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New e-passport: All you need to know

Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control is set to rollout a new International East African passports to replace the current ones.

The exercise that starts in January 2019 is an initiative of the EAC Heads of State to synchronise passports across the region.The e-passport is expected to comply with guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, making it acceptable around the world.

Kenya is already issuing the latest passports in an exercise that started last year while Tanzania plans to do so in 2020.

Here is all you need to know about the planned e-passport.

Distinct features:  The new International EAC e-passport will be a physical passport like the current ones but will be embedded with a secure electronic chip that will contain more details including a bio data page that will have special security features.

The new passport will also have more security features like the Coat of Arms, the Crested Crane, the Mountain Gorilla, the Independence Monument, Murchison Falls and the fishing man.

Phase out East African Passport: The new International East African e-passport will replace and eventually phase out the current East African (Blue) and National Machine readable passports (Black, Red and Green).

Application/Renewal: Applicants for the e-passports will be required to appear in person at the Passport Offices and have their facial and finger prints taken. Ugandans with a valid National Identification card will not need to go to the Local Council for clearance.  Those without IDs will be required to register with NIRA prior to applying for the Passport.

Those intending to apply for new passports or to do renewal are encouraged to do so in January 2019 unless there’s an urgent need to travel within the remaining period. Those travelling to Kenya and Rwanda are advised to use their ID, Temporary Movement Permits and Certificates of Identity.

How it works:The new passport will ease clearance at the entry/exit points. It will facilitate use of e-gates for self clearance, automated issuance of Boarding Passes, and quicker processing across airports worldwide where e-passport reader equipment is installed.

Issuing periods: e-passports will be issued for a period of two years from 2019 2021.

Diaspora community –Ugandans in the Diaspora will be able to make applications for the e-passports at seven missions abroad by November 2019.

Fees: The new International East African e-passport shall cost Shs250, 000 for the Ordinary e-Passport category under the normal service standards of seven days. Those who want the Express service that takes two days will be required to pay an extra fee of Shs150, 000. Official passports shall cost Shs400, 000 while Diplomatic Passport shall cost Shs500, 000.

New applicant’s who paid Shs 150,000 and are yet to receive their passports will be required to top up Shs 100,000 for the e-passport. Those who paid through the Express service scheme will get the new e-passport at no additional cost.

How transition is to be managed:  In the interest of providing un-interrupted service during the transition, some e-passports will be issued to citizens during the pilot period prior to commissioning the e-Passport System. These e-passports, according to Benon Mutambi, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, will be valid and can be used for travel, but their chips will be inactive.

Those who will be issued with e-passports during the pilot phase will be required to return to immigration headquarters to have their biometric features taken so that their chips are activated.  This will be done after January 2019 but not later than January 2021.

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23 comments

  1. I need a passport before 15th January what advice can u give me???

    • go to kenya bcoz Uganda we are still money minded. God help us

    • The question first question is whether you have a traditional passport or you are a new applicant?

      You can follow this.

      A citizen wishing to process an e-passport will have to fill in an online application form from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. After this is done, the person processing the e-passport will be required to go to an Immigration Centre in their locality in order to have their data verified against the data from the NIRA database. This done, and after paying the stipulated sum, one should be able to receive their e-passport within a period of two weeks.
      This new process will replace the old procedure whereby an applicant is required to fill two forms and have them endorsed by three LC chairpersons along with two security officers.

  2. i paid 150000 and not knowing that the passportss where stopped what should u do i still have the reciept help me what should i do

  3. I thought the council for east Africa set a standard price for the passport. Why is it that Ugandans have to pay 65 dollars and Kenyans pay 45 dollars for the same? Secondly, if this was agreed, why is it some countries are still thinking to implement it, moreover in 2020 like Tanzania, but Uganda is rushing us to implement it in January 2019, why the rush?
    Lastly, why is the ministry of information not informing Ugandans about the coming up of the passports to the citizens, even the speaker of parliament ‘s Kadaga is asking what the passport is all about.

  4. The only question I have what about us who have the old passports and they are still active will we need to cancel them in order to get the e passport

    • Starting January 15th 2019, the official travel documents will be the e-passport. Holders of traditional passport books will still be able to use them for travel and other official purposes until January 15th 2021. Ugandans with National IDs can still travel within the East African region using only their IDs.

  5. what about if I have mine which is still valid and I need to exchange with the E-passport, how much do I required to pay?

    • An ordinary e-passport will cost UGX 250,000 ($67 at current rates)
      An Official/Service e-passport will cost UGX 400,000 ($107 at current rates)
      A Diplomatic e-passport will cost UGX 500,000 ($134 at current rates)

  6. You can not receive a passport easily if you don’t have pipo whom or who knows you at the bureau. You guys tell pipo the truth about money for mukulu. I personally failed to get mine becoz I was not ready to pay the so called mukulu.

  7. My question is if am abroad and they have already stamped me visa to go to uganda and then come back abroad, will i manage that when the passport is changing how will the visa information be shifted in the new so called E passport?

    • Starting January 15th 2019, the official travel documents will be the e-passport. Holders of traditional passport books will still be able to use them for travel and other official purposes until January 15th 2021. Ugandans with National IDs can still travel within the East African region using only their IDs.

  8. Thanks for this actually am impressed but do we surely mean what we posted on our page?. because you said you phased out all the processes of LCs and alike and yet we ar given the forms to go into all processes of reaching out to the signatories???!!!!

  9. Dont we need to pay,fill some forms from there and present our IDs then finaly interviews?thanks

    • A citizen wishing to process an e-passport will have to fill in an online application form from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. After this is done, the person processing the e-passport will be required to go to an Immigration Centre in their locality in order to have their data verified against the data from the NIRA database. This done, and after paying the stipulated sum, one should be able to receive their e-passport within a period of two weeks.

      • Halo, the online forms seem to be the Forms and form B, r we required to print them and them fill them together with recommendation letters? Thanks

  10. Time is money, if Africa learns this slogan, then we shall grow wealthier in a short period of time. A passport shouldn’t be a delayed issue to be given to citizens who have been approved legal. I have lost a lot of : time, trust, from my people because of my delayed passport yet I handed in all the legalities leaving out none.

  11. I applied for a passport in November and I have not gotten it yet.
    Should I expect an e_passport or I go back and fill a new form?

  12. Mr king sir,
    Let’s hope services Will be as stipulated

  13. You need to assure all the citizens who are in a huge waiting logue of getting their passports on when and how possibly they can come out of the anxiety.

  14. I have been told that the e-passports aren’t recognized in other airports. A friend told me that some members of Parliament were arrested in Dubai.
    How true is this???

    And also, its 30th today, have the e-passports been issued yet?? Does anyone have them?? Have they travelled with them safely???

  15. Am in Eastern Ugandan so if am to apply for e-passport where am I supposed tovdo so? En total costs for the whole procedure?
    Thanx.

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