The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Aaffairs Amb. Abbey Walusimbi has held talks with the Director Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), Gen. Apollo Gowa Kasiita and other senior officials at the Ministry of Internal Affairs on how to ease the visa process and other travel documents for Diaspora and all Uganda’s foreign visitors.
During the meeting, the Ambassador noted that a number of Ugandans living and working abroad as well as foreign investors and visitors are still finding hard time in processing necessary travel documents into the country.
“At the moment, all people in Diaspora who want to renew or acquire travel and identification documents have to travel long distances, yet these services can be brought closer to them. We intend to set up a one stop web centre for everything to do with immigration, because I have received a lot of concerns from our people that the hassle they go through to get travel documents from wherever they are, is not only strenuous but also very costly,” Walusimbi said.
Amb. Walusimbi suggested that they set up different centres in the diaspora where Ugandans can be provided with National IDs, and also be able to apply for and receive new or renewed passports.
He further said that during his recent trip to the USA, he and the team identified a few locations which they feel will be most suitable for conducting interviews for identification and travel documents and that this exercise will spread through other countries and regions that host our Diaspora.
The two shared information received from independent sources about a number of online companies that have allegedly been defrauding both Ugandans and other people that want to get into the country in the name of giving them E- visas, only to get to the airport and they can’t go beyond immigration.
Commenting on the issue, Gen. Gowa said that the Ministry has already put in place a counter plan to ensure that such alleged activities will cease to occur.
“We have designed a website that will be used by everyone intending to enter Uganda apply for and be issued with authentic E-visas in a timely manner and this will be up and running by end of this month,” Gen. Gowa echoed.
He added that government is trying to narrow channels through which unscrupulous people are getting into the country through wrong channels and is out to ensure the security of each individual that enters the country is guaranteed.
The meeting was also informed that going forward, the government decided that all persons coming to Uganda will have to acquire an E-Visa just like most countries do.
This means that those intending to enter Uganda will apply online for E- Visas using the official government portal designated for that service and this will have to be done before hand as there will be no more issuance of visas at all points of entry. but instead
Walusimbi further appealed to the ministry and respective embassies to set up 24hour WhatsApp lines, Emails and other easy to access platforms that are used by the Diaspora in different countries, so as to cater for the time differences, in a bid to efficiently serve the people who want to come into the country for business or acquire E-Visas and other Travel or National IDs.