Ghana Work Visa – This Is How to Get It


Ghana work visa is what you need to enable you live and work in Ghana. This is a simplified guide showing you how to get it.

The term ‘work visa’ is used by several countries but in Ghana we call it ‘work and residence permit’. In the other words, work visa is the same as work and residence permit in Ghana.

A person can get only get a work visa if he/she has an employer in Ghana or is ready to establish his/her own business in Ghana.

You cannot have residence permit without a work visa if your intention is to work in Ghana. Both the work and residence permit are issued together.

Only dependents of persons holding work visas qualify for residence permits.

Ghana Immigration Act 573, 2000 section 12 states that;

  1. A person who has been lawfully admitted entry into Ghana, may upon an application to the Director in the prescribed manner, be issued with a residence permit.
  2. The Director may grant residence permit for up to a period not exceeding eight years, except that, a residence permit shall not be for more than four years in the first instance.

You can also read this article directly on Mondaq here: Ghana Work Visa – This Is How To Get It

What is a Work Visa?

A work visa is an approval granted by the Controller General of Ghana Immigration Service for the employment of foreign nationals specifying the number and description of persons authorized to be employed. Foreign nationals wishing to live and work in Ghana require work visa.

Corporate bodies and other institutions that wish to employ foreigners may obtain Immigrant Quota from the Ministry of the Interior, or take advantage of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center or Free Zones Board Quota issued as an incentive for foreign direct investments.

Requirements for Work Visa

  1. Complete work visa 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
  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 & work visa (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 – certificate of incorporation, company regulations, form 3&4

Work Visa Application Process

To secure a work visa in Ghana, the key requirement is to have an employment contract with a Ghana-registered company or be ready to establish your own business in Ghana.

Assuming you have employment or you have your own company in Ghana, below is the process you need to follow to apply for your work visa.

First of all, you need to submit your application to GIS after completing the work visa forms and attaching the required documents as indicated above. Before submitting the application, the applicant should have done their non-citizen ID card and medical screening – all to be done at GIS Head Office. You will need your passport to complete this process. The cost for a non-citizen ID card is $120. Complete the non-citizen card forms and proceed to do fingerprint scanning at the same place. It usually takes One (1) or two (2) working days to get the non-citizen card.

The medical screening is also done at the GIS clinic, located at GIS Head Office. After paying the appropriate fees ($200 for a new permit or $110 for a renewal permit). A nurse will take your blood sample, and check your weight, height and blood pressure after you will see the doctor. It usually takes two (2) working days to get your medical report, which will be sent to the work visa office. The medical screening is done to check if you are fit to work.

The next step after getting the receipts for both the medical screening and non-citizen card is to proceed directly to pay the statutory fees for the work visa ($500 for Ecowas nationals, $1,000 for other nationals and $300 for those on quota) at the GIS bank.

Do not forget to take a retention slip from GIS. The retention slip shows that you have submitted your application including your passport to GIS and they are working on it. On the slip, it will clearly state, the name of the applicant, the name of the company, the date of submission and the date you should check on your application.

Lastly, after paying the appropriate fees, the visa application will be vetted, approved, and issued accordingly. The work visa approval comes in the form of a letter. Once your work visa is approved, the next step is the processing of your residence permit. The residence permit will be issued in the passport of the applicant after it has been approved.

Upon completion of all the processes, you will receive your work visa approval letter and residence permit in your passport.


Who needs a Work Visa?

Foreign Nationals wishing to live and work in Ghana require a work visa and it’s granted to people above eighteen (18 years old).

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • An investor
  • An employee of an organization

Does Ecowas Citizens Need Work Visa?

Yes, all ECOWAS and African nationals need a work visa to be able to live and work in Ghana. Work visa is not the same as an entry visa. Hence, even though ECOWAS nationals do not need entry visa to enter Ghana, they however need a work visa to work in Ghana.

See here Also: Getting a visa to Ghana, a comprehensive Guide

Cost of Work Visa

New application – ECOWAS NATIONALS

  • 6 months/1 year work and residence permit = $500
  • Non-Citizen ID = $120
  • Medical report =$250


  • 6 months /1 year work and residence permit = $500
  • Non-Citizen ID = $60
  • Medical report = $150

New application – OTHER NATIONALS (Non-ECOWAS)

  • 6 months /1 year work and residence permit = $500/$1,000
  • Non-Citizen ID = $120
  • Medical report = $250


  • 6 months/1 year work and residence permit =$500/ $1,000
  • Non-Citizen ID = $60
  • Medical report = $150

Dependent Visa

This is issued to dependents of persons holding valid work visa in Ghana. Dependents include:

  • Spouses (of foreigners or Ghanaians)
  • Children under 18
  • Parents or Grand parents
  • Children over 18 will be granted on these grounds where they are unmarried or receiving full time education or persons who are entirely receiving support because they are physically or mentally handicap.

Requirements of Dependent Visa – Foreign National

  1. Application letter on Company’s letterhead Complete a residence permit form
  2. Two passport size photographs of applicant
  3. Birth certificate (where applicable)
  4. Marriage Certificate (where applicable)
  5. Copy of Non-Citizens ID Card (excludes children below 6 years)
  6. Valid Passport for applicant
  7. Copy of passport bio-data page and residence permit for principal holder (if an expat)
  8. Company registration documents
  9. Statutory fee is GH¢300

Requirements of Dependent Visa – Ghanaian National

  1. Application letter
  2. Complete a residence permit form
  3. Two passport size photographs of applicant
  4. Birth certificate (if child)
  5. Marriage Certificate (If spouse)
  6. Copy of Non-Citizens ID Card (excludes children below 6 years)
  7. Valid Passport for applicant
  8. Bond to be executed (where applicable)
  9. Copies of Bio-data pages of two (2) guarantors (where applicable)
  10. Copy of passport bio-data for person making the application
  11. Statutory fee is GH¢150

Can my Family or Dependents also work in Ghana?

Yes, they can. They should be above eighteen (18yrs) and must obtain a work visa.

Why Immigration may Reject your application?

GIS may reject your application if you provide;

  1. Improper documentation
  2. Falsification of documents
  3. Illegal entry (where there is no visa stamp in the applicant’s passport)

Cancellation of  Visa

Work visa issued to an applicant may subsequently be cancelled.

  Reasons for cancellation of visa are:

  • When an employee’s contract ends
  • When an employee changes employment or employer
  • When an employee decides to leave Ghana

However, a permit may be revoked if an applicant commits a crime or is found indulging in an unauthorized business.

Obligations of Foreign employers

It is the responsibility of the employer to take the following steps when employing an expatriate in Ghana;

  1. An employer is liable to pay all repatriation expenses of an employee and his dependents if the employee ceases to work for the employer and repatriation becomes necessary.
  2. A foreigner that has been granted work visa/work permit or immigrant quota cannot start working immediately in Ghana unless that person is granted residence permit by the Comptroller General of Immigration to remain and work in the country.
  3. work visa/work permit or Immigrant quota specifies the job title and indicates the employer by whom that person is employed and the holder cannot engage in any other employment, business, profession or occupation in Ghana for reward than what is specified by the work permit or Immigrant quota.
  4. When an application is submitted to GIS, the applicant/employer should request for a retention slip. This shows that indeed your application is with GIS.
  5. Cancel the current or expiring work and residence permit to prevent accruing monthly penalty payments of $100 for non-renewal.
  6. Take steps to ensure the expatriate exits Ghana upon the termination of appointment.
  7. An individual or body corporate to whom work visa/work permit or immigrant quota is granted, is obliged to submit annual returns, not later than the 14th day of January in each year to the issuing authority with a copy to the Comptroller General, giving names and addresses of all foreign employees in their employment as at 1st January. Other particulars which may be prescribed will also have to be provided.



In conclusion, a person who has been legally admitted into the country can by applying through the prescribed manner be granted work visa.

I hope this has been helpful. Do not forget to share this with your network, they will be grateful you did.

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