UAE: Ugandan expats can now renew passport within 7 days with new electronic service in Abu Dhabi

Entire process is now done through the e-passport service at the embassy



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 7:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 May 2022, 7:35 PM

No more long wait or delays in getting passports reneweed or replaced for Ugandan expats in the UAE, as a new electronic service has been launched at the country's embassy in Abu Dhabi to ease the process.

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control at the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs on Wednesday rolled out the e-passport enrollment service at the Ugandan mission in Abu Dhabi.

With a population of approximately 70,000 Ugandans in the UAE, the embassy has been getting many applications from people wanting to renew their passports or geting a replacement in case of those who have not switched to the new East African passport or those who travel documents got lost.

Previously, the passport applications were manually received and couriered to Uganda for verification and to be entered into the central system. But with the new e-passport system, the details are being received at the embassy, verified by an immigration official and sent instantly to the central system in Kampala, Uganda for printing the passport.

The new passport will be issued in a day and then sent to the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi through a courier service and handed to applicant, according to authorities.

It has been taking between one to two months for someone to get their passports after submitting their old passports and applications for renewal at the embassy.

But with the new e-passport system, it will now take seven working days for an expat to get their new passport once they complete the application process, including the biometric process, verification of details and approval through the e-passport system at the embassy.

Henry Mayega, deputy Ambassafor of Uganda to the UAE said it was a good thing that Abu Dhabi was among the few Ugandan embassies where the service has been launched.

“We have been privileged by the launch of new service at the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi and we are hopeful that it will be of great benefit to our people,” said Mayega adding that the Ugandan embassy in the UAE has been the third country where the e-passport service has been launched.

“I urge all Ugandans living and working in the UAE to avail of the new passport service,” added Mayega.

Ndugwa Mustafa, the Chairman of Ugandans in Dubai said bringing the e-passport service to the UAE will help ease life for the many Ugandans applying for passport renewal and those applying for passports of newborn babies.

“People had to wait for almost two months to get their passports after applying for renewal. But with the new system the process will be quicker and cheaper,” he said.

How to apply for the new passport

Okello Charles, Assistant Commissioner in Charge of at the directorate of Citizenship and Immigration control at the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs explained that the beauty of the electronic system is that it helps the officer to verify whether the applicant paid for the renewal of the passport or not.

He pointed out that Ugandan nationals need to apply for new or renewal of passports by logging onto the webportal: www.passports.go.ug, and complete the passport application form. The applicant then has to print the passport application advice form, make a payment for selected type of passport, ie ordinary, diplomatic and service, using given payment method, schedule an appointment for their convenient date and time and print the application form.

According to Charles, the applicant then visits the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi on the date of their appointment along with their printed application form, old passports, proof of payment and a Ugandan National ID, if they have one, for the biometric process and to have their picture taken and details verified through the unified system.

“After completing the process, the immigration official at the embassy approves the details and orders for the printing of the passport in the production room in Kampala. The passport is then couriered to the UAE and handed over to the applicant within a period of seven working days,” Charles told Khaleej Times at the launch of the e-passport service.

The fee for the ordinary passport is Ug sh260,000 (Dh260).

E-visa service launched

Also on Wednesday, the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control at the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs also launched the e-visa application service at the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi.

These service aimed at easing the process of visa application for tourists and visitors wanting to travel to Uganda.

According to authorities, applicants can visit: www.visas.immigration.go.ug, and apply for the type of visa they want and fill in the details.

Upon approval of the visa application, they will receive the message and then proceed to the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi for taking the biometric requirements and their visas will be stamped in their passports. No more issuance of visas on arrival in Uganda.


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