Sonia Salim

Ugandans to pay more for US visas.

As of May 30, 2023, the United States Embassy in Uganda will charge a new cost for processing applications for nonimmigrant visas.

As of May 30, 2023, the United States Embassy in Uganda will charge a new cost for processing applications for nonimmigrant visas.

The U.S. Department of State will increase the application price for business or tourism visiting visas and other non-petition based nonimmigrant visas, such as student and exchange visitor visas, from 596,000 Shillings (US Dollars160) to 690,000 (US Dollars185), according to a statement released by the Embassy. The Ugandan Shilling amounts are calculated using a dollar-to-Ugandan Shilling exchange rate of 3,720.

The embassy reports a rise from 707,000 shillings (approximately US$190) to 763,000 shillings (approximately US$205) for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers, and from 763,000 shillings (approximately US$205) to 1,172,000 shillings (approximately US$315) for treaty traders, investors, and applicants in specialty occupations.

According to a statement released by the embassy spokesperson, applicants who have already paid a valid and non-expired visa application fee but have not yet appeared for their visa interview or are waiting for their case to be processed, as well as those who pay the fee before May 30, 2023, will not be required to pay the fee difference.

He also mentioned that beginning October 1, 2022, receipts for contributions paid toward applications for nonimmigrant visas will be valid for a whole year. Interviews or requests for interviews to be waived must be made within this one-year time frame.  

All receipts for payment of fees issued before to 1st October2022 were extended until 30th September 2023, and remain valid until that date, as was previously stated by the Embassy. Visa applicants from Uganda bring in an estimated 12 billion Shillings annually to the United States government.

In a press conference in December, consular worker Sally Sternal revealed that barely half of the 20,000 Ugandans who seek for visas each year really receive them. She said that applicants' inability to provide evidence of foreign relationships and visa fraud were to blame for the high rate of rejected applications.

As of June 2023, Ugandan passport holders can travel visa free to 39 countries and territories:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Burundi
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • Eritrea
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • Niue
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Singapore
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Gambia
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Eswatini

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country. 

What Countries Issue eVisa to Ugandan Citizens?

The following 19 countries issue eVisas for Ugandan passport holders:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Colombia
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Tajikistan
  • Türkiye
  • Uzbekistan

The process of getting an eVisa is the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border.

Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Ugandan Passport Holders?

  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Cambodia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Comoros
  • Ghana
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Palau
  • Samoa
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Saint Lucia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Ugandan Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 140 countries with an Ugandan passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Ivory Coast
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • North Korea
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Martin
  • Sudan
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

The application for a visa goes as follows:

Make an appointment at the visa center in Uganda. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.

Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you must prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.

Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics.

Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Ugandan Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Ugandan citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary.

However, most countries will certainly require the following: Your valid Ugandan passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.

A filled visa application form. Passport pictures that are not older than six months.

Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay. Proof of paid visa fee. Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.

Letter of invitation (if applicable) Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home. Proof of booked accommodation. Proof that you have enough funds to cover your visit Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.) Important: Please note that your visa will most likely be rejected if you have a previous criminal history.

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