Visa-on-arrival policy implemented for all African Union nationals

11 Jul 16

GHANA

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? The Ghana Immigration Service announced Friday that it will issue visas-on-arrivals for nationals of all African Union member states, effective immediately.

What does the change mean?  All African nationals (with the exception of Morocco, which is not a member of the African Union) may obtain a visa-on-arrival at Kotoka International Airport in Accra. The Immigration Service additionally confirmed that the program will be extended to all other Ghanaian ports of entry in three months.

  • Implementation time frame: July 8.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visit Visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of all African countries except Morocco.
  • Impact on processing times: Eligible African travelers will not need to apply for visas before traveling to Ghana.
  • Business impact: The policy will ease business travel for African nationals visiting Ghana for up to 30 days.

Background: President John Mahama announced in February that visas-on-arrival would be introduced for nationals of 54 African countries. Previously, Ghana only allowed visa exemptions for nationals of the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

For the visa-on-arrival, eligible African travelers must have a passport that is valid for at least three months from the date of entry to Ghana, show a return ticket or evidence of onward travel, and demonstrate proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for the period of intended stay in Ghana.

BAL Analysis: The visa-on-arrival policy will significantly improve travel for African nationals doing business in or visiting Ghana for short stays. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the announcement will encourage other African Union member states to similarly liberalize their visit visa regimes, which would further facilitate intra-continental business travel.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Ghana. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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