervasive. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The Zimbabwe constitution and law prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, access to public places, and the provision of services. However, the law is not widely known, poorly implemented, and rarely enforced.  Persons with disabilities face harsh societal discrimination and widespread physical barriers. Many public buildings do not have wheelchair ramps, operational elevators, or suitable restroom facilities. Public transportation does not include lifts or access by wheelchair. Road crossing aids for the disabled are nonexistent and sidewalks in urban areas are in disrepair and cluttered with numerous obstacles.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

The public medical infrastructure in Zimbabwe is subpar and medical facilities are limited. Serious illnesses or injuries require medical evacuation to South Africa.

You should:

  • Bring medications sufficient for the duration of your trip in original packaging;
  • Carry your prescriptions;
  • Be prepared to pay up front for medical services
  • Be prepared to arrange your own transportation to medical facilities.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

The power supply in Zimbabwe is 220 volt 50 Hz and unreliable. Travelers who use electrical medical devices should consider alternatives and verify with lodging accommodations that your needs can be met.

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV
  • Malaria
  • Bilharzia

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Zimbabwe is hazardous.  Zimbabweans drive on the left side of the road and people often drive over the speed limit. Avoid driving at night. The Traffic Safety Council reports there are 40-50 vehicle accidents in Harare every night. Although the main roads throughout Zimbabwe are generally in fair but deteriorating condition, most lack passing lanes, shoulders, breakdown lanes, lighting, reflectors, and similar safety features. 

Hazards you will encounter while driving (especially after dark):

  • Pedestrians (in dark clothing) and animals walking along or on the roads. 
  • Motor vehicles with no headlights or taillights.
  • Restricted visibility when passing.
  • Faded lane markers and non-working streetlights and traffic lights.
  • Service stations lacking fuel and spare parts. 
  • Numerous potholes.

There is no national network of roadside emergency service. However, the Automobile Association (AA) of Zimbabwe is willing to provide roadside emergency service to nonmembers for a fee. They can be contacted at 263-4-752-779. AA Zimbabwe’s 24-hour emergency roadside helpline is 263-4-707-959. Travelers can also contact the Road Angels, another roadside assistance service, at 263-4-334-304 and 263-4-334-418.

Traffic Laws: It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Zimbabwe.  Drivers are required to wear seat belts or helmets if driving motorcycles. Car seats are not legally required for small children. Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) enforcement does not generally exist, resulting in high rates of impaired drivers, especially at night.

Public Transportation: U.S. Embassy staff is prohibited from using “Kombis” – the minibuses that service main routes, due to safety concerns. Inter-city commuter bus travel, except on “luxury coaches,” is dangerous due to overcrowding, inadequate maintenance, and unsafe drivers. Public bus drivers are often fatigued, fail to adhere to local speed limits, and often fail to obey traffic rules or regulations.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Air Travel: U.S. Embassy staff has recently been prohibited from flying with the national carrier, Air Zimbabwe. The restriction was put into place due to the airline’s lack of an automated system for tracking the completion of safety checks.    

There are currently no other airlines operating flights between Harare and Bulawayo, although South African Airways has flights between Johannesburg and Bulawayo, and the budget airline carrier, FastJet, flies from Harare to Victoria Falls. Travelers to other parts of the country should consider driving.

Aviation Safety Oversight: ****Effective immediately, U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from travel on Air Zimbabwe because of safety concerns that include improper or overdue maintenance and lack of a computerized record-keeping system. Travel for U.S. Embassy personnel on Air Zimbabwe is suspended until such time as the deficiencies are rectified.****

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Harare Zimbabwe

172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Fax: +(263) (4) 250-343
U.S. Citizen Emergency What’sApp: +(263) 0772-124-896

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General Information

Zimbabwe and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since August 1, 1995.

For information concerning travel to Zimbabwe, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Zimbabwe.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Zimbabwe. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website

The Zimbabwe Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs.  The Zimbabwe Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications.  The Central Authority can be reached at:

Permanent Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs
New Government Composite Building
6th floor, Bloc C
Samora Machel Avenue / 4th Street
Private Bag: 7751
Causeway
HARARE
Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 (4) 774620-7 / +263 (4) 774589-94 / +263 (4) 774 4560
Fax: +263 (4) 772 999

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Zimbabwe, the left-behind parent or legal guardian must submit a Hague application to the Zimbabwe Central Authority either directly or through the U.S. Central Authority.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Zimbabwe Central Authority and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Zimbabwe central authorities.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Zimbabwe.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Zimbabwe.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The Zimbabwe Central Authority recommends that a parent, upon applying for the return of their child, engage an attorney of his or her choice at the parent’s expense. The Zimbabwe Central Authority may provide a no-fee attorney for indigent parents through its Legal Aid Directorate.  The Central Authority will forward a case to the appropriate court but does not appear in court.   

The U.S. Embassy in HarareZimbabwe posts a list of attorneys,including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The Zimbabwe Central Authority strongly promotes voluntary resolutions in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Upon receiving a Hague application, the Central Authority advises the taking parent of the law and encourages them to voluntarily return the child. If the taking parent is interested in negotiating with the left-behind parent, the Central Authority can recommend that the parties engage an attorney for mediation. If the taking parent refuses mediation, the applicant parent can proceed by litigation. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Zimbabwe and from the United States to Zimbabwe are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Zimbabwe is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Intercountry adoption in Zimbabwe is rare.  Prospective adoptive parents should be prepared to face significant bureaucratic hurdles and delays when attempting to adopt in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s adoption authority, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, prefers to place Zimbabwean children with parents of the same race. The Minister of Labour and Social Services must approve all interracial adoptions. In addition, the Zimbabwean government discourages intercountry adoptions and may make additional demands before finalizing an adoption for parents who are not citizens of Zimbabwe. Some of these additional demands include counseling for the prospective adoptive child and prospective adoptive parents, and requiring prospective adoptive parents to submit a completed home study report which includes visits by a Zimbabwean social worker to their place of residence. The home study that prospective adoptive parents submit to USCIS with their Form I-600A or I-600 normally suffices.

Note: Prospective adoptive parents not living in Zimbabwe must obtain a residency waiver from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare before their adoption application is approved.

Adoptions where the birth parent(s) relinquish a child directly to the prospective adoptive parents are referred to as “nominated” or “directed” adoptions. Nominated or directed adoption is legal in Zimbabwe. However, this type of adoption may not meet the guidelines for immigration to the United States. Prospective adoptive parents involved in nominated or directed adoption should contact the U.S. Embassy in Harare before formalizing an adoption agreement to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed that will make it possible for the Embassy to issue a U.S. immigrant visa to the adopted child.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Zimbabwe, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines Who Can Adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Zimbabwe:

  • Residency: Prospective adoptive parents must be either citizens or legal residents of Zimbabwe. If the prospective adoptive parents do not live in Zimbabwe, they must request a waiver of the residency requirement from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Married prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years older than the prospective adoptive child. Single women must be at least 21 years older. There are no other age restrictions for prospective adoptive parents. Please note, however, that an unmarried U.S. citizen must be at least 25 years of age when the Form I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative is filed. If the unmarried U.S. citizen was not 25 years of age at the time of the actual adoption, the unmarried U.S. citizen must wait until his or her 25th birthday to file the petition. Form I-600 filing instructions.
  • Marriage: Prospective adoptive parents adopting as a couple must be married. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare must approve any exception to this requirement. With approval, single women may adopt any child eligible for adoption, but single men may only adopt family members.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents must prove financial stability.
  • Other: Adoption by gay, lesbian, or same-sex couples is not permitted. The approval of the Minister of Social Welfare is required for all interracial adoptions. All prospective adoptive parents must have a clean criminal record.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Zimbabwe has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

Relinquishment: Written consent to the adoption must be provided by each of the prospective adoptive child’s birth parents, who is living and can be located. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare determines whether a child is eligible for adoption.

  • Abandonment: A child whose birth parents are deceased, or who was abandoned, is available for adoption at the determination of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Death certificates are normally required in cases where the birth parents are deceased, to demonstrate the child’s orphan status. If the child was abandoned, evidence of abandonment may be required.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  The prospective child must be under 18 years of age. A waiver from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is required for children over the age of 18. Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600 petition must be filed while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if adopted or to be adopted together with a natural sibling under the age of 16).
  • Sibling Adoptions:  None.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Zimbabwean law does not require disclosure of a child’s HIV status.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: The waiting period is normally a minimum of six months.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

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How to Adopt

Zimbabwe’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Zimbabwe generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an adoption service provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt the child in Zimbabwe
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home

There are two tracks to adoption in Zimbabwe:

Track One – If the prospective adoptive parents have not yet identified a child, they may first file a general Application to Adopt at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare headquarters in Zimbabwe.  Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will help to identify an appropriate child. The Ministry may recommend a particular child for adoption.

Track Two – If the prospective adoptive parents have identified the child they wish to adopt, they must visit the Social Services Office in their district to open a case file and file an application to adopt the child.

Note: Not every child in a Zimbabwean orphanage is eligible for adoption, and there is no central registry for identifying eligible children. Only by receiving authorization to adopt the child from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare can the prospective adoptive parents conclude that the child is eligible for adoption.

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The recommended first step in adopting a child from Zimbabwe is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption.  Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider.

    Although anyone may submit documents on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent(s), they may not act on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent. This means the prospective adoptive parents must be present in Zimbabwe during all of the key steps in the adoption process, including identification of the child, obtaining documentation, and all administrative and court proceedings.  Adoptions can only be facilitated through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. A Zimbabwean court order without the recommendation of the Ministry is not considered a legal adoption and will not be considered valid for U.S. immigration purposes. All prospective adoptive parents should begin the adoption process with the Ministry or their district Social Welfare Officer.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    In order to adopt a child from Zimbabwe, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Zimbabwe and U.S. immigration law. You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the Ministry of Public Service Labor and Social Welfare of Zimbabwe.

    To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.

  3. Be Matched with a Child

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority or other authorized entity in Zimbabwe will provide you with a referral. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Zimbabwe’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

    If the prospective adoptive parents have not already identified a child for adoption, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will assist them in identifying an appropriate child.

    As mentioned above, adoptions involving birth parent(s) who relinquish a child directly to the prospective adoptive parents (referred to as “nominated” or “directed” adoptions) are legal in Zimbabwe, but such adoptions may not meet the guidelines for immigration to the United States.

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Zimbabwe

    The process for finalizing the adoption in Zimbabwe generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare approves the general application to adopt and refers the case to the Juvenile Court.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: The Juvenile Court reviews the case. If approved, the court will issue an adoption order and release the child for immigration.
    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: Licensed attorneys, adoption service providers, or anyone else may submit documents on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent(s) but may not act on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: Prospective adoptive parents who have not identified a child should submit the general application to adopt to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare' district office where they live. If the prospective adoptive parents have identified a child, they must visit the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Office in their district to open a case file and have an officer assigned to work on the prospective adoptive parents' case.

      NOTE: Prospective adoptive parents who do not live in Zimbabwe must obtain a residency waiver from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare before the adoption application can be approved.

    • TIME FRAME: Adoptions in Zimbabwe can take anywhere from three months to seven years once the Application to Adopt has been approved and a child has been identified. An increasing number of prospective adoptive parents abandon their plans to adopt a Zimbabwean child due to serious bureaucratic delays within the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Juvenile Courts. Wait times for Caucasian and mixed-race children can take considerably longer.
    • ADOPTION FEES: Neither the Government of Zimbabwe nor the courts charge adoption fees. Adoptive parents pay a fee of approximately U.S. $2 to the Registrar General's Office of Births and Deaths (located in Harare or Bulawayo) for the child's birth certificate.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following documents are required to adopt a child from Zimbabwe:
      • Identity documents (passport, birth certificate, etc.)
      • Marriage certificate
      • Police clearances from both the United States and Zimbabwe
      • Supporting documents attesting to the prospective adoptive parent's eligibility and suitability to adopt, such as an approved U.S. home study report;
      • Three or four references from non-relatives of the prospective adoptive parents (required as part of the Application to Adopt).

      NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office may be able to assist.
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

    After you finalize the adoption in Zimbabwe, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. law. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

  6. Bring Your Child Home

    Once your adoption is complete, you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

    Birth Certificate
    If you have finalized the adoption in Zimbabwe, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

    Zimbabwe Passport
    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Zimbabwe.

    Applications for Zimbabwe passports are made through the Registrar General's district offices. The following fees apply: U.S. $50 for routine processing, which takes more than a month to process; U.S. $318 for expedited processing, which takes one day to process; and U.S. $253 for a passport, which takes about three working days to process. Below is a list of telephone numbers for Zimbabwe District Offices. The U.S. Embassy in Harare notes that it may be more efficient for prospective adoptive parents to go in person to apply for a Zimbabwean passport because at times, these telephones are not answered:

    Harare: +263-4-702-295
    Bulawayo: +263-9-68-491
    Gweru: +263-54-223-155
    Masvingo: +263-39-263-876/263-705
    Mutare: +263-20-60-701/60-276
    Bindura: +263-71-6511/6119
    Chinhoyi: +263-67-23-013
    Gwanda: +263-84-22-587/22-618

    U.S. Immigrant Visa
    After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the United States Embassy in Harare. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

    You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the Embassy Harare’s website.

    Note: Prospective adoptive parents must have an approved Form I-600 petition before the U.S. Embassy in Harare can issue an immigrant visa. A parent who has an approved Form I-600A may file their Form I-600 either with USCIS domestically or in person at Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Harare.

    If only one spouse is traveling to Harare, he or she must sign the Form I-600 petition under oath before a consular officer. The parent who is not traveling must sign the petition after all of the information related to the child has been entered onto the form. Either spouse may sign the Form I-600 application as the “prospective petitioner” with the other signing as the “spouse,” unless the married couple consists of one U.S. citizen and one non-citizen, in which case the U.S. citizen must be the “prospective petitioner” on both Forms I-600A and I-600 and sign the application before the consular officer. A third party may not sign or file the petition on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents, even with their Power of Attorney.

    All immigrant visas are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Harare by appointment only on Tuesdays. Applicants can walk in for information or to submit documents Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The Consular Section answers telephone inquiries Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Tel: 263-4-250593/4). Specific questions about adoption in Zimbabwe may be addressed via email to the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe at consularharare@state.gov.

    Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least 24 hours. It is not normally possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview.  Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Harare before making final travel arrangements.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Zimbabwe
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Zimbabwe, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll your trip with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Zimbabwe, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Zimbabwe does not have any post-adoption requirements.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe
American Embassy
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel:  263-4-250593/4
Fax:  263- 4-250343
Email:  consularharare@state.gov
Internet:  https://zw.usembassy.gov/

Zimbabwe’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Harare Central District
Social Welfare Office
P.O. Box CY 562
Causeway
Bulawayo:  +236-9-465-567
Gweru:  +263-54-225-526/223-037/226-742
Masvingo:  +263-39-263-476/263-478
Mutare :  +263-20-64-416/60-805

Embassy of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C.  20009
Tel:  (202) 332-7100, (301) 263-9826
Email:  info33@zimbabwe-embassy.us
Internet:  zimbabwe-embassy.us/

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  AskCI@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 12 Months
A-2 None Multiple A 12 Months A
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-2 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 12 Months
C-3 None One 12 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 24 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 24 Months
F-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-1 None Multiple 12 Months
G-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-3 None Multiple 12 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 36 Months
L-2 None Multiple 36 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth


Available

Fees:  $5 for a replacement certificate, $10 for expedited same day service. All fees are paid in U.S. Dollars.

Document Name: Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: None

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General

Registration Criteria: Registration requires the following documents:

  • Birth confirmation record from the hospital or clinic where the child was born

  • Both parent’s passport copies if the parents are legally married

  • Registration cost is free for a child born in Zimbabwe up to the age of 6. Outside of Zimbabwe births have a $50 fee
     

Procedure for Obtaining: Replacement or additional certificates may be obtained from the Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages, P. Bag 7734, Causeway, Harare. Applicants must submit the birth entry number, copy of birth certificate, or ID number.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: None

Comments:
 

Death/Burial


Available

Fees:  $5. If a death entry number or year and place of death is not provided, there is a $10 searching fee.

Document Name: Death Certificate

Issuing Authority: Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are two ink stamps on these certificates:  a date stamp and a statutory stamp.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General

Registration Criteria: They are the same as the procedures for obtaining death certificates

Procedure for Obtaining: Copies of death certificates can be obtained by contacting the Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages, P. Bag 7734, Causeway, Harare.

The following information must be submitted with the request:

  • Copy of ID for the applicant: ID for the person requesting certificate.

  • Copy of birth certificate: For the person requesting certificate.

  • Death entry number or year and place of death
     

Only the following may apply for certificate copies: Surviving Spouse, Parents of the deceased (only if there is no surviving spouse), children of the deceased (only if there is no surviving spouse or parents). No other third parties may apply for copies.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions:  A death certificate is only given to children of the deceased born out of wedlock when they apply for a death certificate of their deceased father when the deceased first wife is also deceased.

Comments:  If the deceased is survived by two spouses only the first wife has the right to apply for the death certificate.

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage


Available

Fees: $15 for the marriage license at the Magistrate Courts and Minister s of Religion charge different fees.

Document Name: Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority: Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is a left hand corner seal which is written HOME AFFAIRS on it.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General

Registration Criteria: IDs for both parties to the marriage and IDS to the witnesses to the marriage

Procedure for Obtaining: Copies of marriage certificates can be obtained by contacting the Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages, P. Bag 7734, Causeway, Harare. Full names of both parties and the date and place of marriage must be provided with the request. The Registrar will not perform a search for prior marriages for anyone (including the U.S. Embassy) except the individual being searched.

Certified Copies Available: They are available at a fee of $5.

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments:  The U.S. recognizes legal civil marriages and customary marriages registered under the African Customary Marriage Act.  Both of these types of marriages are registered with the Civil Registry and bestow equal rights under the law. 

Elements of the registered customary marriages include:

  • That it is a marriage between black Zimbabweans,

  • That it requires solemnization of the marriage, or authorization of marriage by a magistrate

  • That the marriage must be registered

  • That the marriage can only be dissolved in court

 

Unregistered customary marriages lack the legal rights and duties possessed by partners in a lawfully contracted marriage. Click here for more information on Zimbabwe’s Customary Marriages Act.
 

Divorce Certificates
 

Available

Fees: $5 filing fee

Document Name: Divorce Order

Issuing Authority: High Court of Zimbabwe

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: None

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: High Court Of Zimbabwe

Registration Criteria: A divorce order is obtained by appearing before the High Court.  A third party can stand in for one or both parties.  Even if one party is in default, an order can still be issued. 

Procedure for Obtaining: Certified true copies of divorce orders are obtainable from one of the following addressees, depending on where the divorce took place:

For Harare divorce:
Harare High Court
P.O. Box 8050
Causeway, Harare

 

For Bulawayo divorce:
Bulawayo High Court
P.O. Box 579
Bulawayo 

 

For Masvingo divorce:
Masvingo High Court
P.O. Box 326
Masvingo

 

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments: The High Court did not computerize its system until the second half of 2013, so all documents produced before that date will have parts that are clearly typewritten using a different font from that of the pre-written text.  The High Court will honor divorces that take place in another country even if the parties were married in Zimbabwe, as long as there is official proof of divorce.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records
 

Available

Fees: $10 with a turnaround time of 7 days ($20 for expedited processing with a turnaround time of 3 days) when applying locally. $75 if applying from outside Zimbabwe.

Document Name: Police Certificate

Issuing Authority: Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: No

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Only a signature appears on the police certificate

Registration Criteria: Fingerprints for the applying individual are needed

Procedure for Obtaining:

All Applicants must submit the following information: 

  • Copy of ID for applicant
  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth (town and country)
  • National identification or passport number
  • Last Zimbabwe residential and business addresses
  • Date and place of entry into Zimbabwe
  • One set of fingerprints
     

Local applicants – Turnaround time is 7 days, excluding weekends, holidays and date of submission. Expedited processing is 3 days. Application should be made in person at the following address.

Zimbabwe Republic Police
Criminal Investigations
Department Headquarters
Records Office
Josiah Chinamano & 10th Street
Harare.  Tel:  700170/9 Fax:  724216

Applicants outside Zimbabwe – Applicants residing outside Zimbabwe should mail their information to the address listed above. Turn-around time for police certificates for applicants applying outside Zimbabwe is 3 days from the day the fingerprint card is received and the CID has confirmed payment with their bank. Fingerprint cards may be sent to someone in Zimbabwe to submit on behalf of the applicant. For sending the police certificate back to the applicant outside Zimbabwe the applicant must send together with a fingerprint card a pre- paid self-addressed envelope by either DHL or FEDEX. The fee for a police certificate must be paid to the following bank.

Standard Chartered Bank
Highlands Branch
Account number 8700216046400
Sort code:  5156
Swift code:  SCBLZWHX

Certified Copies Available: None

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: No

Comments:  Someone residing inside Zimbabwe can apply on the applicant’s behalf by submitting the required information.

 

Court/Prison Records

 

Available

Comments: Prison Records are part of a Police Certificate in Zimbabwe. Please see Police Certificate for more information.

 

Court Records

 

Unavailable

Military Records

Military Records
 

Available

Fees: Free

Document Name:  Service Certificate

Issuing Authority: KG6, ZAPAR(Zimbabwe Army Pay and Records)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Logo of ZNA on all certificates

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Zimbabwe Army pay and Records(ZAPAR)

Registration Criteria: Record of Service or Discharge Certificate

Procedure for Obtaining:

Requests for discharge certificates should be made to the following address:

Army Discharge Certificate
Zimbabwe National Army
P. Bag 7720
Causeway, Harare

Air Force Discharge Certificate
Air Force of Zimbabwe
Headquarters P. Bag 7721
Causeway, Harare

Certified Copies Available

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments: These documents are available to anyone who has served in the Army before or after Zimbabwe’s Independence.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents
 

Types Available: Regular, Diplomatic and Official Passports

Fees: $53 for a regular passport with a turnaround time of a minimum of 3 months, $253 for a 3 day regular passport and $318 for a 24 hour regular passport. No fee for Diplomatic and Service passports.

Document Name:

Issuing Government Authority: Ministry of Home Affairs-Department of Registrar General

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Water Marks on biographical page

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General’s Office for Passports

Registration Criteria: Original birth certificate for regular passports and a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for either Diplomatic or Service Passports.

Procedure for Obtaining:

Alternate Documents:

Exceptions:

Comments:

Other Documents Available: 

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Contact Information


Post Title:
Embassy

Address: 

        Street Address:
        172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
        Harare, Zimbabwe

        Mailing Address:
        PO Box 3340
        Harare, Zimbabwe
 

Phone Number: 

        Tel: (263-4) 250-593/4

              (263-4) 250-595 (After Hours)

        Fax:(263-4) 722-618 or (263-4) 796-488

 

Email: consularHarare@state.gov

Visa Services:

Comments / Additional Information:

 

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Zimbabwe.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

New York, NY (212) 980-9511 (212) 308-6705

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Harare
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone
+(263) (4) 250-593
Emergency
+(263) (4) 250-593
Fax
+(263) (4) 250-343
Zimbabwe Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Zimbabwe
Republic of Zimbabwe
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Embassy Messages

Harare

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

No minimum requirement, recommend at least 6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

Recommend at least 2 blanks pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes, to be obtained at the port of entry

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever, if traveling from/through countries where it is prevalent

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

1,000 USD, more if declared/documented upon entry. See below.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Harare Zimbabwe

172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Fax: +(263) (4) 250-343
U.S. Citizen Emergency What’sApp: +(263) 0772-124-896

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Zimbabwe for information on U.S. - Zimbabwe relations. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You need a passport, visa, return ticket, and adequate funds to cover your intended stay in order to enter Zimbabwe. If you are traveling to Zimbabwe for tourism, business, or transit, you may obtain a visa at the airports or other border ports-of-entry. There is currently no option of getting a Zimbabwean tourist visa in advance through the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington. You can expect to pay 30 USD for a 30-day/single-entry visa or 60 USD for a 60-day/multiple entry visa. Extensions are possible, and require visiting the Zimbabwe Immigration Office's public window. Travelers who intend to engage in any non-tourism related activity require a visa in advance of entry. Immigration officials often detain tourists who indicate that they are journalists or professional videographers or photographers. Contact the Department of Immigration Zimbabwe for further details and information on other types of visas and entry permits. 

Zimbabwe has implemented measures to stem the flow of U.S. dollars from the country due to their cash liquidity crisis. You should:

  • bring cash sufficient for the duration of your trip;
  • depart the country with no more than $1,000, unless declared/documented upon entry;
  • prepay expenses such as hotels, flights and tours by credit or debit card;
  • contact the Zimbabwean authorities in advance to review the new currency; measures and confirm that the relevant policies have not changed.

 (See www.zimra.co.zw and www.rbz.co.zw for contact information.)

If you are traveling to or through South Africa, be aware that they require at least two blank visa pages in your passport for each entry otherwise your entry may be denied. Additionally, South Africa requires that minors traveling with only one parent or with individuals other than a parent have signed and notarized permission from the parent/s and original birth certificates. See the Country Specific Information for South Africa for details.

HIV/AIDS restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Zimbabwe.  

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

Crime: Criminals operate in the vicinity of hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas of major cities and tourist areas such as Victoria Falls. The downtown sectors of Harare, and its high-density residential suburbs, are particularly high-crime areas. 

While in Zimbabwe:

  • Always secure your possessions in public areas. 
  • Avoid displaying or carrying unnecessary valuables and large sums of money. 
  • Leave your passport and valuables in the hotel safety deposit box or room safe. 

For your safety while driving/riding in a car:

  • Be alert for “smash and grabs,” where thieves break car windows while you are stopped at intersections and take things within reach. 
  • Keep car doors locked and windows rolled up. 
  • Put valuable things under car seats or in the trunk.
  • Leave sufficient room between cars to maneuver and drive away from danger. 
  • If you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or other protected public area for assistance. 
  • Reduce your time at traffic lights at night by slowing in anticipation of the light change.
  • Be cautious of ploys to lure you out of your car and of drivers in vehicles without license plates who stop to render aid or cause minor accidents. 
  • Drive to a well-lit and populated area before making repairs or exchanging information following an accident.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to police at the Harare Central Police Station, 777-777, and contact the U.S. Embassy at + 263 04 250 593. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some crimes are prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Zimbabwe can be severe, and convicted offenders can expect average jail sentences of three to seven years and heavy fines. Authorities may detain you for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or for taking pictures of government buildings and police stations. 

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Photography: Photographing the Munhumutapa Building, which houses the President’s offices, is punishable by a jail term and there is no provision for paying a fineIt is not always apparent what the police deem sensitive and they have detained people for photographing anything they view as sensitive, no matter how innocuous it may seem. You should seriously consider the risks of taking pictures anywhere in Zimbabwe other than game parks and other obvious tourist attractions.

Political Sensitivities: U.S. citizens have been detained and threatened with expulsion for the administering humanitarian aid and expressing political opinions or criticism of President Mugabe. The streets around the President’s residence and the Botanical Gardens are closed to vehicle, bicycle, and foot traffic from 6 pm to 6 am daily. President Mugabe and senior government officials travel around Harare with large and aggressive motorcades that have been known to run motorists off the road. Security personnel occasionally beat and harass drivers who fail to pull out of the way quickly. Move quickly off the road and come to a complete stop if overtaken by a motorcade.

Currency: Zimbabwe is experiencing a cash crisis. Foreigners who do not have Zimbabwean bank cards are unable to access cash from banks or ATM machines throughout the country. The United States also has targeted financial sanctions on certain Zimbabwean citizens and entities. For more information, please consult the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for up-to-date information on these sanctions.

Roadblocks: The government frequently uses marked and unmarked road blocks to enforce order and collect fines, particularly in urban centers and on major roads. Quickly comply when instructed by police or security officials to stop at a roadblock.

Game Parks: Safety standards and training vary at game parks and wildlife viewing areas. You should ascertain whether operators are trained and licensed. All animal should be respected as wild and extremely dangerous.  Travelers should keep a safe distance from animals and remain in vehicles or other protected enclosures when visiting game parks.

Hunting: Tourists wishing to hunt in Zimbabwe must be accompanied by a licensed operator. You should request and check the authenticity of their license by contacting the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators (ZATSO). Hunters should confirm that they are not hunting on illegally seized land or on a nature conservancy as you may be subject to arrest, lawsuits, fines, seizure of possessions, and imprisonment. You should also contact the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington, D.C. to determine what permits are required by the Government of Zimbabwe for importing weapons into the country.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: The constitution of Zimbabwe outlaws marriage between people of the same gender and allows for discrimination based on sexual orientation. Consensual sex between men is criminalized in Zimbabwe, with both parties subject to fines of 5,000 USD or a year imprisonment or both.  While there is no explicit legal prohibition against sexual relations between women, societal violence and harassment against LGBTI individuals is pervasive. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The Zimbabwe constitution and law prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, access to public places, and the provision of services. However, the law is not widely known, poorly implemented, and rarely enforced.  Persons with disabilities face harsh societal discrimination and widespread physical barriers. Many public buildings do not have wheelchair ramps, operational elevators, or suitable restroom facilities. Public transportation does not include lifts or access by wheelchair. Road crossing aids for the disabled are nonexistent and sidewalks in urban areas are in disrepair and cluttered with numerous obstacles.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

The public medical infrastructure in Zimbabwe is subpar and medical facilities are limited. Serious illnesses or injuries require medical evacuation to South Africa.

You should:

  • Bring medications sufficient for the duration of your trip in original packaging;
  • Carry your prescriptions;
  • Be prepared to pay up front for medical services
  • Be prepared to arrange your own transportation to medical facilities.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

The power supply in Zimbabwe is 220 volt 50 Hz and unreliable. Travelers who use electrical medical devices should consider alternatives and verify with lodging accommodations that your needs can be met.

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV
  • Malaria
  • Bilharzia

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Zimbabwe is hazardous.  Zimbabweans drive on the left side of the road and people often drive over the speed limit. Avoid driving at night. The Traffic Safety Council reports there are 40-50 vehicle accidents in Harare every night. Although the main roads throughout Zimbabwe are generally in fair but deteriorating condition, most lack passing lanes, shoulders, breakdown lanes, lighting, reflectors, and similar safety features. 

Hazards you will encounter while driving (especially after dark):

  • Pedestrians (in dark clothing) and animals walking along or on the roads. 
  • Motor vehicles with no headlights or taillights.
  • Restricted visibility when passing.
  • Faded lane markers and non-working streetlights and traffic lights.
  • Service stations lacking fuel and spare parts. 
  • Numerous potholes.

There is no national network of roadside emergency service. However, the Automobile Association (AA) of Zimbabwe is willing to provide roadside emergency service to nonmembers for a fee. They can be contacted at 263-4-752-779. AA Zimbabwe’s 24-hour emergency roadside helpline is 263-4-707-959. Travelers can also contact the Road Angels, another roadside assistance service, at 263-4-334-304 and 263-4-334-418.

Traffic Laws: It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Zimbabwe.  Drivers are required to wear seat belts or helmets if driving motorcycles. Car seats are not legally required for small children. Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) enforcement does not generally exist, resulting in high rates of impaired drivers, especially at night.

Public Transportation: U.S. Embassy staff is prohibited from using “Kombis” – the minibuses that service main routes, due to safety concerns. Inter-city commuter bus travel, except on “luxury coaches,” is dangerous due to overcrowding, inadequate maintenance, and unsafe drivers. Public bus drivers are often fatigued, fail to adhere to local speed limits, and often fail to obey traffic rules or regulations.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Air Travel: U.S. Embassy staff has recently been prohibited from flying with the national carrier, Air Zimbabwe. The restriction was put into place due to the airline’s lack of an automated system for tracking the completion of safety checks.    

There are currently no other airlines operating flights between Harare and Bulawayo, although South African Airways has flights between Johannesburg and Bulawayo, and the budget airline carrier, FastJet, flies from Harare to Victoria Falls. Travelers to other parts of the country should consider driving.

Aviation Safety Oversight: ****Effective immediately, U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from travel on Air Zimbabwe because of safety concerns that include improper or overdue maintenance and lack of a computerized record-keeping system. Travel for U.S. Embassy personnel on Air Zimbabwe is suspended until such time as the deficiencies are rectified.****

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Harare Zimbabwe

172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(263) (4) 250-593
Fax: +(263) (4) 250-343
U.S. Citizen Emergency What’sApp: +(263) 0772-124-896

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General Information

Zimbabwe and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since August 1, 1995.

For information concerning travel to Zimbabwe, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Zimbabwe.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Zimbabwe. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website

The Zimbabwe Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs.  The Zimbabwe Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications.  The Central Authority can be reached at:

Permanent Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs
New Government Composite Building
6th floor, Bloc C
Samora Machel Avenue / 4th Street
Private Bag: 7751
Causeway
HARARE
Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 (4) 774620-7 / +263 (4) 774589-94 / +263 (4) 774 4560
Fax: +263 (4) 772 999

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Zimbabwe, the left-behind parent or legal guardian must submit a Hague application to the Zimbabwe Central Authority either directly or through the U.S. Central Authority.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Zimbabwe Central Authority and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Zimbabwe central authorities.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Zimbabwe.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Zimbabwe.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The Zimbabwe Central Authority recommends that a parent, upon applying for the return of their child, engage an attorney of his or her choice at the parent’s expense. The Zimbabwe Central Authority may provide a no-fee attorney for indigent parents through its Legal Aid Directorate.  The Central Authority will forward a case to the appropriate court but does not appear in court.   

The U.S. Embassy in HarareZimbabwe posts a list of attorneys,including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The Zimbabwe Central Authority strongly promotes voluntary resolutions in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Upon receiving a Hague application, the Central Authority advises the taking parent of the law and encourages them to voluntarily return the child. If the taking parent is interested in negotiating with the left-behind parent, the Central Authority can recommend that the parties engage an attorney for mediation. If the taking parent refuses mediation, the applicant parent can proceed by litigation. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Zimbabwe and from the United States to Zimbabwe are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Zimbabwe is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Intercountry adoption in Zimbabwe is rare.  Prospective adoptive parents should be prepared to face significant bureaucratic hurdles and delays when attempting to adopt in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s adoption authority, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, prefers to place Zimbabwean children with parents of the same race. The Minister of Labour and Social Services must approve all interracial adoptions. In addition, the Zimbabwean government discourages intercountry adoptions and may make additional demands before finalizing an adoption for parents who are not citizens of Zimbabwe. Some of these additional demands include counseling for the prospective adoptive child and prospective adoptive parents, and requiring prospective adoptive parents to submit a completed home study report which includes visits by a Zimbabwean social worker to their place of residence. The home study that prospective adoptive parents submit to USCIS with their Form I-600A or I-600 normally suffices.

Note: Prospective adoptive parents not living in Zimbabwe must obtain a residency waiver from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare before their adoption application is approved.

Adoptions where the birth parent(s) relinquish a child directly to the prospective adoptive parents are referred to as “nominated” or “directed” adoptions. Nominated or directed adoption is legal in Zimbabwe. However, this type of adoption may not meet the guidelines for immigration to the United States. Prospective adoptive parents involved in nominated or directed adoption should contact the U.S. Embassy in Harare before formalizing an adoption agreement to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed that will make it possible for the Embassy to issue a U.S. immigrant visa to the adopted child.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Zimbabwe, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines Who Can Adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Zimbabwe:

  • Residency: Prospective adoptive parents must be either citizens or legal residents of Zimbabwe. If the prospective adoptive parents do not live in Zimbabwe, they must request a waiver of the residency requirement from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Married prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years older than the prospective adoptive child. Single women must be at least 21 years older. There are no other age restrictions for prospective adoptive parents. Please note, however, that an unmarried U.S. citizen must be at least 25 years of age when the Form I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative is filed. If the unmarried U.S. citizen was not 25 years of age at the time of the actual adoption, the unmarried U.S. citizen must wait until his or her 25th birthday to file the petition. Form I-600 filing instructions.
  • Marriage: Prospective adoptive parents adopting as a couple must be married. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare must approve any exception to this requirement. With approval, single women may adopt any child eligible for adoption, but single men may only adopt family members.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents must prove financial stability.
  • Other: Adoption by gay, lesbian, or same-sex couples is not permitted. The approval of the Minister of Social Welfare is required for all interracial adoptions. All prospective adoptive parents must have a clean criminal record.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Zimbabwe has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

Relinquishment: Written consent to the adoption must be provided by each of the prospective adoptive child’s birth parents, who is living and can be located. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare determines whether a child is eligible for adoption.

  • Abandonment: A child whose birth parents are deceased, or who was abandoned, is available for adoption at the determination of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Death certificates are normally required in cases where the birth parents are deceased, to demonstrate the child’s orphan status. If the child was abandoned, evidence of abandonment may be required.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  The prospective child must be under 18 years of age. A waiver from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is required for children over the age of 18. Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600 petition must be filed while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if adopted or to be adopted together with a natural sibling under the age of 16).
  • Sibling Adoptions:  None.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Zimbabwean law does not require disclosure of a child’s HIV status.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: The waiting period is normally a minimum of six months.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

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How to Adopt

Zimbabwe’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Zimbabwe generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an adoption service provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt the child in Zimbabwe
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home

There are two tracks to adoption in Zimbabwe:

Track One – If the prospective adoptive parents have not yet identified a child, they may first file a general Application to Adopt at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare headquarters in Zimbabwe.  Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will help to identify an appropriate child. The Ministry may recommend a particular child for adoption.

Track Two – If the prospective adoptive parents have identified the child they wish to adopt, they must visit the Social Services Office in their district to open a case file and file an application to adopt the child.

Note: Not every child in a Zimbabwean orphanage is eligible for adoption, and there is no central registry for identifying eligible children. Only by receiving authorization to adopt the child from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare can the prospective adoptive parents conclude that the child is eligible for adoption.

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The recommended first step in adopting a child from Zimbabwe is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption.  Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider.

    Although anyone may submit documents on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent(s), they may not act on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent. This means the prospective adoptive parents must be present in Zimbabwe during all of the key steps in the adoption process, including identification of the child, obtaining documentation, and all administrative and court proceedings.  Adoptions can only be facilitated through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. A Zimbabwean court order without the recommendation of the Ministry is not considered a legal adoption and will not be considered valid for U.S. immigration purposes. All prospective adoptive parents should begin the adoption process with the Ministry or their district Social Welfare Officer.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    In order to adopt a child from Zimbabwe, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Zimbabwe and U.S. immigration law. You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the Ministry of Public Service Labor and Social Welfare of Zimbabwe.

    To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.

  3. Be Matched with a Child

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority or other authorized entity in Zimbabwe will provide you with a referral. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Zimbabwe’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

    If the prospective adoptive parents have not already identified a child for adoption, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will assist them in identifying an appropriate child.

    As mentioned above, adoptions involving birth parent(s) who relinquish a child directly to the prospective adoptive parents (referred to as “nominated” or “directed” adoptions) are legal in Zimbabwe, but such adoptions may not meet the guidelines for immigration to the United States.

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Zimbabwe

    The process for finalizing the adoption in Zimbabwe generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare approves the general application to adopt and refers the case to the Juvenile Court.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: The Juvenile Court reviews the case. If approved, the court will issue an adoption order and release the child for immigration.
    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: Licensed attorneys, adoption service providers, or anyone else may submit documents on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent(s) but may not act on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: Prospective adoptive parents who have not identified a child should submit the general application to adopt to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare' district office where they live. If the prospective adoptive parents have identified a child, they must visit the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Office in their district to open a case file and have an officer assigned to work on the prospective adoptive parents' case.

      NOTE: Prospective adoptive parents who do not live in Zimbabwe must obtain a residency waiver from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare before the adoption application can be approved.

    • TIME FRAME: Adoptions in Zimbabwe can take anywhere from three months to seven years once the Application to Adopt has been approved and a child has been identified. An increasing number of prospective adoptive parents abandon their plans to adopt a Zimbabwean child due to serious bureaucratic delays within the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Juvenile Courts. Wait times for Caucasian and mixed-race children can take considerably longer.
    • ADOPTION FEES: Neither the Government of Zimbabwe nor the courts charge adoption fees. Adoptive parents pay a fee of approximately U.S. $2 to the Registrar General's Office of Births and Deaths (located in Harare or Bulawayo) for the child's birth certificate.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following documents are required to adopt a child from Zimbabwe:
      • Identity documents (passport, birth certificate, etc.)
      • Marriage certificate
      • Police clearances from both the United States and Zimbabwe
      • Supporting documents attesting to the prospective adoptive parent's eligibility and suitability to adopt, such as an approved U.S. home study report;
      • Three or four references from non-relatives of the prospective adoptive parents (required as part of the Application to Adopt).

      NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office may be able to assist.
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

    After you finalize the adoption in Zimbabwe, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. law. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

  6. Bring Your Child Home

    Once your adoption is complete, you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

    Birth Certificate
    If you have finalized the adoption in Zimbabwe, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

    Zimbabwe Passport
    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Zimbabwe.

    Applications for Zimbabwe passports are made through the Registrar General's district offices. The following fees apply: U.S. $50 for routine processing, which takes more than a month to process; U.S. $318 for expedited processing, which takes one day to process; and U.S. $253 for a passport, which takes about three working days to process. Below is a list of telephone numbers for Zimbabwe District Offices. The U.S. Embassy in Harare notes that it may be more efficient for prospective adoptive parents to go in person to apply for a Zimbabwean passport because at times, these telephones are not answered:

    Harare: +263-4-702-295
    Bulawayo: +263-9-68-491
    Gweru: +263-54-223-155
    Masvingo: +263-39-263-876/263-705
    Mutare: +263-20-60-701/60-276
    Bindura: +263-71-6511/6119
    Chinhoyi: +263-67-23-013
    Gwanda: +263-84-22-587/22-618

    U.S. Immigrant Visa
    After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the United States Embassy in Harare. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

    You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the Embassy Harare’s website.

    Note: Prospective adoptive parents must have an approved Form I-600 petition before the U.S. Embassy in Harare can issue an immigrant visa. A parent who has an approved Form I-600A may file their Form I-600 either with USCIS domestically or in person at Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Harare.

    If only one spouse is traveling to Harare, he or she must sign the Form I-600 petition under oath before a consular officer. The parent who is not traveling must sign the petition after all of the information related to the child has been entered onto the form. Either spouse may sign the Form I-600 application as the “prospective petitioner” with the other signing as the “spouse,” unless the married couple consists of one U.S. citizen and one non-citizen, in which case the U.S. citizen must be the “prospective petitioner” on both Forms I-600A and I-600 and sign the application before the consular officer. A third party may not sign or file the petition on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents, even with their Power of Attorney.

    All immigrant visas are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Harare by appointment only on Tuesdays. Applicants can walk in for information or to submit documents Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The Consular Section answers telephone inquiries Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Tel: 263-4-250593/4). Specific questions about adoption in Zimbabwe may be addressed via email to the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe at consularharare@state.gov.

    Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least 24 hours. It is not normally possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview.  Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Harare before making final travel arrangements.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Zimbabwe
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Zimbabwe, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll your trip with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Zimbabwe, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Zimbabwe does not have any post-adoption requirements.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe
American Embassy
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel:  263-4-250593/4
Fax:  263- 4-250343
Email:  consularharare@state.gov
Internet:  https://zw.usembassy.gov/

Zimbabwe’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Harare Central District
Social Welfare Office
P.O. Box CY 562
Causeway
Bulawayo:  +236-9-465-567
Gweru:  +263-54-225-526/223-037/226-742
Masvingo:  +263-39-263-476/263-478
Mutare :  +263-20-64-416/60-805

Embassy of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C.  20009
Tel:  (202) 332-7100, (301) 263-9826
Email:  info33@zimbabwe-embassy.us
Internet:  zimbabwe-embassy.us/

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  AskCI@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 12 Months
A-2 None Multiple A 12 Months A
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-2 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 12 Months
C-3 None One 12 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 24 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 24 Months
F-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-1 None Multiple 12 Months
G-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-3 None Multiple 12 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 36 Months
L-2 None Multiple 36 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth


Available

Fees:  $5 for a replacement certificate, $10 for expedited same day service. All fees are paid in U.S. Dollars.

Document Name: Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: None

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General

Registration Criteria: Registration requires the following documents:

  • Birth confirmation record from the hospital or clinic where the child was born

  • Both parent’s passport copies if the parents are legally married

  • Registration cost is free for a child born in Zimbabwe up to the age of 6. Outside of Zimbabwe births have a $50 fee
     

Procedure for Obtaining: Replacement or additional certificates may be obtained from the Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages, P. Bag 7734, Causeway, Harare. Applicants must submit the birth entry number, copy of birth certificate, or ID number.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: None

Comments:
 

Death/Burial


Available

Fees:  $5. If a death entry number or year and place of death is not provided, there is a $10 searching fee.

Document Name: Death Certificate

Issuing Authority: Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are two ink stamps on these certificates:  a date stamp and a statutory stamp.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General

Registration Criteria: They are the same as the procedures for obtaining death certificates

Procedure for Obtaining: Copies of death certificates can be obtained by contacting the Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages, P. Bag 7734, Causeway, Harare.

The following information must be submitted with the request:

  • Copy of ID for the applicant: ID for the person requesting certificate.

  • Copy of birth certificate: For the person requesting certificate.

  • Death entry number or year and place of death
     

Only the following may apply for certificate copies: Surviving Spouse, Parents of the deceased (only if there is no surviving spouse), children of the deceased (only if there is no surviving spouse or parents). No other third parties may apply for copies.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions:  A death certificate is only given to children of the deceased born out of wedlock when they apply for a death certificate of their deceased father when the deceased first wife is also deceased.

Comments:  If the deceased is survived by two spouses only the first wife has the right to apply for the death certificate.

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage


Available

Fees: $15 for the marriage license at the Magistrate Courts and Minister s of Religion charge different fees.

Document Name: Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority: Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is a left hand corner seal which is written HOME AFFAIRS on it.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General

Registration Criteria: IDs for both parties to the marriage and IDS to the witnesses to the marriage

Procedure for Obtaining: Copies of marriage certificates can be obtained by contacting the Central Registry for Passports, Citizenship, Births, Deaths and Marriages, P. Bag 7734, Causeway, Harare. Full names of both parties and the date and place of marriage must be provided with the request. The Registrar will not perform a search for prior marriages for anyone (including the U.S. Embassy) except the individual being searched.

Certified Copies Available: They are available at a fee of $5.

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments:  The U.S. recognizes legal civil marriages and customary marriages registered under the African Customary Marriage Act.  Both of these types of marriages are registered with the Civil Registry and bestow equal rights under the law. 

Elements of the registered customary marriages include:

  • That it is a marriage between black Zimbabweans,

  • That it requires solemnization of the marriage, or authorization of marriage by a magistrate

  • That the marriage must be registered

  • That the marriage can only be dissolved in court

 

Unregistered customary marriages lack the legal rights and duties possessed by partners in a lawfully contracted marriage. Click here for more information on Zimbabwe’s Customary Marriages Act.
 

Divorce Certificates
 

Available

Fees: $5 filing fee

Document Name: Divorce Order

Issuing Authority: High Court of Zimbabwe

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: None

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: High Court Of Zimbabwe

Registration Criteria: A divorce order is obtained by appearing before the High Court.  A third party can stand in for one or both parties.  Even if one party is in default, an order can still be issued. 

Procedure for Obtaining: Certified true copies of divorce orders are obtainable from one of the following addressees, depending on where the divorce took place:

For Harare divorce:
Harare High Court
P.O. Box 8050
Causeway, Harare

 

For Bulawayo divorce:
Bulawayo High Court
P.O. Box 579
Bulawayo 

 

For Masvingo divorce:
Masvingo High Court
P.O. Box 326
Masvingo

 

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments: The High Court did not computerize its system until the second half of 2013, so all documents produced before that date will have parts that are clearly typewritten using a different font from that of the pre-written text.  The High Court will honor divorces that take place in another country even if the parties were married in Zimbabwe, as long as there is official proof of divorce.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records
 

Available

Fees: $10 with a turnaround time of 7 days ($20 for expedited processing with a turnaround time of 3 days) when applying locally. $75 if applying from outside Zimbabwe.

Document Name: Police Certificate

Issuing Authority: Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: No

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Only a signature appears on the police certificate

Registration Criteria: Fingerprints for the applying individual are needed

Procedure for Obtaining:

All Applicants must submit the following information: 

  • Copy of ID for applicant
  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth (town and country)
  • National identification or passport number
  • Last Zimbabwe residential and business addresses
  • Date and place of entry into Zimbabwe
  • One set of fingerprints
     

Local applicants – Turnaround time is 7 days, excluding weekends, holidays and date of submission. Expedited processing is 3 days. Application should be made in person at the following address.

Zimbabwe Republic Police
Criminal Investigations
Department Headquarters
Records Office
Josiah Chinamano & 10th Street
Harare.  Tel:  700170/9 Fax:  724216

Applicants outside Zimbabwe – Applicants residing outside Zimbabwe should mail their information to the address listed above. Turn-around time for police certificates for applicants applying outside Zimbabwe is 3 days from the day the fingerprint card is received and the CID has confirmed payment with their bank. Fingerprint cards may be sent to someone in Zimbabwe to submit on behalf of the applicant. For sending the police certificate back to the applicant outside Zimbabwe the applicant must send together with a fingerprint card a pre- paid self-addressed envelope by either DHL or FEDEX. The fee for a police certificate must be paid to the following bank.

Standard Chartered Bank
Highlands Branch
Account number 8700216046400
Sort code:  5156
Swift code:  SCBLZWHX

Certified Copies Available: None

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: No

Comments:  Someone residing inside Zimbabwe can apply on the applicant’s behalf by submitting the required information.

 

Court/Prison Records

 

Available

Comments: Prison Records are part of a Police Certificate in Zimbabwe. Please see Police Certificate for more information.

 

Court Records

 

Unavailable

Military Records

Military Records
 

Available

Fees: Free

Document Name:  Service Certificate

Issuing Authority: KG6, ZAPAR(Zimbabwe Army Pay and Records)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Logo of ZNA on all certificates

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Zimbabwe Army pay and Records(ZAPAR)

Registration Criteria: Record of Service or Discharge Certificate

Procedure for Obtaining:

Requests for discharge certificates should be made to the following address:

Army Discharge Certificate
Zimbabwe National Army
P. Bag 7720
Causeway, Harare

Air Force Discharge Certificate
Air Force of Zimbabwe
Headquarters P. Bag 7721
Causeway, Harare

Certified Copies Available

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments: These documents are available to anyone who has served in the Army before or after Zimbabwe’s Independence.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents
 

Types Available: Regular, Diplomatic and Official Passports

Fees: $53 for a regular passport with a turnaround time of a minimum of 3 months, $253 for a 3 day regular passport and $318 for a 24 hour regular passport. No fee for Diplomatic and Service passports.

Document Name:

Issuing Government Authority: Ministry of Home Affairs-Department of Registrar General

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Water Marks on biographical page

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar General’s Office for Passports

Registration Criteria: Original birth certificate for regular passports and a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for either Diplomatic or Service Passports.

Procedure for Obtaining:

Alternate Documents:

Exceptions:

Comments:

Other Documents Available: 

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Contact Information


Post Title:
Embassy

Address: 

        Street Address:
        172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
        Harare, Zimbabwe

        Mailing Address:
        PO Box 3340
        Harare, Zimbabwe
 

Phone Number: 

        Tel: (263-4) 250-593/4

              (263-4) 250-595 (After Hours)

        Fax:(263-4) 722-618 or (263-4) 796-488

 

Email: consularHarare@state.gov

Visa Services:

Comments / Additional Information:

 

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Zimbabwe.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

New York, NY (212) 980-9511 (212) 308-6705

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Harare
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone
+(263) (4) 250-593
Emergency
+(263) (4) 250-593
Fax
+(263) (4) 250-343
Zimbabwe Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.