No More Long Journeys Home: Ugandans Can Now Apply for E-Passports Locally

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The Ugandan Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, has inaugurated a state-of-the-art e-passport system. This groundbreaking initiative promises to streamline the passport issuance process for Ugandans residing in Canada and neighboring regions, offering greater convenience and efficiency.

The official launch of the “go live” event for the e-passport system in Ottawa was graced by the presence of Minister of the Presidency, Milly Babirye Babalanda, who underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to providing effective and efficient services through institutions like the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC).

Joining the Minister were several esteemed dignitaries, including state minister Gen Minister David Muhoozi, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, and Maj. Gen Apollo Kasiita Gowa, the Director for Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC). Ambassador Joy Ruth Acheng, who hosted the event, expressed her elation, stating that Ugandans in Canada would no longer need to undertake the arduous journey back to Uganda to obtain passports.

Key Highlights of the E-Passport System:

  • Convenience for Ugandans Abroad: The new e-passport system eliminates the need for Ugandans living in Canada and neighboring countries to travel back to Uganda for passport processing, saving time and resources.

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  • Successful Phase One Rollout: The handover of the e-passport system to the mission in Ottawa marks the successful completion of phase one of the e-passport diaspora rollout.

  • Addressing Diaspora Challenges: Minister Babalanda and her team visited Uganda’s mission in Washington DC to address the key challenges faced by Ugandans in the diaspora, particularly in the USA. One of the primary issues raised was the inconvenience and cost of traveling long distances to the Embassy for passport processing.

  • Enhanced Security and Features: Last year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs upgraded the previous paper-based e-passports to Polycarbonate e-passports. These new passports come equipped with enhanced security features and durability in compliance with EAC and ICAO standards. They also contain an electromagnetic chip for added security.

  • Unchanged Passport Costs: The cost of passports remains consistent, with an ordinary passport priced at sh250,000 and an express passport processing fee at sh150,000, totaling shs400,000. Official and diplomatic passports for specific categories of government officials cost sh400,000 and sh500,000, respectively.

  • Faster Processing Times: Ordinary passports typically take between seven and 14 working days to be ready, while express passports are processed in just three to five working days, providing a more efficient service to applicants.

The launch of the e-passport system in Canada is expected to significantly benefit the Ugandan community in Canada and beyond. With enhanced security features, faster processing times, and the elimination of the need to travel back to Uganda, this initiative underscores the Ugandan government’s commitment to providing its diaspora with convenient and efficient services.

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