Guidance

Living in Uganda

Advice for British people living in Uganda including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Uganda including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our services for British nationals.

Health

Medical standards are different in quality to the UK. All necessary vaccinations must be taken and a yellow fever vaccination card must be provided if one is travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Malaria is common and it is advisable to have a malarial prophylactic. You are strongly advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance before travelling to Uganda. There are private medical facilities especially in the capital city, which provide good health care but may be expensive. The government owned hospitals are free but may be overcrowded and sometimes have shortages of basic medicine. There are some British doctors working in private clinics or hospitals, several of which are well equipped.

See our travel advice sections on health, safety and security.

Education

Most schools in Uganda teach in English. English is widely spoken and understood by most people. The majority of international schools are located in the capital, Kampala. Some of these offer the British educational curriculum while others offer the American curriculum. International schools are more expensive. Most primary schools usually start formal teaching from Grade 1 at six years old. Universal free education is only available for Ugandan nationals aged 6 to 16 years.

Employment and Recognised Qualifications

Employment opportunities are available for British nationals. However, you require a valid work permit to work in Uganda. You may also be required to provide a police clearance /disclosure from your home country before receiving a work permit. The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control handles all work permit applications. Arrangements for applying for work permits should be made prior to entering the country.

Entry and Residence Requirements

British nationals need a visa to enter Uganda. On 1 July 2016, Uganda introduced an ‘e-visa’ system. You should apply online for an ‘e-visa’ as far in advance of travel as possible.

Ugandan immigration officers decide how long tourists are permitted to stay in Uganda when they enter the country. This is usually between 2 weeks and 3 months, and the immigration officer will normally enter a handwritten note of this period next to the entry stamp in your passport. You can be fined and/or imprisoned for overstaying your visa. You can apply to extend the period of your stay at your nearest immigration office. Ugandan immigration headquarters is on Jinja Road in Kampala.

For further information about entry requirements, visit the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs website or email them at info@mia.go.ug. If you’re arriving by road, it’s usually easier to get a visa before you travel.

Foreign nationals can apply for Residence status after legally living in Uganda for 10 years. Uganda recognises dual citizenship but one has to apply for it. There are restrictions on children below 18 having dual citizenship.

Benefits

There is no benefit system in Uganda. British nationals do not get benefits and cannot access UK benefits through Uganda. Please visit the mainstream page for UK benefits and advice on retiring abroad.

Driving Licences and Vehicles

UK driving licences are acceptable for visitors, but for a maximum of 6 months. Anyone intending to stay in the country longer is expected to obtain a Ugandan driving licence. In order to obtain a Ugandan driving licence one must contact the Uganda Revenue Authority website for more details.

Sponsoring Family Members

Family members of a British National need a valid relevant visa to live in Uganda. This is not required if the family members hold Ugandan nationality.

Social Ethics and Traditions

Ugandans are friendly to visitors. English is the official language and is widely spoken. The dress code is sometimes conservative. Remember to be sensitive to the different culture and people around you. Do not engage in behaviour that may cause offence. Homosexuality remains illegal and not tolerated.

Returning to the UK

At the end of your stay you should check that your visa/residence permit is valid or you will be liable to pay a fine to the Immigration Department.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the High Commission by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British High Commission will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 11 March 2015
Last updated 22 July 2016 + show all updates
  1. Changes to Entry and Residence Requirements
  2. First published.