No Visa no Boarding as Uganda shuts the door for Visa on Arrival


(Posted 27th July 2016)

Confirmation was received earlier today that Uganda will indeed shut the door in the face of wannabe visitors who arrive at either Entebbe International Airport or the various land borders without having applied for and obtained an e-Visa in advance.
Cut off is supposedly the 01st of August, when the parallel system of both e-applications and manual processing on arrival will cease.
It appears that airlines have been told to deny boarding to any passengers heading to Entebbe unless they can show proof of having applied for a Visa and obtained one in advance.
Only days ago did Uganda have to reverse a decision taken a year ago when the country raised single entry Visa fees to 100 US Dollars, resulting in a downturn of arrivals. The revised Visa fee is now 50 US Dollars again but the insistence on only using e-applications will no doubt too prevent people from travelling to Uganda, in particular those who habitually decide at very short notice, often taking advantage of last minute extra cheap airfares.

As of the 1st of August will therefore all visa applications have to go through the online process and without exception. It is anticipated that airlines will refuse passengers to board without proof of the online visa duly completed in advance, due to the otherwise heavy fines levied on them for uplifting passengers with incomplete travel documents:

Ordinary Visa
East Africa Tourist Visa
Multiple Entry Visa
Transit Visa
Diplomatic & Official Visa

Following are the links applicants need to follow when applying for Visa to enter Uganda, either with a single entry tourist Visa or the East African Tourist Visa which also allows entry to Kenya and Rwanda:

Every effort will be made to ascertain if the parallel system of both e-application and manual processing of Visa on arrival may be extended but indications are that this may not be the case.

Inline images 2

This was just picked up …

Displaying IMG_4735.JPGDisplaying IMG_4735.JPGImmigration notice 28Jul16

This is a sign of failed communications in particular vis a vis the letter of 06th of July from UTB which was sent to the tourism industry for immediate release. Pay special attention to the paragraph which in part reads ‘This will only apply in the month of July 2016 after which all Visa applications shall be online
Therefore, the information published above is based on available details from an official government agency and categorically not ‘lies’ as wrongfully alleged. The question must also be asked, what will be an appropriate time to inform IATA et al if not weeks in advance, at the earliest opportunity, rather than letting the 31st of July / 01st of August come and go and leave everybody in doubt how arrivals without approved e-Visa in Entebbe and at the land borders will be handled?



  1. Thanks for the update Wolfgang. I think it’s also worth mentioning that immigration are getting stricter in checking yellow fever certificates. You need to have yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before you travel and in fact you are required to upload a copy of your certificate when you do the online application process.

    I have to agree with Mark!

  2. Thanks for the update Wolfgang. You might want to know that we received complaints that clients were charged the additional $50 (thus $50 for visa as per reduced visa as well as $50 for handling on arrival – this was in response to questions related to why it was still $100 after the reduction…We did bring this under the attention of authorities)

    Regards Corne

    1. I too had such feedback, unbelievable really, as if
      immigration had learned nothing from the disaster a
      year ago when charges went up unannounced overnight
      and gave Uganda a rather bad name as a result.
      Well, like in Kenya, when they ditched the manual
      processing, I guess we can kiss all last minute
      bookings and travelers who literally decide at the
      airport where to go goodbye. Another harsh lesson
      to be learned, not that they have not been warned!

      1. Kenya has actually almost ditched the e-visa. It was to be set in stone and then now it is not a must. It is actually cheaper (by $2) and quicker to get at the airport on arrival!

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