You’ve finally decided that you are going to visit Ghana and are now trying to figure out the Ghana visa requirements. A visa is the most important part of entering Ghana, as you may not even be allowed to board your flight without one. The Ghana visa process can seem complicated and overwhelming for first-timers, but luckily this step-by-step guide will help you know what you need to do to secure your Ghana visa.
Step One: Choose what Ghanaian embassy or consulate you want to apply through
As of November 14, 2022, the only U.S. Ghanaian embassies and consulates that issue visas to Ghana are the following:
You have the option of choosing where you want to send your passport and application to get your Ghanaian visa to travel, but the application processes for each of the issuing locations may not be the same. The Ghana embassy in Washington D.C. and the Ghana Consulate in New York have similar processes where the application is filled out completely online, then you have to send in your passport and supporting documentation. The Consulate Republic of Ghana Arkansas has you print out the application and fill it out by hand, but it has the same requirements.
Step Two: Decide if you want to apply for a single or multiple entry visa
The next thing you will want to decide is if you will be applying for a single or multiple-entry visa. If you are just planning on visiting Ghana and don’t have any immediate future plans to return to Ghana anytime soon after your trip, I recommend applying for a single-entry visa. Single-entry visas are good for one visit within 90 days from the day of travel you have listed on your application.
If you plan on visiting neighboring West African countries and then entering Ghana again, whether it is through the air or by land, you will need a multiple-entry visa so you can come and go as you please. A multiple-entry visa lasts for either 3 or 5 years from your date of travel and is also recommended if you see yourself traveling to Ghana again in the future. Whether you get 3 or 5 years depends on the visa officer assigned to your application.
How much does a visa to Ghana cost?
A single-entry visa to Ghana costs $60. A multiple-entry visa to Ghana costs $100. The rates will increase if you opt-in for expedited service and are typically twice the price of the standard rate. If you are close to the location of the embassy or consulate, you can often pay at the counter, but the fee is primarily accepted by money order.
Keep in mind that in addition to the fee to get your visa processed, you will also come out of pocket for shipping fees, passport pictures, and possibly other requirements.
Step Three: Complete the Ghana visa application process
Now that you’ve chosen an embassy or consulate to apply with and have decided between a single-entry or multiple-entry visa, it’s time to start your Ghana visa application and send your documents for review.
What do I need to apply for a Ghanaian visa?
The Ghana visa requirements are pretty standard, and all of the offices usually ask for the same things:
- Valid passport and copies of the bio-data page of the passport.
- Visa Application Forms to be completed and signed
- Colour Passport size photo to be uploaded with application before submitting. Uploaded image size should be 140px*170px.
- Business, Residential addresses and contact telephone numbers to be provided
- Occupation/ Profession
- Financial means
- Proposed date of travel
- Names and Addresses of references and/ Accommodation in Ghana (if it is a hotel, details are to be provided)
- Letter of consent from parent/legal guardian for children under 18 years
Navigating the trackable return envelope requirement
You may be required to include a trackable return envelope with your application. The trackable envelope should include a label with your address in the “To” section, and the consulate’s in the “From” section so they can send your passport back to you. It needs to have a tracking number associated with it, so you know when your visa is on its way back to you. This is especially helpful if the embassy or consulate is not keeping you up-to-date on the status of your application.
My experience applying through the Consulate Republic of Ghana Arkansas
I chose to apply for a multiple-entry visa through the Consulate Republic of Ghana Arkansas because at the time (June 2021) the office was known for being fast with visas and having great communication.
You will need different materials depending on the type of visa you are applying for (tourist, student, business, or transit). I applied for a Non-Rush Student Visa and needed the following items with my application form:
- One 2×2 passport photo – I got mine from CVS for $14.99
- A printed acceptance letter from my university
- A $100 money order
- A $50 money order
- A trackable return envelope from USPS $7.95
- Cost of shipping the requirements to the consulate $7.95
TOTAL COST FOR MY GHANA VISA: $180.89
The application process was pretty easy. I just made sure to be very attentive and cross all of my t’s and dot my i’s to avoid getting it sent back to me. I went with the Consulate Republic of Ghana Arkansas because of its great reputation among other travelers and expats going to Ghana. However, I was very disappointed with my experience.
Between COVID, constantly running out of visas, and having a backlog of other applications, I did have a stressful experience with no communication after a month of sending my visa and not receiving it back. Keep in mind that it’s only supposed to take two weeks, but I sent mine a month in advance to be sure. At the time, I was preparing to move to Ghana for graduate school, so I already had a lot going on, and that certainly did not help.
I received my Ghana visa one week before my flight, but I won’t be using the Consulate Republic of Ghana Arkansas again. I would rather go with the Washington D.C. Embassy.
Step Four: Wait for your Ghana visa to come in the mail
Once you ship your materials in the mail, all there is to do is wait. Some of the offices do keep applicants updated at every step of the way via email and will give you a call if they have any additional questions. Be sure to monitor your travel date and the tracking number of your envelope to ensure you will have a visa at the time of takeoff!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Ghana give visas on arrival?
Money orders are sold at Walmart, CVS, banks and credit unions, USPS, and check-cashing stores. My go-to location for money orders is CVS, as the process is very quick. Keep in mind that you have to pay for money orders using cash or a debit card. Credit cards are generally not accepted.
Do I need to send my passport in with all of my requirements?
Yes! If you are starting your traveling journey, this may seem weird or unsafe, but it is part of the process. The visa will essentially be a sticker with information showing that you have been granted entry into the country. It will be placed on one of the pages in your passport.
What countries are exempt from needing a visa to travel to Ghana?
There are some countries that do not have to worry about getting a visa before traveling to Ghana:
The processing period for a Ghanaian visa is usually 15 business days (2 weeks). If you opt-in for expedited service, you can expect your visa to arrive between 5-7 business days. Plan for holidays and other closure periods!
Getting a visa to Ghana is one of the most important parts of planning your trip and can be tedious, but hopefully this blog post made the process a lot easier for you. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments about my experience with getting a visa to Ghana or any general questions about Ghana!