Uganda breaks silence on rejection of new ePassports by foreign govts

Uganda breaks silence on rejection of new ePassports by foreign govts

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kuteesa. Image credit: Kampala Dispatch

After reports that some Ugandans who have recently applied for visas with the new Ugandan East African Community (EAC) passports to travel to Denmark encountered challenges with Danish authorities, the government of Uganda has come out to clarify on the disgraceful saga.

A screenshot that has been circulating on social media showed that the Danish Embassy had not been informed about the new changes in the Ugandan passport.

According to the screenshot, when a Ugandan, through the Danish embassy in Kenya, applied for a visa to travel to Copenhagen, his request was bounced.

“You have applied using the new Ugandan EAC passport that was launched in December 2018. Unfortunately, this passport is not yet approved by the Danish authorities, therefore we cannot issue a visa for this passport,” Anne Ostman, a Danish Embassy official told the applicant, according to the screenshot.

“We do not know how long it takes for this new passport to be approved. We can keep an application open in our visa system for 15 days… we will inform VFS in Kampala not accept applications with the new passport for the time being.”

Uganda speaks on EAC passports

However, according to Uganda’s Foreign Affairs ministry, the Embassy of Denmark knows about the new Uganda EAC passports and they already got samples.

“The Embassy of Denmark, like all other Diplomatic and Consular Missions and International Organizations accredited to Uganda, was informed and issued samples of the new passports in December 2018,” reads in a part a Feb. 1 statement from the Ministry.

The Ministry says issues arose because the Danish government took long to feed the information about the new electronic passports into their system.

Must read: Court asked to block introduction of electronic passports

“According to the Danish Embassy in Kampala, the Samples were forwarded to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January 2019. The process of entering the new Ugandan East African Community Passports into their system is ongoing, and shall be concluded soon.”

The Ministry revealed that two Ugandan “visa applicants who intend to travel to Copenhagen in April 2019 will have their documents processed.

“The applicants have been assured that their applications will be processed as soon as the registration process is completed,” the Ministry confirmed.

“The Ministry wishes, therefore, to appeal to the public to be patient as the immigrations authorities of the Foreign Governments update their system.”

Related:

National ID data to be used to process new e-passports

 

Uganda’s new ePassports rejected in Denmark