Dual Citizenship in Uganda

Question: Does having a Ugandan passport and X’s country’s passport make you a citizen of both Uganda and X?
Previously under the S. 19 of the Uganda Citizenship & Immigration Control Act Cap 66, a Ugandan citizen could not hold the citizenship of another country concurrently with his or her Uganda citizenship. However this position was amended under S. 9 of the Uganda Citizenship & Immigration Control (Amendment) Act No. 5 0f 2009 to the effect that a person who is not a citizen of Uganda may, on acquiring the citizenship of Uganda retain the citizenship of another country.

There are many people who were born and bred in Uganda but have since relocated to other countries and been granted citizenship of those countries. However prior to acquiring citizenship of those countries, many were required to denounce (either voluntarily or “involuntarily”) the citizenship of Uganda.

As stated above, with the amendment of the law in 2009, one can now apply and get back their Ugandan citizenship. Unfortunately what usually happens is that people just apply for a new Ugandan passport. It is important to note that having two passports of different countries does not make you a citizen of both countries. You are required to formally apply for dual citizenship. This can only be granted to persons above 18 years who fulfil all the requirements set out in the above law.

Take the case of Miguna Miguna, an active opposition politician in Kenya. It is alleged that he is a Canadian citizen who holds a Kenyan passport. It is further alleged that at the time he acquired a Kenyan passport, dual citizenship was not allowed in Kenya. Following his active participation in the controversial swearing in of Raila Odinga as people’s president on Tuesday 30th January 2018 at Uhuru Park, Miguna Miguna has since been charged with treason and deported back to Canada. He is crying foul and his lawyers are photocopy reams of paper to file appeals.

Our dear “ba Summer” (term used to refer to those who live abroad and usually come in during December holidays to enjoy their hard earned “dollars”), your savings and investments are too precious for you to compromise.

In 2007, Uganda conducted the first comprehensive National Household Workers’ Remittances Survey on money sent home by Ugandans living and working abroad. Total remittances received in 2008 were estimated at US$732.4 million, most of which (42.5%) was received through International Money Transfer Operators (MTOs). Banks accounted for 25.1% while 21.7% was through friends and relatives. Bank of Uganda Apart from consumption, a good proportion of cash remittances (41.1%) were spent on savings and investment with building works accounting for 21.2%. Inward remittances 2008, Uganda: Workers’ Remittance Report, https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/bou-downloads/publications/TradeStatistics/RemittanceMonitoring/Rpts/All/Uganda_Workers_Inwards_Remittance_Report_2008.pdf

Total personal transfers received in 2015 were estimated at US$901.9 million equivalent to 3.8 percent of GDP. The amount reflects an increase of 1.8 percent compared to the US$885.9million estimated for 2014. In shillings terms, total personal transfers in 2015 were estimated at UGX 2,922.6 billion. This was an increase of 26.9 percent compared to the estimate of UGX 2,303 billion of 2014. The increase in total transfers was largely attributed to higher in-kind receipts in 2015, which increased by 13.7 percent from US$133.7 million, received in 2014. Inward Personal Transfers 2015, BOU Report https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/bou-
downloads/publications/TradeStatistics/RemittanceMonitoring/Rpts/All/ANNUAL-PERSONAL-TRANSFERS-REPORT-2015.pdf

Therefore ensure that you properly apply for dual citizenship so that you don’t have to pay for a tourist visa at the airport and most importantly that the mailo land title you are holding in your names is legally yours.

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