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IMMIGRATION LAW
Author: Wandera E. Jonathan & Rola Birungi


​In a quest to earn a living and make ends, quite often foreigners find their way to Uganda. The prospects are numerous and divergent but often it is to carry out business and work.

​Legendary South African music icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka is reported to have been deported by the Immigration authorities and security agencies from Entebbe to South Africa on Wednesday 1st January 2020. Chaka Chaka had arrived in the country on the previous day to perform at one of the biggest end of year / newyear social events in Kampala. According to the police, Chaka Chaka had come to work and not just visit Uganda, and thus needed a working visa/permit and not an ordinary visa.

How then can foreigners pursue their dreams without breaching the immigration regulations and laws?

To work in Uganda as a foreigner, one needs a work permit which is an official document giving you permission to work or be employed in Uganda. A few pointers for those with such prospects:

A: Work Permit Classes

There are different classes of work permits for which one can apply to include:

  • Class A: this applies to applicants contracted for service in the Government of Uganda or diplomats accredited for service in Uganda.

  • Class A2: this applies to applicants on Government contracts, including persons serving in Government tertiary institutions.

  • Class B: this applies to applicants intending to invest in the business of agriculture or animal husbandry.

  • Class C: this applies to applicants intending to invest in the business of prospecting for minerals or mining in Uganda.

  • Class D: this applies to applicants intending to carry on business or trade in Uganda.

  • Class E: this applies to applicants intending to engage in the manufacturing business in Uganda.

  • Class F: this applies to applicants who are members of prescribed professionals intending to practice such profession in Uganda.

  • Class G1: this applies to applicants who are volunteers, NGO workers and missionaries.

  • Class G2: this applies to applicants intending to work as foreign employees whether for gain or not in Uganda.

 

B: Statutory Fees

For Classes B, C, D, E, F and G, a non-refundable pre-payment fee of US$ 1500 and (a later) top up fee of US$1000 are charged for a work permit valid for a year however the fees vary with the time period one applies for.

 

The applicant is further required to pay for a security bond before submitting an application. The security bond payable is usually calculated at the approximate cost of a return air ticket to the applicant’s country of origin. The security bond is refunded at the time of exit of the applicant usually upon termination of the contract of employment or deportation.

 

C: Time Taken

The applications take between 2-6 weeks and upon approval of the application, the work permit is endorsed in the applicant’s passport.

D: East African Community Nationals

East African Community nationals who obtain work of more than 90 days should apply for a working permit. Special passes can be issued to EAC nationals pending issuance of work permits.

E: The General Requirements for acquiring a working permit include;

  • Fill in work permit forms

  • Photocopies of the passport

  • 2 passport size photos

  • A cover letter from the Embassy/Organization/Company/line ministry

  • Certificate of incorporation

  • Articles & Memorandum of Association of Company

  • Company’s bank statement

  • Income tax clearance

  • Trading license

  • A Uganda Investment Authority license

  • A security bond

  • Employment Pass form

  • Appointment letter and qualifications.

  • Proof of failure to employ a Ugandan

  • Training opportunities for Ugandans

  • Interpol letter from home country

  • Academic qualifications for professionals.

 

The certificate of good conduct can be acquired in Uganda at the Interpol offices in Kololo.

 

F: Dependants’ Passes

There is further a provision for dependant’s passes. These apply to close relations of a holder of a work permit for example, Children and Spouses.

Should you require more information in respect of the above, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan E. Wandera.