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HOW TO Guide

How To with visas and other non-resident matters


WELCOME  TO  GHANA !


VISAS AND OTHER NON-RESIDENT MATTERS

 Getting a visa for Ghana
Visa on Arrival
Entering Ghana
Visitors in transit
Entering Ghana with a foreign-registered car
Extending your stay
Overstaying


For residence matters (work, residence, NGO and study permits,
Dual nationals and Foreign spouses of Ghanaians),
see the “How To with immigration matters” page.

See Ghana Immigration Service fees.

 

The Ghana Immigration Service has been established as the agency of the government of Ghana to advise on and to ensure the effective implementation of all laws and regulations pertaining to immigration and related issues.

The Ghana Immigration Service is mandated to regulate and monitor the entry, residence, employment and exit of all foreigners. Movement of Ghanaians in and out of the country is equally monitored. issuance of permit and visas, monitor and investigate, detention, removals, passport processing, collaboaration with other agencies, refugees and asylum assistance and border patrol.

GETTING A VISA FOR GHANA
All persons entering Ghana must be in possession of a valid passport or an official travel document establishing the identity of the holder. Travel documents such as Laisser-Passers and other travel documents issued by Governments or International Agencies are recognized by the Government of Ghana. ECOWAS citizens may produce travel certificates in lieu of passports.

Any person who is seeking to enter into Ghana:

  • Must be in possession of a valid visa to enter Ghana where applicable, or
  • Must have been exempted from obtaining a visa to enter Ghana, or
  • Must have his name endorsed upon a visa and is in the company of the holder or the visa.
  • Must have applied and been granted an emergency entry permit or,
  • Must have been admitted to diplomatic status by the Government of Ghana.

All visitors to Ghana must possess a valid visa, with the following exemptions:

  • citizens Of ECOWAS Countries: Nigeria, Benin, Mauritania, Niger, Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Cape Verde and Mali,
  • nationals of Kenya, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Singapore. Hong Kong and Mauritius,
  • holders of Cuban Diplomatic Passports and German Diplomatic/Service Passports,
  • holders of Passports of Regional Economic Communities in Africa and the African Economic Community,
  • persons in direct airside transit. 

The following are entitled to Gratis Visas to Ghana: holders of Diplomatic/Service passports, of passports of Regional Economic Communities in Africa, of passports of the African Economic Community, personnel of the United Nations and its specialized Agencies, of The World Bank, of the African Development Bank and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, of Egypt, of Zimbabwe, of Malawi, of Swaziland, of Tanzania, of Zambia, of Lesotho, of Uganda, of Botswana, of Kenya, of Singapore, of Hong Kong Special Administrative Area and of Mauritius.

Visas must be obtained prior to arrival in Ghana from a Ghana Embassy, High Commission or Consulate abroad. Where Ghana has no Consular or Diplomatic representation, an application for Entry Visa may be made to the nearest Diplomatic Mission or Consulate authorized by the Government of Ghana to act on its behalf. See list. Alternatively, visas on arrival may be requested under certain conditions.

Nationals of the following Commonwealth East and Southern African countries may obtain Ghana Entry visas from Missions/Consulates abroad or may obtain visas at the point of entry in Ghana: Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho, Uganda and Botswana

News for Scotland: be informed that an Honorary Consulate of Ghana has been opened in Glasgow in 2010 and that it is issuing visas. There is one in Dublin as well.

The main categories of visas are:

  • diplomatic or official (gratis)
  • business
  • tourist
  • student
  • family (spouse or child of Ghanaian national)

The basic application requirements are:

  • two filled and signed applications forms
  • valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyon the saty in Ghana) with at least one blank page
  • two to four (depending on the High Commission) recent studio passport size photographs (3.5 x 4.5cm color with white background)
  • photocopy of round trip ticket or flight confirmation statement
  • copy of an International certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever*

*All travelers above nine (9) months coming into or transiting through Ghana are required to have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever at least ten (10) days from the proposed date of travel and where already vaccinated, provide evidence(certificate) indicating the duration of a vaccination status of not more than ten (10) years before entering Ghana.

Tourism
Evidence of financial support and hotel accommodation are to be provided.
Alternatively, a letter of invitation from a host in Ghana.
Names and addresses of references may be requested.
Multiple entry visa in this category is granted in accordance with applicant’s travel circumstances.

Business
Letter of recommendation from the employer, or if invited, a letter of invitation from the sponsor, business associate(s) or institutions in Ghana.

Student
Students other than those coming from ECOWAS countries are required to obtain visas or entry permits before proceeding to Ghana. Application together with the regular requirements must be submitted with a Letter of Acceptance from an Educational or Training Institution and evidence of financial means of the applicant for the period of the studies in Ghana.

Spouse or child of a Ghanaian national (family)
This visa is granted to persons whose parents or spouses are Ghanaian citizen. In additional to the regular requirements, applicant must submit a Marriage Certificate (spouse) or Birth Certificate (child) or any document confirming the relationship to the Ghanaian citizen.

Fees vary depending on the type of visa and your country. A single-entry tourist visa costs 50 euros or US$ 60. Fees for six months, one year and multiple entry visas are higher. See an Application Form sample here.

Visa is valid for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue. If the holder does not enter Ghana within three (3) months, the visa becomes invalid.

Unless you do not plan to leave Ghana before receiving you work or resident permit, we advice to a get multiple-entry visa: single-entry visas allow a one-time entry to Ghana only and if departing Ghana, another visitor visa must be applied for before re-entering. A multiple-entry visa allows coming and going to Ghana as often as needed while the visa is valid.

Be aware that the length of stay which will be granted to you on arrival is totally unrelated to the type and validity of your visa, is at the discretion of the immigration officer and will not exceed two months. Extensions may be obtained for up to two months at the Immigration Office.

Visa requirements, visa fees and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly.  You should obtain the latest information and details before applying. An easy way is to visit the visa pages of the website of a major High Commission of Ghana, such as the one in Washington DC, London or Tokyo.

Notes:

  • the possession of the appropriate documents does not confer a right of entry. You may be refused entry into Ghana if you fall within the category of prohibited Immigrant and if you do not satisfy Immigration requirements at the point of entry. In that case, the Government of Ghana will not be financially liable for your repatriation, 
  • persons who enter Ghana as visitors are not be permitted to take employment.

Note for single parents and minors
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should note that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or in some cases before permitting the children to leave the country.
Children under 18 years travelling alone of with a person who is not a parent or legal guardian need a letter of consent from both parents/legal guardian with a copy of passport/official photo ID of both parents/legal guardian, documents from the legal guardian and a copy of the birth certificate.

Note for journalists
For journalist and/or film crew wishing to cover an event or shooting a film/documentary in Ghana, the processing takes two weeks. In addition, such an applicant shall complete another form to indicate the nature of coverage and of the equipment to be taken to Ghana. Upon arrival in Ghana, such applicant shall call at the Information Services Department for accreditation.

Note for Professionals
It is an offence for foreign doctors, dentists, lawyers, pharmacists and other professionals to practice their profession in Ghana unless they have registered in accordance with the profession of the respective ordinances.
All professionals wishing to enter Ghana to practice one of these professions are required before visas are issued to provide particulars of their qualifications in order that their eligibility for registration may be determined.

A source of information before coming to Ghana is the Travel Advice page of the UK government.

Fees and charges
Fees and charges are indicated on this page for each type of application on the right of the title and in the following order: Non-ECOWAS nationals / ECOWAS nationals / Ghanaians with foreign passport. When a single fee is indicated, the fee applies to all three categories. All fees and charges are in Ghana Cedis (GHS) or US Dollars and are paid on the spot. Those libelled in US$ are payable in Ghana Cedis at a set exchange rate. GIS fees can also bee seen here.

Visa on arrival - US$150

Emergency visas valid for 14 days (extendable) may be issued at the port of entry to visitors who arrive from a country where there is no Ghanaian diplomatic or consular representation or on short notice, but such applications must be authorized by the Director of the Immigration Service through their sponsors before they arrive in Ghana.

  • Please note that applicants must satisfy the conditions that the distance between their place of abode and the Ghana Consular office should be such that the impromptu nature of your journey could not make it possible for them to travel to the office for a visa OR
  • That the applicant is proceeding to Ghana at a short notice for business transactions OR
  • That the applicant is a guest of the Government or a member of a delegation which is coming to Ghana at the instance of the Government at short notice OR
  • That the entry permit of an applicant who is a person resident in Ghana has expired while the applicant was outside Ghana.

An application must be filed on behalf of the foreign national by other national’s host with the Director of Immigration:

  • An application letter from the host, stating where the traveler is coming from (If the host is a Company/Organization, it must be on a letterhead) and the purpose of the visit and occupation or business to be followed or undertaken while Ghana
  • Copies of passport and resident permit if host is an individual
  • Proposed date of arrival / flight information
  • State where the traveler is going to lodge
  • How the traveler is entering the country (KIA, Aflao, Elubo, or Paga)
  • How long the traveler is going to stay
  • A photocopy of the traveler’s passport (Biodata page).

The above requirements may change. Ask for an updated list before applying.
Applications are normally processed within five working days upon submission.
Once the visa on arrival request has been accepted, it must be scanned and sent to the traveler for presentation to the airline at check-in and on arrival at the visa on arrival desk. Airlines do normally not allow passengers to board at the point of departure if they do not have a valid visa.

There are been cases when individuals have arrived at Kotoka International Airport in Accra without a visa at all and have obtained a visa on arrival.


ENTERING GHANA

Presenting your passport or recognized ID, visa and fully completed Entry Form should ensure a prompt immigration clearance.
The length of stay which will be granted to you is totally unrelated to your type of visa, is at the discretion of the officer and will not exceed two month.
Persons with approved visa on arrival must present themselves to the VOA immigration desk first, before proceeding to the immigration counters.

See the “How To when I step down from the plane” page.

VISITORS IN TRANSIT - $50 (cash if on arrival)

A person, seeking entry clearance to enter Ghana in transit and is not a prohibited Immigrant may be admitted for up to 48 hours by obtaining a transit visa in advance or on arrival.
The Immigration officer at the point of entry must be assured of entry into the destination country, be given an address and contact details of where one is going to stay in Ghana and that one can sustain him/herself in the transit and destination countries.
Application and issuance can be done at a Ghana High Commission but that is not needed as it can be obtained at the airport where the onward ticket must be presented.
The visitor may not decide to terminate his journey in the transit country.

ENTERING GHANA WITH A FOREIGN REGISTERED CAR

It is possible for a limited time and it should be noted that cars with foreign registration are not allowed to circulate between 6PM and 6AM: only Ghanaian registered vehicles are allowed on the road at this time. Non compliance can result in fines and the impounding of the vehicle for the night.

EXTENDING YOUR STAY - GHS 50 / GHS 30 / GHS 20 per month

Should you wish to extend you stay, you can do that by applying for extension at Immigration before or on the last day of your authorized stay. You normally can extend your visa a maximum of 3 times and each time extend its validity is up to 3 months.
There is a unconfirmed fee of GHS 30 when the visa has expired by the time the extension application is given.

Should you have a multiple-entry visa, you may want instead to use that opportunity to take a trip home, to a third country or to visit one of the three neighbouring countries (Togo the closest, three hours away from Accra, Ivory Coast to the west, twelve hours by bus, and Burkina Faso to the north). Be aware that a stay of 30 days only will probably be granted to you when you re-enter Ghana from Togo.

For an extension application, you will need to fill a form and two passport pictures. You are supposed to explain the reasons of your request on the form but, by bringing a copy of your flight ticket showing a return date within or close to the end of the extension period requested, you can obtain an extension by merely saying you want to stay longer. For extension requests with specific reasons (business start-up for example), the documents provided must be relevant to that: ask the Immigration clerk for the current requirements for your case.
The process normally takes 15 days but can be done in 10.

OVERSTAYING - GHS 80 / GHS 60 / GHS 40 per month of overstay

Should you have overstayed the period given to you when you entered the country as a visitor (see the number of days on your entry stamp), you will be asked to pay a penalty at the airport when departing.

The following persons are prohibited immigrants in Ghana:

  • a person of unsound mind
  • a person declared by medical personnel as medically unsound
  • a person considered to be a security risk.
  • a person against whom there is a deportation order in force
  • a person who has been sentenced in a foreign country for extradition under the Extradition Act 1960.


See Immigration Department of Ghana fees.



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