Uganda has joined other East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania in phasing out the paper passports and opting for the EAC Electronic passport.
The EAC electronic passport comes in three colours, red for diplomats, green for officials and sky blue for ordinary category.
The East African Electronic passport is valid for 10 years while the other categories are valid for the period of the appointment.
The diplomatic passport will go for Ugx 500,000/- while the ordinary will be Ugx 250,000/-
Those in possession of the old passports have up to the year 2021 to use them. Issuance of the electronic passports will commence in January 2019.”Uganda will in a bid to improve Service delivery start issuing the EAC e-passports in January 2019. These will replace the traditional Machine Readable Passports. Electronic machine-readable travel documents or e-passports will have advanced security features that will ease travel for Ugandans,” noted a source from Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
It should be noted that to travel within East African countries like Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, you can still use your national ID, but the East African passport will be used for international travel globally.
A colleague was asking how important a National ID was, I tried explaining how one cannot vote without it, you cannot stand surety for anyone in court if you don’t have a National ID, in case you are transferring land, you need it.
Sending money might not be the problem, but receiving from Western Union, especially, could be a problem if you do not have a National ID with some agents.
I also told this friend that in case of a problem, this could be the best form of identity just like a driving permit comes in handy for any driver, he still saw no urge to get himself a National ID, but with that being the prime requirement for getting a passport, it now makes a lot of sense for him to grace the long queue in a bid to get a National ID.
The time to replace your old passport is now other than waiting for a deadline extension, which might not be the case because under the common market protocol, the member states have agreed that this is the way to go.
What happens to my valid visa in the old passport?
Your visa is still valid, but you can’t have two valid passports so in this case, you can still move with your old passport for purposes of the visa.