Saturday, July 09, 2016

Ghana pilots visa-on-arrival for African nationals

The Ghanaian Immigration Service has commenced the pilot phase of visa on arrival for all African Union nationals, reports ITRealms.

This innovation as agreed recently by AU, ITRealms is novel and could mean a transformation of Africa as its citizens now have the opportunity of seeking visa, especially those outside the current visa free agreement with other countries with anticipation of boosting tourism.

Till date, Ghana seems to pioneer this implementation in Africa.

According to a press statement endorsed on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Immigration by the Head of Public Affairs of GIS, Mr. Francis Palmdeti, in a memo dated July 8, 2016, Ghana says this exercise takes immediate effect.

“All African Union nationals whose countries do not have a visa free agreement with Ghana would be able to obtain visas on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA),” part of the statement read.

ITRealms also gathered that this current arrangement would be piloted at KIA for the first three months before being extended to all other entry points of the country.

The Comptroller-General recalls that in his state of the nation address on February 26, 2016, His Excellency, President John Dremani Mahama informed parliament that all AU nationals will from July 2016 be issued with visas on arrival following a decision taken at the Executive Council Meeting of the Africa Union.

The GIS being the government agency mandated to regulate migrant flows into the country, intends to ensure the smooth implementation of this new policy.

As said by the Comptroller-General, the service in line with this directive has initiated the modalities to give effect to the policy.

These modalities include that all AU nationals affected by this policy who arrive in the country must have a passport, valid for at least three (3) months, from the date of entry.

Also, such migrant GIS said, they must have a return ticket or evidence of onward travel and sufficient funds and proof of accommodation before they are granted visas.

All such visas, GIS noted, would be issued for validity of 30 days, even as they would be subject to the provisions of Section 4 of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573) which applies to all travelers entering Ghana.

GIS further beckoned on the public, foreign missions and embassies to take note these modalities, reassuring that GIS would continue to execute its mandate professionally and effectively with the intention of making Ghana an attractive destination to investors and tourists.

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