By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Following the forty-two-day lockdown directive issued by His Excellency President Yoweri K Museveni in his latest address to the nation on the COVID-19 spike late last month, Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has since directed that all visa applications must be made and paid for online and not on arrival.
The directive was issued and signed off by Major General Apollo Kasita-Gowa the Director of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC).
It reads in part “…in implementing their mandate of controlling, regulating and facilitating movements in and out of them within the 42-day lockdown has directed that visa applications are made online at https://visas.immigration.go.ug/ as opposed to visa on arrival.”
The Directorate has further directed that:
- Only travellers with approved visas having applied online will be granted entry into the country
- Airline operators are to carry only passengers with pre-approved visas for visa prone countries. Failure to comply, the necessary fine will apply
- All inland transit passengers will be cleared to proceed
- All travellers coming in and going out of the country are required to have travel documents and other evidence to support their travel
- All other online applications and renewals for immigration facilities that are Entry, Work Permits, Special Passes, Dependant Passes and Certificate of Residence can still be applied for online
Online applicants will receive an approved notification which they must print and travel with as travel authorization.
Further notice was seen on the Aeronautical Information Service of the Civil Aviation Authority confirming that in addition to airlines permitted to carry only travellers with approved and authorized visas returning residents with the valid resident facility (entry/work permits, passes or certificate of residence shall be permitted. The notice excludes nationals of countries that are exempt listed on the immigration website.
However, the online visa application has not been without its shortcomings. Some applicants had not received confirmation and some tour operators complained that their frantic clients were already in transit by the time of the directive.
This prompted the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) Board led by Civy Tumusiime to engage with the DCIC who resolved the matter by availing a dedicated line to the immigration officer to clear stranded tourists.