By Steven Candia
Employers should comply with permit application procedures at the immigration department.
This will avoid inconveniences as it emerged among stakeholders that getting a security bond refund from the department remains a big nightmare.
A security bond applies to Class G employees, normally foreign employee who has been appointed to work in Uganda on a long term contract. The employer of such an employee/s is by law required to execute a security bond equivalent to the cost of a single economy class ticket to their country of origin as part of the requirements for the application for a class G entry permit.
The employer of such an employee is entitled to a refund of the bond upon the contract of employment with the employee ceases and the employer presenting proof to that effect or upon the ceasing of the contract, the employer goes with the employee to the immigration to have the work permit canceled.
Speaking at a workshop to abreast human resource personnel drawn from various companies on the changes at the immigration and the various types of permits available and procedures involved, Eeshi Katugugu, a tax manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc) urged employers to comply with the procedure. The workshop was organized by pwc.
“Times have changed and there is no more laxity at the immigration. You must follow procedure in order to secure permits. Once you do that, there will be no reason for you to pay bribes. If you do not follow procedure you may be inconvenienced by the law,” Katugugu said at the function held in Kampala.
She however, noted that the issue of securing a security bond refund from the immigration still remained a huge challenge. Her comments came after several participants raised concern over the issue with some saying they had pursued the refund for up to eight years.
“Getting a security bond refund is a major challenge. I think the process is not organized,” Katugugu said. Earlier at the same function, the Assistant Commissioner for Immigration, Rosemary Wamimbi expressed shock over the matter.
“Refunds have guidelines and if you provide those details and proof of one having left the country, they pay. The problem is drawing money from the consolidated fund but I am surprised to learn that refunds take long,” Wamimbi said.
She however, added that deliberate efforts, such as computerization were underway to turn around the immigration the challenges notwithstanding.