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NOW LIVE: apply for Ugandan tourist visas online

Jul 1 • 7794 views • 48 Comments on NOW LIVE: apply for Ugandan tourist visas online How to...? Uganda travel tips, Travel tips and advice, Uganda

All Ugandan tourist visas are now online. Apply BEFORE you travel! (Update from Kampala, Uganda, effective July 1, 2016).

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is implementing a new online electronic visa application system. This is mandatory for applying for all Ugandan visas, including: entry permit (work permit), Uganda tourist visa, multiple entry visa, transit visa, East Africa tourist visa, student pass, diplomatic visa, official visa, special pass, Certificate of Residence, dependant pass.

All requests for visas and work permits (E-Visa and E-permits) should now be completed via this link on the Uganda immigration website.

Under the new application process, applicants for all immigration services such as visas, work permits and passes will be required to apply and pay online, and an electronic notification / authorization will be sent to the applicant before proceeding to the preferred Entry Point e.g. Entebbe International Airport or the nearest Uganda Mission abroad for the visa to be issued.

NOTE: Management anticipates that the full implementation may take several weeks – (the Kenyan e-visa had teething problems for a number of months, so expect the same for Uganda). Information via Uganda Tourism Board in July stated: “Through the month of July 2016, it will still be possible to get visas on arrival. However, the traveler will have to go through the electronic application process (as above) at the port of entry.” [December 2016: the cut-off date for this has not been communicated].

If you are traveling to Uganda and applying for a Ugandan visa online, you are advised to:

Apply at least two weeks prior to travel.

Be prepared. You need to complete the online application in one sitting. The online application does not allow you to save your information and return to the screen later.  Have these ready: a copy of your bio page of your passport, a recent passport photo, and Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. You will need to upload these. For more info on the exact documents needed, according to type of visa you require, go to the Uganda immigration web site general information page.

Only PDF, JPEG, PNG and BMP files are accepted. The files you upload should not be bigger than 250 KB (that’s pretty small!)

This page of the Uganda immigration web site details the fees for applying for Ugandan visas online.

The decision taken on the online application (“yes” or “no” on whether you’re coming to Uganda) will be sent via email. Assuming you get the go-ahead, an approval letter will be sent as an attachment to the email. Print this travel authorization (showing a barcode). Keep this with your travel documents.

Present the printed barcode at point of entry [read “border”] together with a valid passport / travel document of “not less than 6 months validity” and you will get your visa.

NOTE: “the travel authorization letter does not guarantee entry into Uganda. Travelers will be subjected to secondary verification where necessary before personalization,” meaning it is not 100% guarantee you will be issued a visa at the airport / border / Uganda mission (but you very probably will unless you’ve been very naughty indeed).

UPDATE: This letter states that the Uganda Tourist Visa will be REDUCED from 100 USD to 50 USD tomorrow 22nd July.

Uganda tourist visa $50 only from 22.07.16

This letter states that the Uganda tourist visa is being REDUCED from 100 USD to 50 USD on 22nd July 2016. 

Any feedback or questions on getting Ugandan visas online? Do please contact the muzungu or share in the comments below. I review this page on a regular basis.

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48 Responses to NOW LIVE: apply for Ugandan tourist visas online

  1. Alison says:

    Thanks for the information. I’m due to travel there in September and the boyfriend (Ugandan) didn’t mention this…..words with him later!

  2. Maricarmen says:

    Hi! I’m already in Uganda under an East Africa visa I will be traveling to Kenya and Tanzania and need to come back to Entebbe for my flight to the UK. Do you think I will have to apply for another visa even if I’m staying at the airport for 6 hours? Do you know who I can contact in the Uganda immigration office?

    Thank you very much for the info!

    • the muzungu says:

      Hello Maricarmen

      I have checked with an immigration advisor today. He tells me:

      The person does not need to pay for another especially where she already has the East African Visa.

      Safari njema! Safe travels!

  3. Another Ugandan Muzungu says:

    Hey,

    I’m traveling back to Uganda for the third time on August and without you I would probably not know anything about this new interesting visa applying system. I can imagine our faces on Entebbe airport when the officers would tell us that we forgot something.. 😀

    Webale kuyamba nnyabo!

    • the muzungu says:

      Very happy to help 🙂

      Safe travels and do please share any feedback you have on the new system. Inevitably, there will be teething problems, as with any new system

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Please Help, I have a flight booked to land this Friday and I did not know this. I was told I could get a Visa at the airport. What should I do?

    • the muzungu says:

      Hi Elizabeth, don’t worry – you will still be able to get a visa at Entebbe International Airport during July while they are implementing the new system. Immigration have confirmed this, as have people I know who arrived last week. Safe travels!

    • the muzungu says:

      You may be on the plane already but … Uganda tourist visa reduced to $50 only from Friday 22.07.16 🙂

  5. the muzungu says:

    Uganda is getting stricter with checking Yellow Fever certificates, as demonstrated by the fact that if you do the now compulsory online E visa application in advance, you will need to upload a copy of your Yellow Fever certificate.
    Vaccination costs 100k UGX at Entebbe airport, which is approximately 40 USD. As my immigration contact says, you don’t really want to have the vaccination done at the airport! There is no quarantine.
    When I flew back in the country two months ago, I just flashed a photo of my Yellow Fever certificate on my phone and they didn’t check it. They are being stricter now.

  6. Jennie says:

    Thank you for all your help, just submitted our applications (and had to downsize all the documents as you quite rightly pointed out!) It’s gone through quite smoothly, now wait to hear if we’ve been successful……will let you know and see you soon X

  7. Billy says:

    Hi,
    Quick question? Can we still get the east african visa at the airport on arrival? If not, what kind of documents are they expecting when asking for the travel itinerary?
    I am going there next week end.

    Thanks.
    Billy

    • the muzungu says:

      Use the online system and get your visa approval letter ASAP. It generally takes 2 to 4 days. If not, you have to use the online system. . . . at Entebbe Airport! [There may be lines / queues].
      Re the travel itinerary, that is what a tour company gives you. But if traveling independently, show hotel bookings if poss for the EATV countries you plan to visit.

  8. Pete says:

    We are bringing a group of USA citizens to do volunteer medical service and then participate in a short safari. Some members of the group have not had their visa applications approved or they are needing additional documentation when the application is processed. If they don’t have a final approval email from the online visa registration system can they still fill out a paper application when they get there? Will they be able to board the outbound flight from USA and from Europe to go to Uganda without this emailed approval form with the barcode? Lots of time and money has gone into planning this service trip and we don’t want to have issues with getting on our flights or getting through Uganda immigration.

    • the muzungu says:

      Hello Pete, apologies for slow reply. I have been travelling up country. I’ve been in contact with my immigration advisor and we shall get back to you with a reply today.

    • the muzungu says:

      I have just sent you an email. My immigration advisor has asked that you send him a copy of the rejected / deferred visa applications so he can advise on the way forward. By the way, the whole system is online now. For anyone who does not have the visa approval letter when coming to Entebbe, they have to apply online at the airport.

  9. […] Jul 1 › NOW LIVE: apply for Ugandan tourist visas online » […]

  10. Brenda says:

    A friend of mine from Norway has tried to apply for the visa to Uganda online but the system has failed, what should he do ?

    • the muzungu says:

      Hi Brenda, interesting to hear that the system has failed. What happened exactly?
      If you’re travelling to Uganda in the near future, you can still get your visa in person at the airport. Immigration is currently allowing people to apply for their visa at Entebbe International airport, although this will be phased out eventually. When is your friend travelling?

  11. the muzungu says:

    UPDATE December 2016:
    Although the visa system went online a few months ago, immigration are allowing people to apply online at the airport for a little longer. Christmas and New Year are busy times of the year so they are not going to refuse tourists entry to the country. However, there may be a queue of people in front of you, so be prepared for that.
    Regarding the Yellow Fever certificate, you need to have the vaccination at least 10 days before you travel for the certificate to be valid – BUT you can still have the vaccination at Entebbe airport, if you don’t have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate.
    Feedback from travellers is that both visas AND Yellow Fever jabs are easily got at Entebbe… until further notice.

  12. Angela says:

    SO glad I found your blog, have been enjoying reading it so much! 🙂 I’m in the US and coming to Uganda for 2 1/2 weeks in Feb, glad I now have this info about the visa!

    • the muzungu says:

      Hello Angela, I’m delighted you’ve enjoyed reading my blog. You will love Uganda!
      For daily updates and random photos, you might like my Diary of a Muzungu Facebook page. Have a fantastic trip!

  13. Maël says:

    Great blog and I am really looking forward coming to Uganda. However, I applied yesterday for a tourist visa for three months on the Uganda E-immigration system. I joined all the required documents, valid pasport (Belgium), Yellow fever certificate, ID photo’s and filled in all the questions correctly and honestly.

    Now I checked the status of my application today and apparently my application has been deferred. I need to add an Invitation Letter and a ‘Host Immigration Status’.

    I am wondering why I have to add those documents for a tourist visa? Also I have no idea what they mean with a Host Immigration Status?

    • the muzungu says:

      Good morning Mael. Thanks for the positive feedback. Sorry for slow reply, I had to check something for you.

      My immigration advisor says. Uganda immigration want to know that the person you are visiting is legally staying in Uganda. If you are visiting a Ugandan, send the copy of their ID. If an expat, send a copy of their work permit. If visiting an institution, then just write the letter invitation letter.

      The invitation letter can be from an individual or an institution. If you’re staying at a hotel, then send a copy of your booking. If a safari, send copy of your itinerary.

      Hope this helps. Enjoy UGANDA!
      Charlotte

  14. Aar says:

    Thanks for your full information.

    Let me ask you, i have applied Ugandan E-visa before one week and still my status says its in progress so, till when should i wait ?

    • the muzungu says:

      I suggest you contact them and ask for info. Have you sent in copy of your travel itinerary, flight tickets and letter of introduction? Proof of where you are staying e g hotel reservations will work.
      Immigration need this info but it is not made explicit. This is the feedback I have been getting.

  15. WATCHIYI JEAN DE DIEU says:

    Congratulations for East Africa Tourist Visa,
    for me it is a great deal for many million people in Africa.
    May The Lord bless East Africa

  16. M says:

    Help! I applied online weeks ago, but never received an email from them. Since I did this once before with no problem, I didn’t write down my application number. Now I can’t access the letter with the barcode. Nothing happens when I try to have them email it to me. I tried contacting them about it and no one got back to me. Will they be able to help me at the airport?

    • the muzungu says:

      Hi there. It’s a bit confusing but despite the online system, you can still get your visa on arrival at Entebbe Airport. You may be asked to use the online application system there or you may just use the old paper-based system.

      • M says:

        Thank you. And that’s true even though I already applied online (and now the online system won’t let me re-apply because it recognizes my passport number)?

        • the muzungu says:

          They’ll be able to sort it out at the airport. I’ve talked to other people in the same boat and they got visas at the airport ok.

          • M says:

            Thank you. That makes me feel much better! I visited in 2016 as well and the e-visa process was so smooth then that I didn’t expect any technical glitches this time.

          • the muzungu says:

            Glad to be of help!
            I think you’re right. System seemed to run better last year.
            Mpola, mpola…
            Safe journey

  17. Europe traveler says:

    Hello, My visa application was deferred. The reason is as follow “you have no return flight”. We plan to stay a few months in Uganda and haven’t bought our flight back. Even though my girlfriend made the exact application, my visa was deferred and not hers.

    I am flying out tomorrow, super stressed.

    Can we still get one at Entebbe?

    Thanks!

    • the muzungu says:

      Hi Europe Traveler
      Sorry about the stress levels.
      In theory, yes you can get your visa upon arrival at Entebbe but the rules are still the same. If you’re applying for a tourist Visa, then you are supposed to have return flights or proof of onward travel e.g. to Kenya or Rwanda et cetera.
      I can’t guarantee it will work, but my advice would be to buy an East Africa Tourist Visa at the airport. This costs $100 and allows 90 days travel within Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Then make a booking / hotel reservation for travel to one of those countries, and have that proof with you when you arrive at Entebbe.
      Some people enter the country on tourist visas but then work illegally and the government is trying to crack down on that, hence the stipulation that you have a return ticket.

    • the muzungu says:

      FYI, I spoke to my immigration adviser today. When I told him about your case (your girlfriend getting approval without a return flight, and you not getting approval), he said that it could just be that different people have looked at your two applications and sometimes the immigration officers are more lenient towards women.
      Hopefully you’re in Uganda right now and have your visa!

  18. Soraya Bandeily says:

    Hello do you know what they mean wit a recent passport photo, i only have the passport photo in my bio passport page, so don’t understand what they mean wit that. Will be happy if you reply // Soraya

    • the muzungu says:

      Hi Soraya, you need to upload a digital copy of your passport photo. It could be a copy (a photo) of the photo you have in your passport or it could be another one. When they say recent, it has to be ‘recognisably you’ – showing how you look at the moment. Hope that helps 🙂
      When you do your online application, make sure you keep a copy of your reference number, in case you have any queries.

      • Soraya Bandeily says:

        Okey, thank u for a fast reply. Then ill just use the picture I have in my passport. Sorry for more question. but I was planning to travel in the end of april and I haven’t booked the flight yet, is that required that I have to book the flight before in order to apply online for a visa? and also is it to soon for me (6-7 weeks before) to apply online. Thank you again // Soraya

        • the muzungu says:

          You are welcome.
          Yes you should book your flight first. In fact, if you’re coming in on a tourist visa, you should have proof of a return flight.
          It is not too soon to apply online. Remember to make a note of your application reference ID. You may need it in case you have to follow up on your application. See comments I have written elsewhere on this page. Good luck

  19. the muzungu says:

    UPDATE MARCH 2017:
    If you use the online system, it is very important that you make a note of your application ID number. Without it, you will not be able to track your visa application.
    In case you don’t receive an email, or approval letter, you can then go back to the website, click on ‘manage your application’ and view the progress of your application. You will need your application ID number and your passport number to be able to do this. I spoke with my immigration adviser today and he says that sometimes emails are not sent out, although approval has been given. In that case, you can download a copy of your approval letter from that screen.
    Meanwhile, visas are still being granted at Entebbe International airport. Some people are being given visas the old-fashioned paper way. Others are using the online system, at the airport.
    Interested to read feedback from all travellers, especially if it differs to anything else you read on this page. Thank you and safari njemi! – travel well!

  20. Felix says:

    Thanks for your help. I have a conference tomorrow Tuesday in uganda. I applied late in the evening on Friday. I’ve not gotten a reply yet though when i tracked it, it says my application is in progress. My flight however leaves Nigeria by 12.30pm today. Can i board the flight and get a visa on arrival,since i have a stopover in ethiopia.

    • the muzungu says:

      Hi Felix, I would log in and check your application one last time before you fly. Even if you don’t receive an email from the system, your approval letter may be on the site so you can download and print it. Note: some airlines are insisting that people travel with their visa approval letter so I can’t tell you whether you will be able to board your flights or not, sorry. However, feedback from other people suggests you will be okay and that you can get your visa on arrival at Entebbe.

  21. Abdirizak says:

    HI i apply visa me and my two sons they approve my two sons and iam still waitin i send message not recieving any can any one help me with and i am about to fly les then a week from today thanks

    • the muzungu says:

      Log onto the visa application system using the ID reference number that they gave you. They may have approved you without sending an email. In that case, you can download and print the approval letter.
      If not, you can still get the visa in person when you arrive at Entebbe airport.

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