Are you are worried about getting a visa to Ghana?

Do you have a short or emergency business that requires you to travel to Ghana and you urgently need an entry visa?

Is the Ghana Embassy in your country of residence several hours away in another city and you have to travel far? Or there is no Embassy or consulate of Ghana in your country of residence? 

Did you just find out you needed a visa to travel to Ghana and your travel is just a few days ahead?

Or perhaps, you are currently travelling overseas and require transiting through Ghana for business?

This is the definitive guide to help you if you find yourself in any of the situations above. In this article, we will answer all your questions on getting an entry visa to Ghana.

What is an Entry Visa?

An entry visa is an authorization given to enable a person travel and present himself for entry into Ghana. A visa is not a guarantee of entry into Ghana, it is subject to the fulfilment of other conditions at the point of entry

Getting a Visa to Ghana – Two options for obtaining a visa to Ghana

There are two options  available for obtaining Ghana Visas.

The first option is obtaining the visa outside of Ghana through any of Ghana’s 56 Diplomatic Missions abroad. These visas may cover single or multiple journeys for periods between 6 months to 5 years.

The second option is obtaining the visa in Ghana. The visas issued in Ghana are done through the Ghana Immigration Service. These visas include  Transit Visas, Emergency Entry Visas, Visas on Arrival and Re-Entry Visas.

Basic requirement for getting visa to 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. Passport should have at least 6 months validity.

Visa Free – Categories of Persons who Don’t need a Ghana Visa

ECOWAS member states and some other countries in Africa are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering Ghana. Nationals from African Union member states who are not ECOWAS nationals may obtain a visa on arrival after the payment of the required fees.

Similarly, holders of diplomatic or Service passports of selected countries, persons in direct airside transit, as well as holders of official passports of some specialized agencies listed in the Visa Regime of Ghana are exempt from obtaining a visa.

 

Visa Free Countries

Nationals of the under the listed countries do not need visa when traveling to Ghana; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Singapore, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Gratis

Nationals of the underlisted countries are entitled Gratis visas issued at Ghana Foreign Mission; Rwanda, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Malawi, Egypt, Eswatini (Swaziland), Botswana, Uganda, Mauritius, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, St. Vincent & Grenadines.

What are the types of Visas in Ghana?

1.     Visa On Arrival/ Emergency entry visa

2.     Business Visa

3.     Transit Visa

4.     Tourist/Visitors Visa

5.     Re-entry Visas (Single & Multiple)

6.     Extension of Visitor’s Permit

7.     Study Visa/Student Permit

8.     Work visa/ work & Resident Permit

9.     Indefinite Residence Permit

 

Visa On Arrival/ Emergency Entry Visa

A person can obtain a visa on arrival by applying to the Comptroller-General of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS). The application must be filed by the host person or entity in Ghana on behalf of the visiting foreign national.

 

Does visa on arrival means I can board a flight and travel to Ghana and obtain my visa upon arrival? No please!

Am sorry to inform you that, potentially, the airline/immigration in your country of embarkation will not allow you to board the flight if you don’t have any document proof showing approval of your pre-arranged visa on arrival.

This is because the airlines get penalized if they allow passengers to board flights without proper visa documentation.

Ghana Immigration issues visas on arrival, but you need to have applied prior to your journey and obtain approval before you commence your travel to Ghana.

This approval is given in the form of a letter or a note that bears your name, travel dates, purpose of travel, passport details and visa validity period among other information about the traveler.

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What is the cost of Visa on Arrival?

The official fee for a visa on arrival or emergency entry visa is $150 per person, whether a child or an adult. Currently, all visa processing fees must be paid before approval is given by the Comptroller-General of Immigration.

 

Validity or Duration for Visa on Arrival

A visa on arrival is valid for thirty (30) days after is has been issued. In other words, once a visa on arrival is issued, the traveler has 30 days within which to enter Ghana. It takes 3 to 4 working days to get a visa on arrival or emergency entry visa. It is valid for a single entry.

Requirements for Visa on Arrival;

  1. Application letter stating the purpose, duration of stay etc.
  2. Copy of passport/Bio-data,
  3. Flight booking
  4. Hotel booking or accommodation address
  5. Business registration documents of the host
  6. Bio-data page of passport or copy of the identity card of the host (same as person who signs the application letter).
  7. A fee of $150 per person

 

Business Visa

When applying for a business visa, a letter from the applicant’s organization in the country where mission is situated, stating among other things the reasons for the visit and a supporting /invitation letter from the applicant’s Business Associates in Ghana. The applicant will pay the appropriates fees depending on the country he/she is applying from.

Requirements for Business Visa;

  1. Visa Application Forms to be completed and signed
  2. Colour Passport size photos (2) to be pasted or stapled in designated place on application form
  3. Business, Residential addresses and contact telephone numbers to be provided
  4. Occupation
  5. Financial means to be indicated
  6. Proposed date of travel
  7. Names and Addresses of references and/ Accommodation in Ghana (if it is a hotel, details are to be provided)
  8. Letter of consent from parent/legal guardian for children under 18 years
  9. Invitation Letter

Transit Visa

This type of visa is issued by mission abroad or Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for people passing through Ghana. It is valid for 48 hours after it has been issued. This visa is normally needed by persons with connecting flights through Accra-Ghana and may want to get out of the Airport for a quick meeting or catch-up before their final departure flight. The cost of transit visa is $50, it takes 3 working days to be ready.

Requirements for Transit Visa

  1. Copy of passport/Bio-data,
  2. Flight booking
  3. Hotel booking or accommodation (where applicable)
  4. Purpose of travel
  5. Business registration documents (where applicable)
  6. Bio-data page of passport or copy of the identity card of signatory of the application letter.
  7. A fee of $50 per person

 

Tourist/Visitors Visa

A person traveling to Ghana for the purpose of tourism or for leisure needs this type of visa. The official fee for a tourist visa is $150 per person, whether a child or an adult. It usually take 3 to 4 working to get this visa.

Requirements for Tourist Visa

  1. Copy of passport/Bio-data,
  2. Flight booking
  3. Hotel booking or accommodation
  4. Purpose of travel
  5. Business registration documents
  6. Bio-data page of passport or copy of the identity card of signatory of the application letter.
  7. A fee of $50 per person

 

Re-entry Visas

Re-entry visa is issued by GIS to people who are lawfully in Ghana and are not citizens or do not have a residence permit. If you are in Ghana and you plan to exit and re-enter Ghana, then re-entry visas are recommended.

I love this visa option because for someone planning to make multiple trips, this gives you flexibility and convenience. You can obtain this visa by applying to the Director of GIS in the prescribe manner for a re-entry visa.

Types of Re-entry Visas

  1. Single Re-entry visa
  2. Multiple Re-entry visa

Single re-entry

A person can obtain a single re-entry visa by paying a fee of $75 and applying to GIS in the prescribe manner. Single re-entry visa is valid for 3 months. Therefore, a person who possesses a single re-entry visa will be allowed entry back to Ghana once within the preceding 3 months.

Multiple re-entry

A person can obtain a multiple re-entry visa by paying a fee of $150 and applying to GIS in the prescribe manner. Multiple re-entry visa is valid for 6 months and a person can travel back to Ghana 3 times within 6 months before it expires.

Requirements of Re-entry Visa

  1. Fill Application for Re-entry Permit Form
  2. Application Letter
  3. Passport
  4. Two passport pictures
  5. Bio-data page of passport or copy of the identity card of signatory of the application letter. (If applicable)
  6. A fee of $75 for single and $150 for Multiple

Extension of Stay/Visa Permit Extension

A person who has been legally admitted into the country can apply for visa extension. All visitors may be given 30 to 90 days visitor’s stay on arrival. In reality however, 30 days has been the standard upon entry.

Persons seeking to stay longer than the number of days given to him at the entry point can apply for an extension and may be granted on application.

The GIS may extend such permit up to a minimum period of three (3) months initially and an additional 3 months maximum. Visa permit extension is not good for entry to Ghana and a person should not work with a visa extension. It is only an extension of stay.

Requirements for Extension of Stay/Visa Extension

  1. Fill Application for Visa Permit Extension Form
  2. Application Letter
  3. Passport
  4. Two passport pictures
  5. Bio-data page of passport or copy of the identity card of signatory of the application letter. (If applicable)
  6. A fee of 50gh¢ per month.

Study Visa/Student Permit

This is granted to persons who want to school in Ghana. They must attend an accredited institution in the country.

Requirements for Study Visa/Student Permit

  1. Admission Letter
  2. School Fees Receipt
  3. Non-citizen card
  4. Introductory Letter (from the school)
  5. 2 passport pictures
  6. Valid passport
  7. Statutory fee is GH¢150

Work Visa/Work & Residence Permit

Foreign nationals wishing to live and work in Ghana require a work and residence permit. A work and residence permit are popularly called work visa in some jurisdictions. The two names may be used interchangeable but it applies to the same thing.

Work visa permit may be obtained on application to the Minister for the Interior through the Comptroller-General of Immigration. In Ghana, a work visa is usually valid for 1 year and in some special cases 6 months. A work visa specifies the name of the employer and a statement indicating that the holder is only permitted to engage in the particular employment, business or professional occupation specified in the work visa letter. A person who wants to do a business transaction, open a bank account or acquire a piece of land in Ghana needs a work visa to be able to do so.

Requirements for a work visa/work and residence permit

  1. Complete work & residence permit form
  2. Application letter on company’s letterhead
  3. Letter of employment / Employment Contract
  4. Attach two (2) recent passport pictures
  5. Copy of Non-Citizen ID Card of $120 for new applicant and $60 for renewal.
  6. Original Passport applicant
  7. Bio data page of passport of applicant
  8. Curriculum Vitae / Resume
  9. Educational and Professional Certificates
  10. copy of valid National ID for person making the application (Ghanaian) or copy of Passport & residence permit (Foreigner National)
  11. Police Clearance Report from home country
  12. Current Company Tax Clearance Certificate (for existing companies)
  13. Medical Report from Ghana Immigration Service Clinic
  14. Business Registration Documents
  15. An official fee of $500 for Ecowas Nationals and $1,000 for other nationals

Indefinite Permit

Indefinite residence gives a person a permanent residence status in Ghana.

Legal Requirements for Indefinite permit

A person qualifies for indefinite residence status if that person;

  1. Has resided in Ghana throughout the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of application.
  2. Has during the seven years immediately preceding the period of the twelve months resided in Ghana for a period amounting in the aggregate to not less five (5) years.
  3. Is of a good character as attested to in writing by two (2) Ghanaian, who are notaries public, lawyers, senior public officers.
  4. Has not been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of twelve months or more.
  5. Has made or in the opinion of the Minister capable of making a substantial contribution to development to Ghana.
  6. Intends to reside permanently in Ghana upon the grant of the status and possess a valid residence permit on the date of his application (minimum validity of six (6) months).

Administrative Requirements for Indefinite permit

  1. A completed application form
  2. Two (2) current passport size photographs
  3. Application letter from sponsor
  4. Attestation letter by two (2) Ghanaian character referees
  5. Photocopy of applicant passport (bio-data and current residence permit pages)
  6. Evidence of immovable properties (indenture, site plan etc.)
  7. Company’s Document (audited account for the past three (3) years, SSNIT returns of Ghanaian employees, GIPC Certificate, Tax Clearance Certificate for personal and company for the past six years).
  8. Evidence of social contribution (eg. Donations and charity work, where applicable)
  9. Police Report from Ghana
  10. Photocopy of applicant’s non-citizen I.D card
  11. An official fee of Gh¢4,000
  12. Indefinite form fee of Gh¢50

Guidelines for Passengers Travelling to Ghana During Covid-19

In the quest to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent the importation of corona virus cases in Ghana, the President of Ghana has asked that the following safety precautionary measures be put in place at the airport and strictly complied.

 

  1. Passengers are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in their country of origin. The test should have been done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin.
  2. All passengers are mandated to wear face masks upon arrival at the airport.
  3. Upon arrival at the airport, each passenger will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal at a cost to be borne by the passenger as indicated below;
  • Ghanaians and Ecowas Citizens – $50
  • All other Passengers – $150
  1. Every passenger must undergo the testing except children below 5 years who are exempted.
  2. Transit passengers are not mandated to go through the testing.

In accordance with section 6 of the Immigration Act 2000, Act 573, the Ghana Immigration Service may make inquiries or request the production of further evidence to satisfy itself of the truth of statements made in the application. All applicant obtaining service from the Ghana Immigration Service should equally do so when they are exiting from the country.

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Visa and Permit Frequently asked Questions

Can I obtain work and residence permit if I traveled to Ghana with Visa on Arrival?

Yes, you can.

Can I obtain a work permit without a job?

No, you need to secure employment first before you can apply for a work and residence permit. Alternatively, you can establish your own company in Ghana.

If I have a work permit, does it cover my family and can my family also work in Ghana?

The primary holder of a work visa is the only person who can work in Ghana. His or her immediate family (spouse and children below 16 years) will also be given a residence permit to enable them reside in Ghana. Their residence permit doesn’t permit them to take on any employment.

Recommended Ghana Visa Options

In summary, below is a table that highlights the various options available to you.

Situation

Recommended Visa

Business Meeting/Conference meetingBusiness visa
Emergency Urgent visit/No Ghana Embassy in your country of residenceVisa on arrival/Emergency visa
Leisure/ tourismTourist Visa
Passing through Ghana within 48hrsTransit Visa
Exit and re-enter Ghana within 3 or 6 monthsRe-entry Visas
Seeking to stay longer than the number of days given to youVisa Extension
Seeking for employmentWork visa / work and residence permit

Conclusion

In conclusion, getting a visa to Ghana is fairly easy. Whatever your situation is, I hope you have found one of the above solutions helpful.

Tell us what other visa challenges you have had.

Want to read more about Visa to Ghana, See this next article