At the heart of West Africa; surrounded by large rain forests, robust agricultural land, oil deposits and most of all a halo of peace is Ghana, previously Ivory Coast. Ghana means warrior. This country has such a rich heritage and is well endowed with natural resources you would want to live there or at least visit and confirm its goodness. Learn all about the ghana passport and plan your travel already.
A passport is the official document given by the government of a specific country to identify a person as its legal citizen. Most times you have to produce a passport before you access most services in Ghana. Ghana gives provision for dual citizenship where citizens of other countries can apply to become its citizens as well, mostly done among the common wealth countries. If you are planning to apply, the following are 5 interesting things you should know about the Ghana passport.
There is an official Ghana Passport service: Who issues these passports?
The Ghana passport is only issued by the ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration to Ghanaians. Citizens from common wealth countries can apply for passports from the Ghana embassies in their countries. Under the Ghanaian nationality law there is provision for three types of passports;
- Ghanaian Contemporary passport
This is the basic passport given to citizens and non-citizens who have become Ghana nationals.Usually; it has to be renewed after five years.
- Ghanaian Service passport
This one is given to civil servants who have to travel in the course of government duty.
- Ghanaian diplomatic passport
This passport is specially meant for Ghana’s diplomats who are sent to work overseas. Their families are also eligible.
Whichever passport one qualifies for, you can’t hold two similar passports at a go. It is a crime under the Ghanaian constitution.
2. Ghana Passport Application: The requirements you must meet
Applying for the Ghana passport online has been introduced lately to ease the process for applicants. You will need to have;
- Your birth certificate as proof of Ghanaian citizenship
- Other documentation that supports the identity in the birth certificate like a National ID
- Evidence of profession. This means a student ID for students, a work ID or a business certification for self employed people.
After you confirm you have these requirements, you start on the online application process instead of buying and filling Ghana passport forms as was the case before. How much is a Ghana passport? This is a question most people ask before they start the application process.Well, there are two types of applications; expedited and standard application. The expedited type is express. It is out in a few hours and costs 100 GHS. The standard type takes the normal duration; a period of up to 30 days from the date of application. You pay 50GHS for this.
3. There is a newly introduced Ghana biometric passport application form
Instead of filling the physical form, you now go to an accredited point of sale and do your application there. These points of sale include all the main banks in the country. Here is the simplified procedure on how to apply for a biometric passport;
- Go to an approved point of sale of your choice
- Fill the biometric passport form online
- Attach scanned copies of all required documents
- Visit the Accra Passport Application Centre (PAC)
- Your biometric data is taken and new photos uploaded to the system
- A submission receipt with the passport collection date is processed in the online point of sale
- The finalized passports are all forwarded to the PAC where they are collected upon presenting the submission receipt.
The manual application can’t be completely phased out as going to the PAC is necessary. By the time one qualifies for a passport, they have gone through several vetting sessions and biometric checks.
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4. The passport is renewable - Ghana passport renewal procedure
The renewal of Ghana passport is necessary as it’s only valid for a given period of time. Moreover, once in a while one may lose or damage their passport. In case any of the three things happens to you, here’s how to apply for a new passport. The procedure provides for the two possibilities, a modern biometric passport or the older black book passport.
Renewing an expired passport
You should have;
- A new proof of profession in case it changed
- The first page of your passport
- The page with your biodata and information
- If you had a visa in the old passport, you need a valid one to renew
READ ALSO: Ghana to introduce online passport application system
5. There are Ghana passport visa free countries
Ghana’s passport is among the most respected in the world. With an ECOWAS passport Ghana you can visit all countries within this trade union without a visa. As per this agreement, a Ghana passport serves as a travel permit and also allows you to stay in any West African country up to 90 days without a visa. Beyond the ECOWAS borders, some common wealth countries can allow a Ghanaian passport holder to visit and stay for a few days without a visa. Others require one but make the acquiring easy by providing it upon arrival at a very affordable fee. Check out this list and start packing your travel bags.
- A list of Ghana passport visa free countries and the period they allow one to stay without a visa.
- Burkina Faso for up to 90 Day
- Benin a maximum of 3 Months
- Barbados up to 6 Months
- Trinidad and Tobago for up to 3 months
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: for a month
- British Virgin Islands for up to 30 Days
- Belize for a Month
- Cote d’Ivoire for up to 3 Months
- Cook Islands for up to 31 Days
- Cape Verde: Dominica Dominica for 21 Days
- Ecuador for 90 Days
- Fiji for up to 4 Months
- Guinea-Bissau for a maximum of 90 Days
- Haiti for up to 3 Months
- Kenya for 3 Months
- Saint Kitts and Nevis for 3 Months
- Liberia Mali for a maximum of Months
- Mauritania for up to 3 Months
- Montserrat for 3 Months
- Mauritius for 60 Days
- Malawi for 90 Days
- Niger: Nigeria for 90 Days
- Niue for a maximum of 30 Days
READ ALSO: Updated List of Visa Free Countries for Ghana Passport Holders 2017/2018
- Philippines: here one stay for a maximum of 21 Days. For any number of days above 21 you need to acquire a visa which is issued upon arrival. It however can’t go past 59 days.
- Kosovo for a maximum of 90 Days
- Singapore for up to 30 Days
- Sierra Leone for up to 3 Month
- Senegal for a maximum of 3 Months
- Swaziland for a maximum of 30 Day
- Turks and Caicos Islands for up to 30 Days
- Togo for a period of up to 3 Months
- Micronesia for up to 30 Days
- Grenada for up to 3 Months
- Gambia for a maximum of 90 Days
If you have been wondering where to start in your Ghana passport application, this is your starting point.