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Ugandans arrested in Turkey for overstaying their visas

Man Jose Kayima

Uganda’s foreign affairs ministry has released a statement saying that a total of 87 Ugandans are so far known to have been detained in Türkiye for overstaying their visas.

This number was confirmed following consular visits to six detention centres in the Middle Eastern nation, permanent secretary Vincent Waiswa Bagiire said in a Friday statement.

Overstaying one’s visa is a breach of the immigrations regulations of a host nation, and in some countries, the penalties can be severe.

Türkiye offers several types of visas for different purposes — for tourism, business, work or study.

The consequences of overstaying a Turkish visa can include deportation, which means one faces a ban from entering the country again for a certain period.

Fines and legal troubles are also ramifications for visa overstay, as are difficulties in getting a visa in the future or obtaining citizenship in Türkiye.

For the 87 Ugandans detained in the country for keeping in the country beyond their official welcome, the foreign affairs ministry says it will “continue engaging with the relevant Turkish authorities to find a mutually acceptable solution” to address the matter.

The ministry of Foreign Affairs statement in full:

Foreign affairs ministry permanent secretary Vincent Waiswa Bagiire

❝ The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda wishes to inform the general public of the status of Ugandans detained in Republic of Türkiye as follows:

1) The ministry together with the Ugandan Embassy in Ankara-Türkiye is seized of the matter and has so far undertaken consular visits to six detention centres, namely: Harmandali, Silvre, Tuzla, Erzurum 1, Erzurum 2, and Edirne to offer the necessary consular and legal assistance required.

2) Following these consular visits, a total of 87 Ugandans have been identified and confirmed by the officials of the Ugandan Embassy in Türkiye to have been detained by the Turkish authorities due to overstay of their visas, which is in breach of the immigrations regulations of the Republic of Türkiye.

3) The ministry wishes to assure the general public of its commitment to continue engaging with the relevant Turkish authorities to find a mutually acceptable solution to address these concerns and the affected families will be updated in due course.

4) The ministry continues to urge all Ugandan nationals to abide by the immigration regulations of the host countries they reside in.

Read the statement Signed by Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, the ministry’s permanent secretary.

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