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CRISIS: Uganda’s Immigration Office Runs out of Passports

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Uganda has run out of passports, the east African nation’s internal affairs ministry has announced in a statement issued on June 13.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs regrets to inform the general public that the stock of Ordinary Passports is running low and this may cause some delay in getting your passport issued or renewed,” reads the introduction of the statement titled: ‘Temporary Shortage of Ordinary Machine Readable Passports’.

Issuance of express passports has also been suspended.

“In the meantime, we discourage payment for Express passport processing services,” reads the statement in part.

The internal affairs ministry has attributed the stock out to an earlier plan to replace the current Machine Readable Passports with e-passports and an increased demand of passports.

“In line with the regional requirement to migrate to e-passport by 03rd April 2017, Uganda had planned to phase out the current Machine Readable Passports and replace them with the new generation of passports embedded with an electronic chip (e-passports). The process of procuring a provider for the e-passport is however still on-going,” the ministry explains.

“Further to the above, we have experienced an unprecedented increase in demand for Ordinary Passports which has doubled in the past over one year.”

According to the statement, only four categories of ordinary passport applicants will be given priority. These are: Proven medical cases; Certified applicants proceeding on government business;. Students on scholarships; and any other qualified case of emergency.

East African passports, Official and Diplomatic passports have not been affected and are “available in adequate quantities” according to the statement.

For now, the internal affairs ministry has advised travelers to use national identity cards, east African passports, Comesa certificate of identity and movement permits.

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Don Atungisa is a passionate writer, content curator and a digital marketing practitioner. Twitter👉🏽@don_atngz . Let's connect and have a chat.