This is a summary of recent developments on the visa and immigration front:
a) As of 22 July 2016, the cost of a single-entry visa to Uganda has been reduced from US$100 back to US$50. So far as we can ascertain, the cost of an East African visa issued in Uganda remains US$100.
b) All visitors to Uganda may be asked to show a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to immigration officials upon arrival. It is our understanding that this rule is now being enforced more zealously than it was in the past.
c) As of 1 July 2016, you can apply for an e-visa at https://visas.immigration.go.ug. A flyer released by Immigration states that “all persons intending to Travel, Study or Work in Uganda MUST apply at least FIVE working days before their Intended dates of Travel, and Permits and passes are approved within two (2-3) working days“. The procedure is described in greater detail at http://immigration.go.ug/media/e-immigration-system. It should be noted that no payment is made when you apply online, not is any actual visa issued. This part of the procedure will only be completed upon arrival at Entebbe airport or an overland border.
d) As for whether and when the e-visa system will completely replace the current facility to apply for a Visa of Arrival, this is unclear. The online application process referred to above starts with a pop-up a disclaimer stating that “all travelers seeking admission to Uganda are required to obtain a Visa using this system prior to being granted boarding“. However, the media release http://immigration.go.ug/media/e-immigration-system affirms that “manual application of visas on arrival are being processed alongside the electronic visas and the strict date when we shall stop airlines from carrying passengers without Travel Authorisations (e-visa approval) or accept applications made at the Point of Entry shall be communicated to the airlines and tour operators“. On 28 July, Immigration also released a statement (http://immigration.go.ug/media/clarification-e-visa-arrival-deadline) characterising rumours that visitors will be refused entry or boarding without an approved e-visa as of 1 August 2016 as ‘malicious and untruthful‘. That said, also on 28 July, we heard from two travellers who crossed into Uganda overland and were handed a printout with the following text: “It is still possible to get a visa on arrival… [but] online application may be fully enforced starting August or September”.
e) We will continue to post important news as it reaches us, but prospective visitors to Uganda are urged to check the official immigration website http://immigration.go.ug to monitor developments. For the time being, however, our advice to all prospective visitors is to complete the online e-visa application, if only on a precautionary basis, rather than risk the possibility of being refused boarding or discovering that the Visa of Arrival facility has been withdrawn at short notice.