By Jeff Andrew Lule
In recent months, over 1,000 foreign students have been arrested for illegally staying and studying in the country.
They were arrested from the areas of Kansanga and Kabalagala in Makindye division.
The area hosts Kampala International University (KIU), International University of East Africa (IUEA), and Cavendish University, among others.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, Simon Mundeyi, said they were not found with legal documents – student passes – allowing them to stay and study in Uganda.
He noted that this alerted the ministry, that many institutions of learning were admitting and harboring foreign students who are studying and living in the country illegally.
“We have students, they are foreign, studying and living here, but they are supposed to apply for what we refer to as students’ pass in order to allow them to continue studying and operating here,” Mundeyi noted.
He stressed that all foreign students and pupils registered in any academic institution (primary and secondary schools, universities, or technical colleges) must have a student pass to legally ‘study here’.
Mundeyi, while speaking to the New Vision in an interview, noted that a student pass costs only $100 (about sh360,000) and can be applied for online via www.visas.immigration.go.ug.
He stressed that it is illegal for any academic institution to harbor foreign students without students’ passes.
“Because they are students and young people, we handled the matter administratively and we did allow them to regularise their stay here. But in the coming one or two weeks, we are warning those places harbouring such students, that we shall be out again and this time we shall take action,” he added.
Mundeyi said they will also crack a whip on the academic institutions that are harbouring students illegally.
He urged all school owners and leaders to ensure foreign students in their institutions get student passes.
It is estimated that Uganda hosts about 20,000 learners in universities and international schools countrywide.