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Govt asked to offer expatriates work permit holiday

By Francis Emorut

Added 2nd September 2018 03:12 PM

The work permit fees for expatriates class G is $3500 (about sh13m) for 36 months

The work permit fees for expatriates class G is $3500 (about sh13m) for 36 months

The Government has been asked to waive work permit fees for expatriates so as not to deprive students of higher institutions of learning from gaining skills and knowledge in health sciences and engineering.

According to the Kampala International University (KIU) vice chancellor, Dr Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, the work permit fees for expatriates are exorbitant and this does not attract more of them to teach students in specialised fields such as health sciences, mathematics and information communication technology.

He pointed out that the university is financially constrained to pay expatriates coupled with economic hardship the country is experiencing.

"Government can consider a waiver of work permit fees for expatriates as a contribution for the better, but as of now, the fees are prohibitive," Mpezamihigo said.

He explained that the university has hired expatriates from 15 different countries across the world to teach post graduate students in the fields of health sciences, engineering and information technology.

The expatriates are professors who are specialised in the fields of engineering and mathematics and health sciences among others.

Mpezamihigo made remarks during the media roundtable at the campus in Kampala on Friday.

According to the website of the directorate of citizenship and immigration control in the ministry of internal affairs, the work permit fees for expatriates class G is $3500 (about sh13,125,000) for 36 months.

The directorate of citizenship and immigration control website indicates the work permit fees slapped on expatriates is effective since July 1, 2015.

Mpezamihigo appealed to the government to either give work permit holidays to expatriates or reduce to the lowest class category and pay a fee of $250 (about sh937,500) per annum.

"Just like foreign investors are given tax holidays, why not give work permit holidays to expatriates also?" Mpezamihigo asked.

He proposed that if government could waive work permit fees say for five years, the university by then would have got capacity to train their own skilled force.

"We would want to have a win-win situation," he told New Vision.

He said President Yoweri Museveni's attention was drawn to their plight during the university's graduation ceremony in June where he was the chief guest.

Attempts to a get a comment from government spokesman Ofwono Opondo were futile.

Addressing freshmen at the university, Mpezamihigo implored them to be patriotic so that when they complete their studies if they are to secure gainful employment.

The deputy vice chancellor research, Prof. George Nasinyama, encouraged new students to embrace the bursary scheme to enable them concentrate on their studies.

During the induction of new students, the dean of students, Jovia Karwana, appealed to them to work hard and exercise discipline and avoid bad behaviour.

The students were tipped on developing a saving culture and avoid extravagance and be innovative in the era of digital technology.

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