The Director of Citizenship and immigration has announced they have completed the upgrade of the recently launched polycarbonate East African Community E-Passports.
According to Maj. Gen. Apollo Kasiita Gowa, the Director of Citizenship and immigration control, the new polycarbonate e passports launched in December 2018 replace the existing Paper machine-readable passports that are slowly being phased out.
While addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Center on Thursday, Maj Gen Gowa said the production of the existing machine-readable passport ended on April 4, 2021, following a two-year transitional period.
He said the passports have enhanced security features, durability, entry Data protection and verification to meet Aviation International standards at various airports and beat fraud among others.
“The upgraded polycarbonate e-passports just like paper-based e-passports have an electromagnetic chip, but the polycarbonate passports have polycarbonate which are tough plastic layers infused together leading to a finished material where personal data is engraved inside the deeper layers of the document with laser,” said Maj Gen Gowa
“The upgrade aims to ensure enhanced security features, durability as well as conforming to requirements as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) and EAC, ” he added.
He further explained that the recently upgraded polycarbonate East African Community E-Passports will not invalidate the existing paper-based e-passports but will gradually phase them out.
He called on Ugandans still in possession of the e.- Paper machine-readable passports not to apply for new passports until the old ones expire or leaflets are finished.
“Both passports (e-paper based and polycarbonate ) shall continue to be used until expiry or the leaflets expire,” he said.
Gowa revealed that so far a total of 1, 008,404 polycarbonate e-passports have been issued.
The polycarbonate ordinary electronic e-passport still costs Shs250,000 express documents cost Shs400,000. An official passport costs Shs400,000 and a diplomatic travel document costs Shs500,000.
Gowa explained that ordinary passports take between 7 to 14 working days while express takes between 3 to 5 working days.
“We request the public not to be cheated by con men and unscrupulous individuals who charge extra or claim to offer much quicker services than our standards. We do not work with agents or third parties,” he explained.