The Immigration and Citizenship Control Directorate has opened an e-passport registration center at the Uganda Embassy in Washington, DC.
The center will ensure that Uganda in the US issue with the newly introduced East African Community e-passports.
The new e-passport center is an entirely digitalized document incorporating biometric security, making it fully respectful of international best practices and therefore accepted at border controls worldwide.
The Washington, DC passport issuance center ceased in-person enrollment and production of Machine-Readable Passports (MRPs) in 2018 and has since operated a mail-in paper-based system, receiving application forms by mail for transmission to Kampala and receiving new passports from Kampala.
With this new system, applicants for the e-passports will be required to appear in person at the Embassy and need to take facial and fingerprints.
While speaking to the guests who participated in the event, the Director for Citizenship and Immigration Control, Major General Masaid the new procedure would see passport renewal and waiting lines would be drastically reduced from several months to just two weeks.
According to Maj Gen Gowa, that is in line with the government commitment; we are taking services nearer the people. Now”In line with the government’s commitment, we are taking services nearer the people. Now citizens in this part of the world can apply for passports here at the mission in Washington DC as opposed to flying back to Uganda for the same. Access to passports will now be easy,” Maj Gen Gowa said.
He informed Ugandans that it was vital that they renew their passports as soon as possible and advised those who could not meet the April 4th deadline that they would only be able to use their passports on one-way trips to Uganda.
According to the Passport Control Officer and Project Manager Julia Ikiso,’ the new enrollment system would require applicants to appear in person for biometric enrollment. Still, the new system would benefit from access to the same network as the Passport Office in Kampala, with 95% of the processes taking place in real-time. Printing will be finished within a week of receiving applicant applications on the system.