Ugandans have two months to replace old passports

The Ministry of Internal Affairs says it has established all the required systems to handle those applying for the passports. Photo | File

What you need to know:

  • The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration set April 4 as the deadline for phasing out the old passports.

All Ugandans with plans of travelling outside the country have up to two months to replace their old passports, which are slated to be replaced by the new East Africa Community (EAC) e-passport.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration set April 4 as the deadline for phasing out the old passports.

 “It is not mandatory that all Ugandans should replace their passports with new ones. This applies to only those who wish to travel. The deadline for the use of old passports ends on April 4, so those with plans of travelling are advised to comply with the deadline,” the ministry spokesperson, Mr Jacob Simunyu, told Daily Monitor yesterday.

The government in 2020 had set January last year as the deadline for phasing out of the old passports.

However, due to Covid-19 disruptions, it postponed the deadline.

According to Mr Simunyu, holders of old passports can apply for new ones  online to avoid congestion at the ministry.

“The response of Ugandans has increased because before Covid-19, we could issue about 1,000 passports on a daily basis but now, we are issuing out more than 1,500 passports in a day,” he said.

“We have put in place all the required systems to handle all those applying for these passports. The applicants are supposed to queue up online and the appointments are determined on a first come first serve basis,” Mr Simunyu added.

According to the circular from the Uganda Revenue Authority, those replacing their old passports have to pay Shs250,000 for a 48-page passport, while those who wish to apply for a service passport of 64 pages have to remit Shs400, 000.

Those applying for diplomatic passports are supposed to pay Shs500,000, while those who wish to get the passport in three days have to pay an express fee of Shs150,000.

Those abroad will incur Shs10,000 courier fee. An extra Shs30,000 is slated to be levied on passports for certification.

The normal processing of the passport usually takes 10 working days.

Features

The new EAC passport is embedded with a secure electronic chip that contains details, including a person’s bio-data page that has special features. According to the government, the new passport will ease entry and exit within the community since it involves self-clearance and automated issuance of boarding passes where e-passport reader equipment is installed.

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