The government will announce a new date for the expiry of machine-readable passports, which are to be replaced by the East African Community digital passports that were introduced in 2018.
The development comes after the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration in the Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed that all the old passports would be phased out at the end of January 2021.
This left old passport holders with only 5 months to comply. An outpouring ensued on social media, with many saying the Covid-19 pandemic which has limited movement would not allow them to meet this target. Those who had recently renewed their passports also decried the costs.
"Before the Covid19 pandemic struck, stakeholder consultations were underway about the viability of the deadline. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted this process considerably," Jacob Siminyu, the spokesman for the line ministry said in a statement.
"The general public is therefore advised that a new deadline will be announced after appropriate stakeholder views have been harmonized."
The six partner states of the East African Community in 2018 set a deadline of Jan. 15, 2021 to phase out traditional passports
The resolution to introduce EAC ePassports was reached during the 17th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State held in March 2016, with an eye on streamlining data access.
The first batch of ePassports was brought in the country in December of 2018.
The costs of the different passports are as follows: Ordinary passport (Shs250,000), Official/service passport (400,000), Diplomatic passport (500,000).
If you apply for an ePassport in Uganda and you want it processed within a short period, you will pay for Express service which costs Shs150,000.
The passport will be certified for Shs30,000 and those abroad are charged Shs10,000 for courier service.