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Ugandans with national IDs to get passports with ease

By Taddeo Bwambale

Added 14th November 2018 10:03 AM

This follows a plan to integrate the national ID database overseen by the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) with the registry managed by the internal affairs ministry.

Ugandans with national IDs to get passports with ease

This follows a plan to integrate the national ID database overseen by the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) with the registry managed by the internal affairs ministry.

Ugandans who hold valid national identity cards will no longer require recommendation from local authorities to process passports, as the ministry of internal affairs moves to ease the process.

This follows a plan to integrate the national ID database overseen by the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) with the registry managed by the internal affairs ministry.

The new application system is expected to start early next year. Applicants will not be required to go through the tedious process of filling in forms and seeking referrals from several authorities.

"When you come to apply for a passport, we will retrieve your data from NIRA. There will be no need for one to obtain signatures from Local Council chairpersons to endorse you," Benon Mutambi, the ministry's permanent secretary told New Vision on Tuesday.

Passport applicants will instead fill in a shorter application form at the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control head offices or submit their details online.

Mutambi said the system was part of reforms to improve efficiency in processing of government documents including passports and minimize fraud by limiting human interaction.

The national ID data is considered more comprehensive in terms of information it carries about the holder. The system has already been by other entities, including telecom service providers.

The traditional procedure for acquiring a passport starts with obtaining two forms (A and B) online or from the nearest Immigration Office.

The filled forms are then supposed to be taken personally by the applicant for endorsement by area local council 1, Local council 2 and local council 3 offices.

The Resident District Commissioner and the District Internal Security Organisation (DISO) must also endorse the forms. One also needs a recommender to endorse them.

The lengthy process has previously encouraged desperate applicants to seek out ‘middlemen,' leaving many at the mercy of conmen and masqueradors.

While a regular passport may take about ten days to process at a cost of sh150,000, it takes about four days or less for an express passport at twice the cost but the application process largely remains.

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