What are the changes? Uganda has agreed to abolish work permit fees for Kenyans and Rwandans beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Kenyan and Rwandan nationals working in Uganda.
  • Impact on processing times: No impact.
  • Business impact: The waiver of fees will reduce labor and immigration costs.

Background: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni agreed to scrap the work permit fees during a meeting with Rwandan Presidents Paul Kagame and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kigali last week. The three signed an agreement that unifies tariffs and facilitates the movement of goods and people among the three countries.

In a related development, East African Community General Secretary Dr. Richard Sezibera called for all countries of the regional bloc to abolish work permit fees to reduce barriers between member countries.

The proposal has been debated for years, but not all members are on board. Last August, Tanzania increased its work permit fees by 33 percent on other member states.

BAL analysis: The waiver of work permit fees will reduce the cost of business and make it easier for Kenyans and Rwandans to work in Uganda.

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