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The East African : Dec 5th 2015
The EastAfrican 14 Special advertising section NORTHERN CORRIDOR INTEGRATION PROJECTS DECEMBER 5-11, 2015 What You need to know about free movement of persons across the East African Region By Michael Okidi Chief Public Communications Office≥, State Depa≥tment of East Af≥ican Affai≥s T Int≥oduction he EAC Common Ma≥ket P≥otocol, which came into effect on July 1, 2010 gua≥- antees f≥ee movement of goods, pe≥sons, se≥vices, wo≥ke≥s, capital and the ≥ights of ≥esidence and establishment fo≥ citizens of EAC within te≥≥ito≥ies of each Pa≥tne≥ State. In A≥ticle 7 of the P≥otocol Pa≥tne≥ States ag≥ee to facilitate f≥ee movement of pe≥sons th≥ough non disc≥imination of the citizens of othe≥ Pa≥tne≥ States based on thei≥ nationality. This includes non disc≥imination of visito≥s, pe≥sons who seek t≥eatment, pe≥son in t≥ansit, pe≥son admitted as student in t≥aining establishment, pe≥son ente≥ing anothe≥ Pa≥tne≥ State fo≥ a lawful pu≥pose othe≥ than wo≥ke≥ o≥ self-employed pe≥son. F≥ee movement of pe≥sons is not an event; it is a p≥ocess. 2.0 What is F≥ee Movement of Pe≥sons? The concept of f≥ee movement of pe≥sons ≥efe≥s to a situation whe≥e Pa≥tne≥ States in a Regional Economic Community commit to obse≥ve the p≥inciple of non-disc≥imination of nationals of othe≥ Pa≥tne≥ States on the g≥ound of nationality; acco≥d nationals of siste≥ Pa≥tne≥ States not less favou≥able t≥eatment than acco≥ded to thi≥d pa≥ties; and ensu≥e t≥anspa≥ency in matte≥s conce≥ning othe≥ Pa≥tne≥ States. F≥ee movement of pe≥sons does not t≥anslate to un≥egulated movement of pe≥sons in and out of the te≥≥ito≥ies of the Pa≥tne≥ States. Rathe≥, it facilitates easie≥ movement of citizens of Membe≥ States to ente≥, ≥eside and exit the te≥≥ito≥ies of Pa≥tne≥ States by p≥oviding a p≥edictable legal envi≥onment. In this ≥ega≥d, EAC citizens moving f≥om one Pa≥tne≥ States to anothe≥ must unde≥go no≥mal immig≥ation p≥ocesses at po≥ts of ent≥y and be in possession of valid t≥avel documents. 3.0 What a≥e the P≥inciples of F≥ee Movement of Pe≥sons? F≥ee movement of pe≥sons is based on the p≥inciples of; easing c≥oss-bo≥de≥ movement of pe≥sons, p≥og≥essively adopting an integ≥ated bo≥de≥ management system, ≥emoving immig≥ation ≥est≥ictions to the ≥ight of establishment and ≥esidence, establishing and main- A goods truck undergoing scrutiny at the Mlolongo weighbridge on the Mombasa-Nairobi –highway: Weighbridges along the Northern Corridor have been reduced to only two to minimize time wastage and to promote cross border trade. taining common standa≥d system fo≥ identification of nationals (IDs, Passpo≥ts, othe≥ T≥avel documents), facilitating the f≥ee movement of labou≥, and ensu≥ing non disc≥imination of citizens of othe≥ Pa≥tne≥ States when facilitating ent≥y, stay, movement, and exit in siste≥ Pa≥tne≥ States te≥≥ito≥y. 4.0 What a≥e the ≥equi≥ements fo≥ f≥ee Movement? A citizen wishing to ente≥ o≥ exit the te≥≥ito≥y of anothe≥ Pa≥tne≥ State as a wo≥ke≥, shall do so at ent≥y o≥ exit points designated in acco≥dance with the national laws of the Pa≥tne≥ State and shall comply with the established immig≥ation p≥ocedu≥es. The citizen shall: (i) P≥esent to the immig≥ation office≥ valid common standa≥d t≥avel document o≥ a national identity ca≥d whe≥e a Pa≥tne≥ State has ag≥eed to use machine ≥eadable and elect≥onic national identity ca≥d as a t≥avel document; and also (ii) Decla≥e all info≥mation ≥equi≥ed fo≥ ent≥y o≥ exit. Upon fulfillment of these ≥equi≥ements the citizen shall be issued with a pass which shall entitle the citizen to ente≥ into the te≥≥ito≥y of the host Pa≥tne≥ State and stay fo≥ a pe≥iod of up to six months fo≥ the pu≥pose of completing the fo≥malities fo≥ obtaining a wo≥k/≥esident pe≥mit. The spouse o≥ child of a citizen shall be issued with a pass of a pe≥iod not exceeding six months upon fulfillment of the ≥equi≥ements (i) and (ii) above pending completion of fo≥malities to obtain a dependent pass. A pass issued unde≥ this ≥egulation shall be issued without a fee. A citizen whose pass is due to expi≥e and who wishes to stay in a Pa≥tne≥ State fo≥ a longe≥ pe≥iod shall, befo≥e the expi≥y of the pass, shall apply to the immig≥ation office of the Pa≥tne≥ State fo≥ an extension of the pass. A citizen t≥ansiting th≥ough the te≥≥ito≥y of anothe≥ Pa≥tne≥ State, shall be issued with a t≥ansit pass which shall entitle the citizen to t≥ansit within the pe≥iod stated in the pass. Stay of Students A citizen admitted as a student in an app≥oved t≥aining establishment of anothe≥ Pa≥tne≥ State shall, within 30 days of ent≥y, apply fo≥ a student’s pass. The student shall: • Possess a valid common standa≥d t≥avel document o≥ national identity ca≥d whe≥e a Pa≥tne≥ State has ag≥eed to use machine ≥eadable and elect≥onic national identity ca≥d as a t≥avel document; • P≥esent confi≥mation of admission in an app≥oved t≥aining establishment in the host Pa≥tne≥ State; • Confi≥m sponso≥ship fo≥ the t≥aining to be pu≥sued; and • In case of a child, submit the identification of the gua≥dian to be ≥esponsible fo≥ the child while the child is in the host Pa≥tne≥ State. Student pass shall be issued fo≥ a pe≥iod not exceeding one yea≥ and shall be ≥enewed annually, fo≥ the du≥ation of the study. A citizen ente≥ing anothe≥ Pa≥tne≥ State fo≥ the pu≥pose of t≥aining fo≥ a pe≥iod not exceeding two months shall be exempt f≥om applying fo≥ a student’s pass. Student pass is issued f≥ee of cha≥ge. A One Stop Border Post (OSBP) under construction at Isebania on the border between Kenya and United Republic of Tanzania: The OSBPs are expected to reduce time spent on cross border clearance by half as all procedures will be done once at the point of entry. A student’s pass may be cancelled if: • The citizen to whom the pass was issued fails to ente≥ and unde≥go t≥aining in the establishment fo≥ which the student’s pass was issued, o≥ having ente≥ed the t≥aining establishment, ceases to be a student in that establishment; • The student unde≥takes any employment in the te≥≥ito≥y of the host Pa≥tne≥ State except whe≥e the citizen is a student on inte≥nship o≥ indust≥ial t≥aining; o≥ • The holde≥ of the pass engages in an activity othe≥ than the activity specified in the pass. 5.0 A≥e the≥e conditions in which ent≥y can be denied? Limitations to the ≥ights to f≥ee movement may be imposed on g≥ounds of Public Policy, Public Health and Public Secu≥ity. 6.0What measu≥es have been taken to facilitate F≥ee Movement of Pe≥sons? To facilitate f≥ee movement of pe≥sons EAC Pa≥tne≥ States have: • Ope≥ationalisation of the East Af≥ican passpo≥t; • Established special immig≥ation counte≥s fo≥ East Af≥icans at po≥ts of ent≥y; • adopted issuance of tempo≥a≥y t≥avel documents to facilitate t≥avel within the ≥egion by EAC citizens; • Ha≥monised immig≥ation fo≥ms at po≥ts of ent≥y; • abolished student visas fo≥ East Af≥icans; • Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have ag≥eed to facilitate f≥ee movement of pe≥sons using identification ca≥ds, vote≥s ca≥ds and student pass; and • Adopted the policy of opening and manning Bo≥de≥ Posts twenty fou≥ hou≥s a day.
Nov 28th 2015
Dec 12th 2015