Visas & Permits
Whether you're coming for a quick visit or trying to stay until the end of time, you'll need permission from the government. Here's what you need to know about getting the proper visas and permits for your time in Uganda.
A tourist visa is the easiest visa or permit to obtain as they give them out upon entry to almost anyone with a proper passport, visa fees, and their yellow fever vaccination card. If, however, you plan on participating in any gainful or voluntary work while in country, you'll need to obtain a different visa, as employment is strictly prohibited with this visa.
Note: Visa fees paid on entry are CASH ONLY. Most foreign currency is accepted, but plastic is not.
Single Entry Tourist Visa $50 USD
The visa you'll receive upon entry if you do not apply online, valid for 2-3 months, depending on level of approval.
East African Tourist Visa $100 USD
Valid visa for Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, and allows unlimited travel between them for 3 months.
Online Visa Application
This is a very new system implemented by immigration services, allowing you to be pre-approved for a visa before entering the country. You should begin the application process at least a couple of weeks prior to traveling as the collection of documents can be cumbersome.
Although there are still kinks to work out, the online process is looking quite promising, with a much more automated way to obtain virtually all types of visas and permits from your own computer. It would be wise to take screenshots of the entire process and have them ready to show upon entry in case of a system problem.
As of now, applying online is not required and it is still possible to obtain a tourist visa at the border, however the Ugandan government has made it clear they intend on making pre-approved applications mandatory in the near future.
The government is happy to work with expats who want to work in Uganda, but the process does include a lot of jumping through hoops, and is usually only able to be processed in Kampala (the biggest city). It will include surrendering your passport (you should get a receipt/document in return), and will take a lot of time, paperwork, and office visits. Almost anyone can do it, but almost everyone will find it frustrating.
You can skip some of the headache by hiring local lawyers who will take care of some of it for you. This is a pricey service, you just have to decide how much time, travel, sanity, and accuracy is worth to you and your organization.
NGO Work Permit
This is issued only to confirmed employees of a non-government organizations that is registered and licensed to operate in Uganda.
This permit allows you to work as a volunteer, intern, or paid employee of a company that has license to do business in Uganda.
The special pass isn't a visa or a permit, it is a pass recorded in your passport that is proof that you are in the process of getting a specific permit (which usually takes time). It functions as a visa with multiple entry opportunity, but only for a limited amount of time.
An interesting opportunity that the Ugandan government has made incredibly convenient and streamlined is an investors license, which gives foreigners the license to do business (with the promise to invest) in Uganda. It comes paired with the necessary work permits and all while working with only one person.Learn More »