Visa to Uganda : Visas are necessary travel documents that every visitors travelling to Uganda should have. A visa is simply an official travel document that permits a visitor legal entry into a foreign country such as Uganda.
A visa is usually granted to a visitor for various reasons, which may include; tourism, working holidays, business, study purposes, medical care, seeking refuge, pilgrimage, sports, and family visits among others. Most visitors travelling to Uganda are granted visas for tourism and business purposes.
Uganda is among the top tourist destinations in Africa, and this comes as no surprise. The country may be landlocked but it has been richly blessed by nature, and this can be seen in its beautiful, green forests, large lakes and rivers, majestic and grand mountains, wildlife, and national parks, to mention but a few. Many tourists visit Uganda to explore her national parks and see unique tourist attractions such as the endangered mountain gorillas.
It is now much easier for foreign visitors to acquire a visa to Uganda, since the Ugandan government introduced an online visa application system in July 2016. With this, foreign visitors can apply for a Ugandan visa online, which saves the applicant a lot of time and stress.
Visas come in different forms depending on the country that a visitor chooses to travel to. Some countries have their visas as stamps or stickers that are endorsed on the traveller’s passport. Other countries have their visa as a separate travel document.
Single and Multiple entry visas to Uganda allow foreign visitors stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days, which is equivalent to three months. Visitors who wish to acquire the East African visa can also be granted a longer stay in the country (maximum of 90 days), as well as multiple entry into other East African Countries such as Rwanda and Kenya.
However, visitors can also purchase a Ugandan visa upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any border point. Visitors who wish to purchase a visa to Uganda should be able to purchase it at least 6 months in advance, to avoid any sort of inconvenience.
Types of Visas in Uganda and their Fees.
There are various types of visas in Uganda, which are given to travellers visiting the country depending on their reasons of travel/ visit, and these include;
Transit Visa: A transit visa is issued to visitors passing through Uganda to a destination outside the country for example Rwanda or Kenya. The validity of these transit visas is usually limited by a short period, which is usually 24 hours and costs only USD 50 dollars.
Single Entry Tourist Visa: This visa grants a traveller single entry into Uganda for a short period of time and it costs USD 50 dollars.
The East African Tourist Visa: Travellers who purchase this visa are granted multiple entry into the East African countries such as; Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. This visa costs USD 100 dollars, with some e-Visa platforms, tour and travel companies charging applicants USD 48 dollars as processing fees.
Multiple Entry Visa: Visitors who wish to acquire this visa must have travelled at least five times within a period of one year. This visa grants travellers multiple entry into Uganda for a stated period of time. A multiple entry visa valid for 6-12 months costs USD 100, for 24 months costs USD 150 and for 24-36 months costs USD 200 dollars.
There are other types of visas which are given to visitors depending on their reason of travel or visit, and these include; the diplomatic visa, business visa, pilgrimage visa, student visa, private visa, athlete or artisan visa, refugee visa, asylum visa and the journalist visa among others.
Requirements needed to acquire a Visa to Uganda.
Foreign visitors who wish to travel to Uganda should fulfil some of the crucial requirements needed by the government of Uganda, in order to get a visa and these include;
A visitor must have a valid passport of his/her nationality or country of origin, and the passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival in Uganda.
A Visitor must have a copy of the passport information page. This is very crucial because it will come in handy in cases where you have lost your passport.
Foreign visitors should have two recent passport size photos which will be put on your Visa.
Travellers should also have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificated, as proof that you have received a vaccination for yellow fever. Most visitors who have not received the yellow fever vaccination prior to their entry into Uganda are vaccinated upon their arrival at Entebbe International Airport.
It is also mandatory for children below the age of 5 years to be vaccinated against polio and they should have a polio vaccination certificate as proof.
Visitors travelling with pets like dogs or cats, should have a vaccination certificate proving that your pet has recently be vaccinated by a certified veterinary doctor against rabies and other animal diseases.
How to acquire a Visa to Uganda.
There are many ways in which a visitor can get a visa to Uganda and these include;
- Purchasing a visa from the nearest embassy or high commission in your country of origin.
- Visitors can pay for a Ugandan Visa at any point of entry at the border and Entebbe International Airport.
- Visitors can also acquire a visa to Uganda by applying for one online using the E-Visa system.
How to apply for a Visa to Uganda.
When applying for a visa to Uganda, first ensure that you have all the necessary requirements needed to get a visa, such as; a valid passport, passport size photograph, and a valid Yellow fever card. Once you have all these, go to the nearest embassy in your country or simply apply for a visa online via the E-visa system (www.visas.immigration.go.ug). You can then proceed to fill out the application form online with the correct information, upload the required documents and submit it once you are done. You will receive an email verifying that your application has been received. Visitors will have to pay a visa processing fee between USD 25-100 dollars, depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
There is usually a designated time allocated for processing a visa to Uganda, and these include;
The Standard processing Time: Visitors who choose the Standard processing time have their visas processed within 6 days at a cost of USD 86.50 dollars, and USD 148 for the East African Visa.
Rush Processing Time: Visitors who choose this option have their visas processed within 4 days at a cost of USD 116.50, and USD 178 for the East African Tourist Visa.
The Super Rush Processing Time: This is the fastest option that any visa applicant can use. A visitor can have his/her visa processed within 48 hours at a cost of USD 151.50, and USD 213 for an East African Visa.
Visitors applying for a Ugandan visa online are required to make online payments using Credit/Debit Cards or via your PayPal account. Once you have made your online payment, you will receive an email saying that your visa application has been approved, along with a letter of approval. Visitors are advised to print out your letter of approval for your visa and payment receipt as well. This is what you will hand over to the customs official to be signed and stamped upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport.
Validity of a Visa to Uganda.
A Single Entry Visa for business travellers, tourists and East African visitors in Uganda, is valid for 3 months from the date of arrival or issue. The Multiple Entry Visa is valid for 6 months to one year, starting from the date of issue or arrival.
Visitors who wish to extend their stay in Uganda should have their visas extended. Simply visit the immigrations office in Kampala before your current visa expires. However, it is important to note that citizens belonging to any of the East African countries cannot have their East African Visa extended.
Visa Exemption Countries in Uganda.
When it comes to visa exemption countries, Uganda follows the law of reciprocracy. This means that for every country that exempts citizens of Uganda from entering the country with a visa for a stated period of time, the same is accorded for nationals of those respective countries. Visa exemption countries in Uganda include; Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia, Madagascar, Comoros, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi, Mauritius, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Singapore, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Barbados, Bahamas, Cyprus, and Togo to mention but a few.
Visitors travelling to Uganda can now easily acquire a Ugandan Visa thanks to the E-Visa application system which has been implemented by the government of Uganda. Remember to apply for your Ugandan visa in advance to avoid any inconveniences especially during the peak seasons when many tourists are travelling to the country. Visitors who wish to do gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda are advised to get an East African tourist visa.