KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Internal Affairs has said that Ugandans travelling to Denmark with the new polycarbonate e-passport will have to wait or cancel their flights as they wait for verification of their passports by the destination country.
The spokesperson of the Ministry Mr Simon Mundeyi told journalists says those intending to travel to the European country will have to wait for at least two weeks for their travel plans to be approved after recent reports indicated that Uganda students had been blocked from proceeding with the visa application process to Denmark.
“Ugandans travelling to Denmark will have to be patient for two weeks as we finalise with the Danish authorities. Even those who had applied for visas at the Danish Embassy will have to wait for authorization from Denmark,” Mr Mundeyi revealed on Tuesday evening.
He added that those who had managed to travel to Denmark with polycarbonate passports without any issues are at liberty to return to the country but it is only those travelling out of Uganda that have to wait.
Uganda introduced the new polycarbonate e-passports in March this year in a bid to ease travellers’ experience, improve document verification and enhance travel security for citizens.
According to Mr Mundeyi, the government had fulfilled all the standards required by International Civil Aviation and Organizations (ICAO) for the new passports, and these have not been rejected anywhere as some reports claim.
“We wrote to ICAO and we got certification and approval to upgrade the passport in line with the international passport and were also required to print sample passports to be distributed to all countries globally,” he said.
Reports from the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) indicate that over 7,000 people had travelled abroad using the new polycarbonate passport. Out of these, 98 had managed to travel to Denmark.
“At the airport when we checked our records on Friday. About 98 have actually used the passports to go Denmark and the Danish government rejected one of the visa applicants on account of having not verified the passport,” he said.
However, it should be noted that a similar issue happened in 2018 when the government phased out the machine-readable passport to the electronic one. Mr Mundeyi said that the Danish government is always careful when verifying passports.
“The issue is with the Danish government which takes its time to verify and they are not like other quick countries such USA and Canada,” he said.
Efforts to reach the Danish Embassy for a comment were by press time futile as several emails and calls to the Public Relations Office were not responded to.
Additional Reporting by Karim Muyobo/DM
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