Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, has met with Gen Apollo Gowa Kasiita, the Director for Citizenship and Immigration Control at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to discuss the issuance of e-visas to visitors to Uganda.
The meeting took place at the latter’s Kampala office as part of Amb. Walusimbi’s attempts to streamline the process of providing e-visas to international visitors, investors, tourists, and Ugandan diasporas.
The visit to the Ministry of Internal Affairs coincides with the government’s stated intention to phase out the granting of visas at entry ports and embassies in favor of e-visas for all passengers.
The two shared information obtained from independent sources about a number of online companies that have allegedly been defrauding Ugandans and others seeking entry into the country by allegedly providing them with e-visas, only to have them arrive at the airport and be unable to proceed beyond immigration.
In response, Gen. Gowa stated that the ministry has already implemented a counter-plan to ensure that such acts are addressed.
“By the end of this month, we will have a website up and operating that will be utilized by everyone wishing to visit Uganda to apply for and receive valid e-visas in a timely manner,” he stated.
The Director of Citizenship and Immigration Control stated that the government is attempting to reduce the pathways through which dishonest people enter the country, and that they are working with Amb.
One of the reasons individuals have a hard time getting visas, according to Walusimbi, is that the criteria are clear but difficult to understand for most people.
“Government is soon going on a video recording campaign that gives applicants a step-by-step guide to getting the e-Visa to Uganda in multiple languages,” Gen Gowa said in response. These would be made available on the various digital media platforms used by all relevant government stakeholders very soon.”
The senior presidential advisor also urged the ministry and respective embassies to set up 24-hour WhatsApp lines, Emails, and other easy-to-access platforms used by the diaspora in different countries to account for time differences, in order to efficiently serve people who want to come to the country for business or obtain e-Visas and other travel documents and Nation cards.
Walusimbi also brought up the subject of Yellow fever vaccination requirements for visitors, recommending that those arriving from countries where the vaccine is not available be permitted to get it at the airport.