Ugandans in country or in diaspora can apply for a passport online as opposed to the manual process of filling physical forms.
The government is gradually phasing out the manual process going digital claiming that digital will fight corruption, ease crowds, long queues, and unscrupulous middlemen/brokers.
The digital processing comes after the Ugandan government in Nov. 2018 announced phasing out traditional passports for the East African electronic passports (ePassort) — in compliance with international standards.
Ugandans currently using traditional passport books have till Jan. 15th, 2021 to upgrade to the ePassport. The deadline was set by the six member East African Community (EAC) to completely phase out traditional passport books.
Currently, the government under the Minister of Internal Affairs is issuing ePassorts since Jan. 15th 2019.
Not to be confused, an ePassort is still a physical book. The difference with the traditional books, the ePassport comes with an embedded electronic microprocessor chip that contains biometric data used to authenticate the identity of the holder.
Briefly understanding the ePassport
As we mentioned before it has a chip embedded in them. The immigration officer with an ePassport reader verifies if the data on the chip correlates with the data on the passport booklet.
The ePassport comes in a light-blue color, a color that the EAC felt represents lake Victoria which is a symbol of unity amongst the countries.
The price of acquiring the ePassport differs in each country. Uganda in specific has three types; Ordinary, Government Officials, and Diplomats — priced at UGX250,000, UGX400,000, and UGX500,000 respectively.
How to apply for an ePassport
In the process, we detail what you need or have to do applying for the passport online. To begin off the process, the applicant opens the e-portal https://www.passports.go.ug/. We highly recommend to use a PC instead of a phone or tablet.
From the e-portal, there are four options to choose from; Apply for passport, Continue application, Schedule appointment, and Check status.
From these options, select, Apply for a Passport. Read through the disclaimer and accept the terms and conditions. We highly recommend you read through before accepting the terms and conditions. Why?
- There won’t be refunds in case your application is denied for any reasons by DCIC.
- The processing might take more than the 48 hours; the time DCIC says is the time taken to process the passport. Thus, highly request applicants not to book flights before getting their passport.
- The application should be done by the person intending to attain the booklet.
The disclaimer also states, “the applicants personal information is kept only for a limited period of time to fulfill the purpose for which it is collected or as may be required by law.”
Accepting these terms and conditions, allows the applicant to proceed to submitting the information needed to attain the booklet.
The application form starts with filling your valid phone number, email (optional), select a security question and answer it as well. To complete the first process, the applicant is required to complete the captcha code.
1. The Application
This step is about the booklet you are to attain. Select the type of passport you’re applying for from the three options; Ordinary, Diplomatic, or Service/Official.
Because in this article we are looking at a new applicant, from the type of application, asides from ‘New Application’, you can renew, change details your passport. But for new applicants, select New Application.
From priority, if you’re not in a rush, select ‘Standard’. For those in a rush and need to attain the passport fast, select ‘Express’. However, the pricing changes for those that select express priority.
Place of Submission, select where you’re applying from, and this is where you will have to collect from. For instance, if you’re applying from Gulu, the place of collection should be Gulu as well.
2. Personal Details
This requires the applicants person details; full name, address, orgin, birthday, national identification number, occupation, marital status, among others.
It is highly advisable that the applicant is honest on this process since all the data will be authenticated.
On this step select your citizenship; by birth, registration, or naturalization.
4. Parents Details
The step requires the applicants parents details from their full name, birthday, residence, nationality, tribe, among others. If you’re not sure about your parents details, we recommend you fill this with them in your presence. If they are deceased, someone with the family can be of help.
5. Next of Kin
Have a trustful next of kin. Personal details, and residential address required as input. Your next of kin can a family member, a friend, a relative, anyone you can trust.
This requires recommend someone that might pick your passport on your behalf or for any other reason.
As the last step in all this. Your payment will depend on the type of passport, type of application, and priority you chose in the previous steps.
The passports standard fee is UGX250,000, UGX400,000, and UGX500,000 for the Ordinary, Service/Official and Diplomatic respectively. If in the priority section you selected express, you pay UGX500,000 on top of the standard fee. For instance, if it is the ordinary passport, the payment is UGX750,000.
Payment is made either by over-the-counter bank payments or online Mastercard, Visa. Please note that taxes, bank charges do apply.
Submit for Review: Right before you submit all you details are displayed for the applicant to rectify any mistakes. Later “agree the information provided is true and accurate.” Enter the captcha letters and save.
It is worth knowing that the processing time depends on the information provided. If all the required information is provided, and then checked by competent authorities, the process will then take the 48 hours.
After Review: You receive an SMS that you ePassport has been approved or not. If approved, you’re informed to collect the ePassport at your collection office (the collection office you selected while applying).
If your application isn’t reviewed, the whole process has to be re-done.
Collecting your ePassort
Even though the process is online, the applicant has to print these forms s/he has to present at the DCIC offices. After which, the applicant and the recommender sign against their names on the forms.
To carry along them, the applicant has to have;
- Proof of profession.
- Letter of Recommendation (from your passport recommender).
- Copy of Recommender’s ID.
- National ID (the applicant).
- Copy of payment receipts.
- 2 passport-sized photos.
All these documents have to filed, and not placed in envelopes.
Writer’s Note: Article Has Been Updated From Time of Publication