Navigating Uganda’s Red Tape: Entry visa requirements like where to get it, passport validity, vaccinations, customs, and travel restrictions.
Updated July 24, 2023
Uganda’s entry visa requirements have not changed much in the last decade, but a few changes like the application process have come up to control pandemics and make it easier for all travelers.
We all want to get out there alive a bit, get wild and stretch our minds. An African savanna is a great place for that. Open wide spaces, clean air, new cultures, and quiet noise. All we needed before the Covid pandemic hit us was a passport, a visa, an air ticket, and a few bucks, and that’s it!
A few star-gazing nights under the African sky are suitable for everyone. Now, you will have to tolerate a couple of things to have a marvelous safari trip to Uganda, like many other destinations are doing it. To keep you and everyone, including the animals, protected.
Uganda’s borders remain open to tourists and anyone visiting the country either by land or air. But most travelers need a passport and a visa to enter Uganda and we will tell you the entry visa process below.
Uganda Entry Requirements
- Covid 19: Effective March 7th, it is no longer necessary to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate upon arrival. However, if you are transiting or departing, you must be mindful of the entry requirements at your final destination.
- Passport validity: To enter Uganda, it is necessary to have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of arrival.
- Visas: To obtain a visa for Uganda, you can either visit a Uganda Consulate in your country or apply for an ‘e-visa’ online.
- East African Visa (one visa for Uganda, Rwanda, & Kenya): You can also apply for a 90-day East African Tourist Visa.
- Yellow fever certificate: You will need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate to enter Uganda.
Uganda Visa Requirements
Nationals of most countries require a visa to enter Uganda. They must apply and pay for the Uganda entry visa in advance electronically online at https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.
Entry visa rulings are prone to change, so all visitors must check the current situation with their travel agent or a Ugandan diplomatic mission before they travel.
The following are the requirements for Uganda entry visa:
- You must have a valid passport issued by your government. Your passport must be valid past the date of your expected departure from Uganda (6 months)
- Green card holders must provide a copy of their green card
- Duly filled Visa Application Form
- You must have an international Inoculation Certificate against Yellow Fever.
- You must obtain a Uganda Government VISA before entry into Uganda.
- It is mandatory to have the following to obtain a Uganda Government entry visa:
(a) Application forms are available online. Visa Application Form
(b) Submit your passport and one (1) recent passport–size photograph.
(c) Pay applicable Fees, by money order or (cashier’s cheque) only.
(d) In a secure envelope, enclose your passport, the one photograph, and the money order (or cashier cheque) to Uganda Mission.
(e) Allow five (5) working days for your visa application to be processed for an application submitted by mail or in person.
- Applications for entry visas may be submitted by mail, in person, or by E-visa. Applications by post must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed USPSExpress Overnight envelope only for shipping your document(s) back to you.
Any other courier service with traceable delivery methods like FedEx and DHL is recommended.
- Entry visa applications should be submitted one month before travel, at the earliest, and not later than four days before travel.
- Correct visa fee ( USD 50 for a single entry visa). All travelers should pay visa fees online.
- Letter of invitation/introduction, if traveling on business.
- Applicants may be requested to submit additional supporting documentation.
For more information on entry visa Requirements, visit the official Uganda Immigration page.
Which Country Doesn’t Require a Visa To Travel To Uganda?
Citizens of the following countries do not require visas to enter Uganda—but they should have a valid passport:
- Italy (Diplomatic Passport holders only)
- Sierra Leone
- The Solomon Islands
- St. Vincent and Grenadines
Things you must know traveling to Uganda
Check well in advance that you have a valid passport and that it won’t expire within six months of the date you intend to leave Uganda. Should your passport be lost or stolen, it will generally be easier to get a replacement if you have a photocopy of the important pages.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
There is a risk of yellow fever transmission all over Uganda, all travelers entering the country have to be vaccinated to protect themselves, including travelers from the UK, USA, and Australia. You will be asked at the border or international airport for an international health certificate showing you’ve had a yellow fever shot. Fortunately, the Yellow Fever shot currently can last a lifetime, so you can do it once.
Cost of a Uganda Entry Visa
- A standard Uganda single-entry visa, valid for three months, costs USD 50.
- Student entry visas cost USD 20. Multiple-entry visa valid for 12 months, costs USD 100.
- 24 months visa costs USD 150.
- 24-36-months visa costs USD 200.
Travelers with a single-entry visa intending to leave and return to Uganda (e.g., to trekking gorillas in Rwanda or visiting nearby Kenya) may find it more useful to apply for an East African Visa (cross-border joint visa).
The East African visa allows entry into all three countries (Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda) on a single visa which costs USD 100.
If, however, you intend to spend less than seven days in Uganda before leaving again, you can purchase an inland transit visa for only USD 15.
Planning a safari trip on your own can be a headache
Uganda Entry Visa Extension
Immigration authorities now generally only stamp your passport for a maximum of one month upon arrival. Immigration can extend your entry visa without charge to three months at any immigration office. You’ll be charged USD 100 per day if you overstay your visa.
In Kampala, you may be asked to provide an official letter from a sponsor or the hotel where you are staying. In Jinja and Mbarara, recent reports suggest you are more likely to have your stay extended to three months without any paperwork.
Valid Driving License
If there is any possibility you’ll want to drive or hire a vehicle in Uganda, bring a valid driving license. Your domestic (home country) driving license will suffice for a period of up to three months.
If you intend to drive in Uganda for longer, you can either obtain a Ugandan Driver’s license or (this is far cheaper and simpler) bring an international driving license with your domestic license. Rather than carrying the originals, a photocopy will suffice.
Keeping your documents safe
For security reasons, it’s advisable to detail all your important information on one sheet of paper, photocopy it, and distribute a few copies in your luggage, your money belt, and amongst relatives or friends at home.
The sort of things you want to include are your identification and address details and refund information, travel insurance policy details and 24-hour emergency contact number, passport number, details of relatives or friends to be contacted in an emergency, bank and credit card details, camera and lens serial numbers, etc.
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Entry requirements for pets
Cats and dogs must have a certificate of good health from a registered veterinarian in the area of origin, which must be issued, signed, and stamped no earlier than 10 days before arrival in Uganda. You will also need a certificate confirming the animal is free of rabies and has been inoculated as necessary.
Dogs require vaccinations against distemper, parvo-virus, rabies, hepatitis, and leptospirosis, not less than 30 days before arrival.
Cats should be vaccinated against rabies and feline enteritis, not less than 30 days before arrival.
Uganda Boarder Customs
When crossing the border into Uganda, you can bring in certain items without having to pay customs duty. These include 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco, one bottle of spirits and wine, 2.5 liters of beer, and a 1oz bottle of perfume.
If you’re leaving Uganda and want to take home some souvenirs, there are no restrictions on what you can export. However, if you plan on taking game trophies like teeth, bones, horns, shells, claws, skin, hair, feathers, or other durable items, you’ll need to obtain an export permit.
Bringing A Drone To Uganda
If you’re bringing in a drone for safari photography, you must know that the Ministry of Defense watches them closely. Through CAA, you must fulfill a couple of requirements to operate a drone in Uganda. Read the full details in: Operating a Drone in Uganda Procedures