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HOW TO Guide

How To with immigration



General notes and foreigner ID card
Work permits
Residence permits
NGO permits
Student permits
Dual Nationals
Foreign spouses of Ghanaians
Indefinite residence

For non-resident immigration matters (visas, entering Ghana, transit,
stay extensions, overstays),
see the “How To with visas and non-resident immigration matters” page.
For any questions, you can write to help@accraexpat.com.

See Ghana Immigration Services fees.


For work permit and all other applications detailed thereafter and made to the Immigration Service, note that:

  • all applications are to be submitted with a cover letter addressed to the Director, Ghana Immigration Service,
  • every company, Ministry, Department, Agency or individual who wishes to apply shall pick up the relevant application form at the receiving counter of the GIS Reception Counter,
  • all required documents must be submitted and a copy of the Foreigner ID card must be provided (with a validity of more than one month). Omissions of documents will cause delays in processing,
  • your passport will be kept during the process so do keep that in mind if you must travel abroad (in some instances, some countries, like France, allow citizens to have two passports),
  • a numbered retention slip indicating acceptance will be given (the payment receipt will be given when the passport is returned).

You usually can have pictures and photocopies made near the entrance of Immigration offices, as it is the case in Accra.

Road directions to Immigration HQ in Accra in North Ridge: across from the Canada High Commission, first street south of the crossing of Ring Road and Independence Avenue at the three-level Ako Adjei Interchange – go to the air-conditioned "Reception Counter" on the right after the parking area.
MAY 2015 note: the regular entrance is closed for construction work. The new entrance is around the building in the next street leading back to Ring Road.
Opening times are 0830am to 0300pm. Tel: 0302-258 250/224 445/221 667/674 125/213 401.
At Kotoka International Airport: 0302-776 171/777 401/762 616.
Each region has an Immigration Service office where applications can be made.


Applications for work permits are normally processed within four to six weeks upon submission. A date to check on application is given on the retention slip.
In June 2014, the delay in Accra for residence permits was announced at six weeks but pressure from the applicant resulted issuance within 18 days. In Spring 2014, one of our Members waited four months to receive her residence permit as a spouse of a work permit holder.
Extension of visitors permit are normally processed within two weeks.
There are ways to speed up processing which we can’t write about here. You can send an enquiry with your full name, country of citizenship and telephone number to services@accraexpat.com.

Fees and charges
Fees and charges are indicated on this page for each type of application on the right of the title and in the following order: Non-ECOWAS nationals / ECOWAS nationals / Ghanaians with foreign passport. When a single fee is indicated, the fee applies to all three categories. All fees and charges are in Ghana Cedis (GHS) or US Dollar and are paid on the spot. Those libelled in US$ are payable in Ghana Cedis at a set exchange rate. GIS fees can also bee seen here.

As per the "National Identity Register Act" of 2008, foreign citizens above 6 years old residing in Ghana for more than 90 days must, as Ghanaians do, register with the "National Identification Authority" (also here) which will issue ID cards. Registration and issuance of card started early 2013 and is done though a contractor at CAL Bank branches.
The cost is $120 equivalent in Cedis. Renewal each year is $60.
Find all information here. Email: info@fims.org.gh. Tel.: 0501 267 262/ 0501 267 280.
The application form gives you the information which will be asked when staff will fill it for you on location and these FAQ's will give you answers.
CAL bank branches can be found here. In Accra, we consider the following CAL Bank branch as the one where processing is the easiest and fastest: Cal Bank Head Office Annex in Nyaniba Estate, near Osu (where CAL Bank Headquarters at Ridge has relocated). It is near the Nyaniba entrance at Labone Junction on Ring Road, coming from Danquah Circle. See map here.
In Kumasi, the CAL branch is located on Old Bekwai Rd. at Ahodwo.

WORK PERMITS - $1000 / $500 / $150

Obligations of Foreign employers and foreign employees in Ghana

  • No foreigner shall employ or accept employment in Ghana unless that person is granted a work permit or Immigrant quota.
  • Work permit or Immigrant quota is an authorization granted to an employer or employee to engage in lawful and gainful employment in Ghana .
  • 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.
  • Foreign spouses with special skills may on application to the Minister of Interior be issued with work permits to work so long as they remain with partners who have lawful residential status in Ghana .
  • A foreigner that has been granted work permit or immigrant quota cannot start working immediately in Ghana unless that person is granted residence permit by the Director of Immigration to remain and work in the country.
  • When a foreign national begins to work for an employer in Ghana, the employer will have to give notice to the issuing authority for work permit or Immigrant quota no later than seven days after commencement of employment in a prescribed form, indicating the commencement date with a copy to the Director of immigration. Additionally, a letter of guarantee in respect of repatriation expenses of the employee should be submitted to the Director.
  • Similarly, the employee will have to give notice of the commencement date to the issuing authority not later than 7 days after the commencement of employment with a copy to the Director of immigration.
  • If a foreign national ceases to work in Ghana the employer will have to give notice of the cessation not later than 7 days after the cessation to the issuing authority with a copy to the Director of immigration and shall comply with the directions of the Director as to the arrangements for the repatriation of the employee and his dependants, if any.
  • The employee will also have to give likewise notification.
  • An individual or body corporate to whom 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 Director of immigration, 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.
  • An employer is liable to pay all repatriation expenses of an employee and his dependants if the employee ceases to work for the employer and repatriation becomes necessary.

General Requirements

The applicant should completely fill the application form, append his signature and attach:

  • a C.V./resume, educational and professional certificates of the employee and employment contract,
  • a Police report from his/her home country (if not in English, translated by a recognized translator),
  • a medical report from a recognized hospital in Ghana,

In addition to the above, the following categories of applicants will attach the listed documents.


  • Photocopies of bio-data page of employee’s passport
  • Business documents
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Certificate to Commence Business
  • Regulations to the Companies Code
  • Current Audited Account
  • Tax Clearance Certificate Form
  • Letters of support from supervising Ministry, Departments and Agency (MDAs) where applicable.
  • GIPC registration certificate (Where applicable)
  • Employment contract
  • Evidence of imported machinery e.g. Pro-forma invoice, shipping documents.
  • Evidence of effort made to recruit a Ghanaian e.g. advertisement of job vacancy.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)

  • Photocopies of the bio-data page of employee’s passport
  • Employment Contract


  • Please refer to general requirements,
  • Applications for renewals must be submitted two months before the expiry of the permit,
  • Company registration documents are exempted.

Additional Work Permits

All requirements stated in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3.

Note that applicants (i.e. Company Officers, Individuals) may be invited for interviews, work/office premises may be inspected and the Immigration Service may request additional information as it deems fit.

Applications for work permits and residence permits are not to be submitted together.


Application Requirements for Holders of Ministry of Interior's Immigrant Quota - $500 / $500 / $150

  • Letter of application for residence permit from company (original & duplicate)
  • Company documents: Certificate to Commence Business, Company's Code, Certificate of Incorporation (two copies each for fresh applications)
  • Filled residence permit form
  • Three passports size photographs
  • Approval letter from the Ministry of Interior (original & duplicate)
  • C.V./resume,
  • Police report from home country (if not in English, translated by a recognized translator)
  • Medical report from a recognized hospital in Ghana
  • Copy of company's tax clearance certificate

Dependants - GHS300 / GHS200 / GHS150  

Application Requirements for Holders of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Quota (click to access GIPC website) - $300 / $300 / $150 (these rates were in Cedis untill 2015...)

  • Letter of application for residence permit from company (original & duplicate)
  • Company documents: Certificate to Commence Business, Company's Code, Certificate of Incorporation (two copies each for fresh applications)
  • Filled residence permit form
  • Three passports size photographs
  • Approval letter from GIPC (original & duplicate)
  • C.V./resume
  • Police report from home country
  • Medical report from a recognized hospital in Ghana
  • Employment contract with employer
  • Copy of company's tax clearance certificate

Application Requirements for Holders of Free Zone's License - $200 / $200 / $200

  • Letter of application for residence permit from company (original & duplicate)
  • Company documents: Certificate to Commence Business, Company's Code, Certificate of Incorporation (two copies each for fresh applications)
  • Filled residence permit form
  • Three passports size photographs
  • Copy of company's Free Zones license
  • C.V./resume
  • Police report from home country
  • Medical report from a recognized hospital in Ghana
  • Employment contract with employer

Application Requirements for spouses and other dependants
The application should be submitted at the same time than the working spouse submits his/her application for work permit.

  • Copy of Marriage certificate for spouse and birth certificate for children
  • Photocopies of bio-data page of passport(s)
  • Photocopy of bio-data page of passport(s) of working spouse
  • Photocopy of employment contract of working spouse

Rotators permit from 6-12 months - $1000

A valid work or residence permit may be transferred in a new passport for GHS0 / GHS20 / GHS20.

NGO - MISSIONARIES - $300 / $300 / free

  • Photocopies of the bio data page of employee’s passport
  • Registration Certificate
  • Letter of support from supervising MDA
  • Employment contract
  • Annual Report

STUDENTS - GHS200 / GHS150 / GHS100

The following requirements will have to be met irrespective of nationality before the issuance of a residence permit:

  • Should enter with a valid travel document i.e. (passport, ECOWAS Travel Document) and an evidence of admission letter from an accredited institution
  • To have an offer of admission/letter of acceptance of from an accredited Educational or Training Institution
  • Show proof of exemption or payment of required course fees
  • Should present a guarantee of accommodation
  • Should provide evidence of financial support
  • Should complete an application form together with two passport size photographs

Renewal of Study Permits

  • Students seeking renewal of their residence permits are to provide the following:
  • A letter of application from the school
  • A completed application form
  • Four passport size photographs

DEC. 2014 NOTE: the Ghana Immigration Service [GIS] wishes to inform the general public, educational Institutions as well as foreign students in Ghana that the Student Permit Processing Desk has been moved from the GIS Headquarters to the Greater Accra Regional Immigration Office behind the Ministry of the Interior building and adjacent the Ministry of Health, Accra. All Educational Institutions and foreign students are therefore duly notified that the relocation takes place on 2nd January 2015, hence all applications for Students Residence Permits are to be sent to the Greater Accra Regional Office of the GIS and not the Headquarters.

OVERSTAYING - GHS0 / GHS0 / GHS30 per month of overstay for residents and visitors
Should you have stayed beyond the expiry date of your work/NGO/study/resident permit or the number of days given at entry in Ghana (or when extending your visitor's visa), you will be asked to pay a penalty at the airport. 

Dual Nationality is guided by Section 16 of the Citizenship Act 2000 (Act 591 Section 16) and the Citizenship Regulations 2001 (Section 10 and Section 11). Ghanaians who have acquired citizenship of a third country are eligible to apply for dual citizenship. On acquiring the dual citizenship, a holder will be entitled to apply for Ghanaian passport in addition to their other passport. A holder of dual citizenship will be permitted to remain in Ghana without limitation if he/she entered the country on a Ghana passport. Both passports should be shown at the point of entry for Processing by the Immigration officer. It is an offence however, for a dual citizenship holder, to use two passports interchangeably to deceive an immigration officer.

How to apply for dual nationality:
Abroad: at your Ghana Diplomatic Mission.
In Ghana
1. Apply to the Hon. Minister for the Interior for the grant of Dual Citizenship
2. Purchase of Form 10 at the Ministry of the Interior or from a representative of the Ministry of the Interior at your Ghana Diplomatic Mission abroad. Attachments to Form 10 are:

  • evidence of Ghanaian Nationality, Birth, Certificate or Passport.
  • for Persons who have renounced their Ghanaian Citizenship. Evidence of Renunciation of Ghanaian Citizenship.
  • evidence of Parents' Nationality- Passport, Voters ID Card, Birth Certificate.
  • four (4) passport-size photographs.

3. Issue of Certificate signed by the Hon. Minister for the Interior (Form 11) for GHS 10.00.

See this page for those with U.S.A. nationality and learn more on the Ghana Government Diaspora website.
Learn about the African-American Association of Ghana.

Note: 817 Ghanaians (450 females and 367 males) renounced their citizenships in 2013 while 39 foreigners applied to become Ghanaians. According to the Ministry of Interior, out of the 817, 538 applied for German citizenship, 233 sought Dutch, Norway 32, Denmark 7, Austria 5, Hong Kong 1 and China 1.

- GHS 1500
Spouses of Ghanaian nationals may obtain an indefinite residence permit after a number of years of marriage.
Application can be made after 18 months of marriage.
Spouses have also started to receive Ghanaian passports on the base of their marriage to citizens.
We advise to join the International Spouses Association of Ghana (ISAG).

Here are the criteria's that qualifies a foreigner not married to a Ghanaian for indefinite Residence status, as published by the government.
1. Has resided in Ghana throughout the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of application.
2. Has resided in Ghana during the seven years immediately preceding the period amounting in the aggregate to not less than five years.
3. Is of good character as attested to in writing by two Ghanaians who are notary publics, lawyers, senior public officers or any other class of persons approved of by the Minister.
4. Has not been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of twelve months of more.
5. Has made or is in the opinion of the Minister capable of making a substantial contribution to development of Ghana.
6. Intends to reside permanently in Ghana upon the grant of the status and possesses a valid residence permit on the date of his application.

Applications for indefinite residence can be purchased from the relevant offices at GIS for GHS 50. The list of documents to supply will be given.
Approval is made by the Ministry of Interior.

See the page from the Ministry of Interior.

FINE FOR ILLEGAL EMPLOYMENT - companies GHS5000 - individuals GHS2000

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