KAMPALA —The Danish Embassy in Kampala has insisted that holders of the new Ugandan new polycarbonate passports will not receive Visa approvals until the verification process is done.
Only holders of the older version which Ugandan authorities stopped issuing in 2019 are the ones being considered for visas, the Embassy said.
Uganda government upgraded the paper e-passport with the polycarbonate, which was introduced to ease travelers’ experience, improve document verification and enhance travel security for citizens.
However, this has not been achieved for students traveling to Denmark.
According to the country’s
immigration directorate over 7,000 Ugandans had travelled abroad using the new polycarbonate passport.
Out of these, 98 had managed to travel to Denmark and some had been blocked from proceeding with the visa application process.
“This is a standard procedure when a new passport is introduced by another country. In the meantime, visas can still be issued for those holding a passport issued from 2019,” Ms Anne Sofie Oxlund, officer in charge of Public affairs at the Embassy said.
“The Embassy can inform that the Danish authorities are working on the verification and acknowledgement of the new type of the Ugandan passport with a view to concluding the process as quickly as possible,” she was quoted as saying.
The government asked Ugandans traveling to Denmark to be patient for two weeks as they await for the approval from Copenhagen.
Mr Simon Mundeyi, the spokesperson of the Internal Affairs Ministry, said there have been claims since last week from students whose visa applications have been delayed and attributed the delays to the Danish government which is still in the verification process.
“Danish government has not taken time to verify and certify our passports. Ugandans traveling to Denmark will have to be patient for two weeks as we finalize with the Danish Embassy to wait for authorization from Denmark.” Mr Mundey told reporters.
He said that those who had managed to travel to Denmark with polycarbonate passports with any issues are at liberty to return to the country, noting that those traveling out of Uganda have to wait.
The immigration explained that the government had fulfilled all the standards required by International Civil Aviation and Organization (ICAO) and the Ugandan passports have not been rejected anywhere.
“We wrote to ICAO and we got certification and approval to upgrade the passport in line with the international passport and we were also required to print a sample passport to be distributed to all countries globally,” He said.
However, it should be noted that a similar issue happened in 2018 when the government phased out the machine readable passport to electronic one.
Mr Mundeyi said that the Danish government is always careful when verifying passports.
“The issue is with the Danish government which takes its time to verify and they are not like other quick countries such as the USA and Canada,” he said.