Over the past year, the Government of Ghana through the relevant State bodies, has relaxed the immigration regime to enable Africans from the Diaspora and tourists alike to easily travel to Ghana to participate in the Year of Return activities. These immigration concessions have ranged from reduction in visa fees to requesting international airlines to relax visa demands prior to embarking to Ghana.
Given the expected large number of travelers that have planned to visit Ghana during this season, it is important to shed light on these concessions. This piece is the first of a 5 part series on the immigration, residency and investment matters that may be relevant to the African Diaspora community in particular and travelers to Ghana in general.
In part 1 of this series, we deal with the application of a recent directive issued to airlines by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to enable easy travel to Ghana and caution prospective travelers to confirm with their travel agents or airlines prior to setting off to Ghana despite the existence of the directive.
Recent Directive on boarding an international Airline without visa:
In order to ensure smooth and easy travel of the African Diaspora and tourists visiting Ghana for the Year of Return events, Ghana’s Foreign Minister through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has recently issued a directive to airlines operating in Ghana to relax their demands for visas prior to arrival as visas would be issued to such traveler upon arrival in Ghana. [DIRECTIVE FROM MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO AIRLINES]
However, the fact is that not all international airlines are complying with this directive, which may cause some confusion with travelers.
To avoid any delays, we advise all prospective travelers travelling to Ghana without a visa:
- To confirm directly with your travel agent or airline before embarking on the trip
- May carry with them introductory letter from the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA)
On arrival, travelers of African descent may be given the visa concession i.e. paying $75 for their visas instead of the standard visa fee of $150. Visitors of non-African descent may be required to pay the standard fees although they may have traveled for the sole purpose of participating in the Year of Return activities.
If the airline does not acknowledge the directive, it is best to ensure that you have a visa or pre-approved visa in place before departing to Ghana. You may check on the part 2 of this article to get ideas on obtaining visa to Ghana.
Festus Owooson & Joshua Hormenoo
Globetrotters Legal Africa, Accra
The authors can be reached via [email protected] with any enquiries.