Government Issues Traveling Guidelines to Ugandans with Phased-Out Passports

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The Ministry of Internal Affairs has advised Ugandans living abroad with the phased out machine-readable passports to use emergency travel certificate while returning home.

This was revealed by the ministry’s spokesperson, Simon Peter Mundeyi, on Monday, following a directive by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to phase out all old machine-readable passports.

Mundeyi, however, advised that Ugandans should go to the Embassy of Uganda in their country of residence to get an emergency travel certificate, which they will use to travel back home.

“If you want to return home, you are out there, and you cannot renew your passport, and you hold this type of passport, please report to the embassy,” Mundeyi advised.

He added that the embassy has a document known as an “Emergency Travel Certificate,” which is blue in colour, and it’s issued free of charge to Ugandans who are willing to return home but do not have passports.

He also emphasised that the machine-readable passports can no longer be used, but the certificate is used in case one still holds that kind.

Mundeyi also stressed out that the intention of phasing out the machine Readable passports was not to stop Ugandans from returning home as claimed by some people.

On March 29, 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced the upgrade of the East African Community (EAC) E-Passport to polycarbonate, which is aimed at ensuring enhanced security features and durability, as well as conforming to the standard requirements as recommended by the EAC and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

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