By Iminza Keboge
Published August 1, 2016
Any visitor who requires an entry visa into Uganda can now apply for the travel document online from August 1, 2016.
Uganda’s new online visa application comes a year after Kenya’s Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons introduced online visa application for foreigners on July 1, 2015.
Uganda Immigration service says such visitors are required to apply through the online system before their arrival into Uganda.
The system requires you to upload clear copies of your passport bio page, yellow fever certificate and Passport photo. On successful application, you will receive an email notification with a unique bar code, which you will use on any entry point into Uganda.
The cost of visa is US$100 (Uganda only accepts US$ bills dated 2006 or newer and in excellent condition) cash and is only payable to the immigration officer at entry point who will also take your fingerprints and photo.
A visa sticker will be printed with your photo and placed in your passport.
Airlines have been advised to refuse passengers to board without proof of completed advance online visa applications.
The visa applications to be submitted online include:
1) Ordinary Visa
2) East Africa Tourist Visa
3) Multiple Entry Visa
4) Transit Visa
5) Diplomatic and Official Visa
Rather than come up with restrictive visa requirements–like South Africa did in 2014 and lost a considerable chunk of the travel pie–countries like Uganda and Kenya appear to be relaxing theirs with a view to attracting more tourists. Hence the online application systems they are putting in place.
A report on hotel and tourism in sub-Saharan Africa by PriceWaterHouseCoopers says South Africa’s new and stricter visa regulations in 2014 that required travellers to appear in person at South African embassies to have their biometric information taken led to a sharp decline in the number of visitors arriving in the country. This was what PwC refers to as the biggest decline in six years.
“China had the largest decrease of 46% in 2014, while the decrease from India was 23.5%. Visits from China edged up 2.2% in 2015, but remained 45% lower than the peak in 2013, while visits from India fell an additional 8.5% in 2015 for a cumulative 30% decline over the past two years,” PWC says.
South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs was forced to ease some of these regulations in October 2015 and isb reported to be considering introducing further amendments.
Visitors to Uganda must apply for their visas through visas.immigration.go.ug/ website.