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International Travel

English

Country Information

Ghana

Country Information

Ghana
Republic of Ghana
Last Updated: February 2, 2017
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Embassy Messages

Accra

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months validity

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page for stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Maximum of $5,000 USD

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Maximum of $5,000 USD

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Accra

No. 24 Fourth Circular Road,
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ghana for information on U.S. - Ghana relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Ghana website for the most current visa information.

Foreign nationals who are over six years old and who have been physically present in Ghana for a cumulative period of 90 days or more during a calendar year are required to register with the National Identification Authority (NIA). NIA will issue registered foreign nationals a Non-citizen Ghanacard.The Non-citizen Ghanacard will be necessary for all transactions that require identification, i.e. opening bank accounts, obtaining work permits, acquiring driver’s licenses, etc.

A list of permanent registration centers, fee requirements and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the NIA website.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ghana.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.

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Safety and Security

Due to the potential for violence, you should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain situational awareness of events or activities around you at all times. 

West Africa, to include Ghana, faces an increased threat from transnational terrorist groups. Terrorists have carried out attacks and/or kidnappings in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali targeting Westerners.

There are a number of ongoing chieftaincy disputes in Ghana that generally involve competition over limited resources. Several of these disputes have erupted into violence and unrest during recent years. Exercise caution in rural areas and remain alert to outbreaks of unrest.

We encourage you to refer to the U.S. Embassy Accra website for the most updated safety and security information.

CRIME: Pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and financial scams are the most common forms of crime visitors encounter. Violent crime, including reports of armed robberies in expatriate residential and shopping areas and money solicitations at the airport and at police checkpoints or road stopsand beaches, is on the rise. Resisting robbers can lead to serious injury.

Be safe:

  • Travel in groups
  • Avoid travel at night
  • Don’t use shared taxis or communal mini-buses (locally called “tro-tro”)
  • Limit your display of jewelry
  • Handle cash discreetly
  • Pay close attention to those around you or following you
  • Carry limited amounts of cash and only photocopies of key documents. 

Thefts of luggage and travel documents occur at Kotoka International Airport in Accra and in hotels across Ghana. Keep your documents secure at all times and don’t leave your baggage unattended. Be wary of all offers of unsolicited assistance at the airport from anyone other than uniformed porters or officials.

Credit card fraud is common. Exercise caution when using credit and ATM cards in Ghana.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.


Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at the nearest police station or at +233 (0)30-277-3906 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +233-(0)30-274-1000 ext. 1570. 

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Smoking: Public smoking is illegal in Ghana. The U.S. Embassy is aware of arrests for cigarette smoking in public places, but has received no reports of prosecutions.

Building Construction Standards: Be aware that building construction standards are often lower than those found in the United States. These lower standards have contributed to building collapses, fires, and electrical shock.

Natural Resource Controls: In recent years, U.S. citizens have reported substantial financial losses from questionable transactions involving gold and other precious metals. The Government of Ghana maintains strict regulations on these natural resources. All agents must be licensed and all transactions must be certified.

Romance, Financial, Commercial, and Tourism Scams: Ghanaian fraud schemes target foreigners worldwide. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings or by unsolicited emails and letters.  Scammers almost always  pose as U.S. citizens in Ghana who unexpectedly experience a medical, legal, financial, or other type of “emergency” requiring immediate financial assistance. For additional information on these types of scams, see the Department of State's publication, International Financial Scams and the U.S. Embassy in Accra’s website. Commercial scams are also common and involve phony offers of money transfers, lucrative sales, contracts with promises of large commissions, or up-front payments.

You should also be wary of overly-friendly locals offering tours, discounted lodging, or other services that seem too good to be true. Tourists are often targeted by scam artists and hawkers . Some U.S. citizens have been victims of false criminal accusations and have lost time and money as they seek to resolve these difficult situations. Some U.S. citizens have reported being scammed by individuals representing themselves as public officials.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Ghana’s criminal code outlaws “unnatural carnal knowledge” which is frequently interpreted by local authorities as consensual same-sex sexual relations. This is criminalized as a misdemeanor in Ghana. The U.S. Embassy is aware of arrests and related extortion attempts for such activities, but has received no reports of prosecutions.

See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: You may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Ghana’s Persons with Disabilities Act (2006) explicitly prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, health care, air travel and other transportation, and other domains. The government does not systematically or overtly discriminate against persons with disabilities, but such persons may experience societal discrimination.

The law provides persons with disabilities access to public buildings “as far as is practical.” However, most buildings, transportation, and educational facilities do not provide for people with special needs. Because many streets are unpaved or not well maintained, and sidewalks are not prevalent, individuals in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking face challenges.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

Rape is a crime in Ghana punishable by five to 25 years in prison. However, rape is significantly underreported and remains a serious problem.

Domestic violence is a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine.  Police rarely respond to reports of domestic violence. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) remains a serious problem, particularly in the north of the country.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical facilities in Ghana are limited, particularly outside the capital, Accra. You should carry adequate supplies of any needed prescription medicines, along with copies of your prescriptions, the generic name of the drugs, and a supply of preferred over-the-counter medications. 

Documentation of yellow fever vaccination is required for those over nine months of age upon arrival in Ghana.

Mosquito borne illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue are a significant problem and prevention of bites and proper yellow fever immunization are important for all areas. Before coming to Ghana, you should consult with your physician regarding the advisibility of taking malaria prophylaxis and obtaining needed vaccinations. While in Ghana, you should carry and use insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, treat clothing and tents with permethrin, and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. 

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 

See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Ghana to ensure the medication is legal in Ghana. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevelant in Ghana:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Main roads are generally paved and well maintained. However, some side roads within major cities and many roads outside of major cities are in poor condition. Many accidents occur on the highway from Accra to Cape Coast. Travel in darkness, particularly outside the major cities, is extremely hazardous due to poor street lighting and the unpredictable behavior of pedestrians, bicyclists, and farm animals. Aggressive drivers, poorly maintained vehicles, and overloaded vehicles pose serious threats to road safety.

Another hazard is pedestrians who intentionally bump vehicles and pretend to be hit. They then attempt to extort money from the vehicle’s occupants. Scams of this nature most commonly occur in congested urban areas.

Armed robbers have targeted travelers leaving Accra’s Kotoka airport. A common tactic is to deliberately cause a minor road traffic accident to make a car stop, and to then rob the occupants. If your car is hit by another car it is best to drive to the nearest police station to sort out the incident. 

There has also been an increase in incidents of highway robbery on the road from Kintampo to Tamale in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions. Embassy personnel are not permitted to travel at night outside of major cities and are encouraged to avoid the areas listed in our November 2016 security message.

Remain vigilant, and drive with doors locked and windows up.

Traffic Laws: Travelers are routinely stopped at police checkpoints throughout Ghana, and vehicles and passengers may be searched. Drivers must possess an international driver’s license (available from AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance) or a Ghanaian driver’s license. When foreign drivers apply for their Ghanaian driver’s license they may be asked to have their international driver’s license or their home country driver’s license confirmed by their embassy. The U.S. Embassy in Ghana is unable to authenticate such state issued or international drivers’ licenses and advises U.S. citizen to contact the National Identification Authority in Ghana or have their U.S. driver’s license authenticated in the U.S. prior to arriving in Ghana. While in Ghana, you should carry documentation of your immigration status, such as a passport and a visa.

Public Transportation: Safety standards for small private buses, often called tro-tros, are substandard. You are encouraged to consider this when making travel arrangements.

See our Road Safety page and Ghana’s national tourist office for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Ghana’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ghana’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

Due to serious safety concerns, Ghana Civil Authority prohibits transporting via air carrier any Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone device.

Maritime Security: Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue to trend upwards with more incidents occurring in 2016 than in any of the previous four years.  Pirates/armed groups operating in the region typically carry out attacks on vessels using automatic weapons. Attacks, kidnappings for ransom, and robbery of crew, passengers, and ships property, continue to be the most common type of incidents.  For information on current conditions: http://www.oni.navy.mil/Intelligence-Community/Piracy/

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Accra

No. 24 Fourth Circular Road,
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Ghana, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Ghana.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Ghana is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Ghana and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Ghana and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Website: travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

 

Parental child abduction is a criminal offense in Ghana.  The Children’s Act of 1998 makes removal of a child from a person who has legal custody an offense with possible fines or imprisonment.  Links to Ghanaian law regarding children are available at the Ghanaian Ministry of Women and Children’s website.

The Children’s Act 1998 

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Ghana and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy in Ghana for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Ghana are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana, posts a list of attorneys,including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Mediation is becoming a common practice to settle custody disputes in Ghana and courts will refer cases for mediation to the Department of Social Welfare to work with the families.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Ghana and from the United States to Ghana are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

The Ghana country specific information page is currently being updated. Please check back here for updated information. In the meantime, you may send any questions to us by email at Adoption@state.gov.

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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How to Adopt
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Traveling Abroad
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After Adoption
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Contact Information
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Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 24 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 24 Months
C-2 None Multiple 24 Months
C-3 None Multiple 24 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 24 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 48 Months
F-2 None Multiple 48 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 36 Months
N-9 None Multiple 36 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 6 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 6 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 24 Months
R-2 None Multiple 24 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. As of February 1, 2011, only originals of the computer generated certified copies of birth certificates should be recognized and accepted for business and travel documentation.

Persons over 18 years of age must apply in person at the appropriate Registrar's Office. Records of registrations more than one year old are deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Ghana, C/O Ministry of Local Government, P.O. Box M.270, Accra, Ghana. If the applicant resides outside of Ghana, the person applying must present a written authorization from the individual whose birth certificate is being requested. Persons under 18 years of age must have their parent or guardian obtain the certificate. There may be a fee for this service.

Note: The majority of registrations are not made at the time of birth, and often no registration is made until an individual requires a birth certificate for immigration purposes. Registrations not made within one year of an individual's birth are not reliable evidence of relationship, since registration, including late registration, may often be accomplished upon demand, with little or no supporting documentation required.

  • Secondary Evidence: Because of the prevalence of late registrations, secondary evidence of birth is often required. Common secondary evidence includes midwife's certificates of birth, weight cards or welfare centre cards, and baptismal certificates. Recent affidavits by relatives or friends are not reliable.
  • Illegitimacy: Ghanaian birth documents do not indicate the marital status of the parents, and the appearance of a man's name on a birth document should not be taken as prima facie evidence of legitimate birth or of subsequent legitimation.


Death/Burial

Available. As of February 1, 2011, only originals of the computer generated certified copies of birth certificates should be recognized and accepted for business and travel documentation. Records more than one year old are deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Ghana, C/O Ministry of Local Government, P O. Box M.270, Accra, Ghana. There is a fee for this service.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available for marriages entered into under civil law from the Principal Registrar of Marriages, C/O Registrar General's Office, P.O. Box 118, Accra, Ghana. There is a fee for this service. Most marriages are performed under customary law, and written records are kept only if the couple chooses to register the marriage with the local council. Persons married under customary law who subsequently wish to marry under civil law must obtain a civil marriage certificate which reflects the words "married under native customary law" in the space provided for "condition." Polygamous marriage is permissible under the customary law of some groups, but not under civil law.

Divorce

Available. Certificates for the dissolution of a civil marriage may be obtained from the court that granted the divorce. Proper documentation of the dissolution of a customary marriage is a decree, issued by a high court, circuit court or district court under the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1971 (Act 367), Section 41(2), stating that the marriage in question was dissolved in accordance with customary law. Affidavits or "statutory declarations" attesting to a divorce under customary law, even when duly sworn, do not constitute proper documentation of the dissolution of a Ghanaian customary marriage.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Ghana Police Clearance Certificate: Available. Residents of Ghana should report to the headquarters branch of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Ghana Police Authority in Accra, where a fingerprint sample will be taken. Cost for preparation of the certificate is approximately $17 USD (higher for expedited service), payable in local currency, for preparation within 7 days.

Non-residents should send a request via international courier (DHL or Fedex) and pay the round trip courier cost in advance. Accompanying the letter requesting the police certificate should be a receipt for a completed bank transfer of $200 to Ecobank Ghana (Main Headquarters), A/C 1101530940211, Commissioner of Police CID account. The international courier should deliver the documents to:

Commissioner of Police
Criminal Investigations
Department Headquarters
PO Box GP505
Accra, Ghana"

In addition, the applicant should also send the following documents/information:

  • The Bio-page of Applicant's Passport
  • Two Passport-sized Photographs
  • Full Name of Applicant
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Father's Name
  • Mother's Name
  • Home Town
  • Occupation
  • List of All Schools Attended, including Year of Entry & Year of Completion
  • Contact Address
  • Email Address
  • Telephone Number

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. In the case of a person who has been incarcerated, a prison record may be obtained from the Director of Prisons, P.O. Box 129, Accra. There may be a fee for this service. Processing time varies, depending on the length of the sentence, how long ago and in what prison the sentence was served.

Military Records

Available. In the case of a person who has served in the Gold Coast or Ghana Armed Forces, a military record may be obtained from the Director of Personnel Administration, Ministry of Defense, Burma Camp, Accra, Ghana.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Certificate of Identity

Issued to residents of Ghana until citizenship status is determined. The document bears a validity date and ceases to be valid if the bearer obtains a national passport. Certificate of Commonwealth Citizenship and Laissez-Passer is issued to citizens of the Commonwealth who are residents of Ghana and who are not in possession of their own national travel document. The Certificate meets the passport requirements of Section 101(a)(30) of the Act and is valid for a period of one year in the first instance and may be renewed as circumstances demand.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Accra, Ghana (Embassy)

US Embassy
No. 24, Fourth Circular Rd, Cantonments, Accra
P.O. Box 194
Accra, Ghana

Telephone: (233) 21-741-000

After Hours Emergency: (233) 21-741-775

Fax: (233) 21-741-389

Consular Section
No. 19 Fifth Link Rd.
Cantonments, Accra
Accra, Ghana

Telephone: (233) 21-741-100

Fax: (233) 21-741-362/741-426

Email: consulateaccra@state.gov

Mailed in Ghana:
Consular Section
US Embassy
P.O. Box GP 194
Accra, Ghana

Mailing Address from the United States:
Consular Section
US Dept. of State
2020 Accra Place
Washington, DC 20521-2020

Tel: (233-21) 775-347 or 775-348

Fax: (233-21) 701-1813

Visa Services

All categories for all of Ghana.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 686-4520

Houston, TX (713) 960-1950 (713) 960-8833

New York, NY (212) 832-1300 (212) 751-6743

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Accra
No. 24 Fourth Circular Road,
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone
+233-(0)30-274-1000
Emergency
+233-(0)30-274-1000
Fax
No Fax
Ghana Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Ghana
Republic of Ghana
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Embassy Messages

Accra

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months validity

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page for stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Maximum of $5,000 USD

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Maximum of $5,000 USD

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Accra

No. 24 Fourth Circular Road,
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ghana for information on U.S. - Ghana relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Ghana website for the most current visa information.

Foreign nationals who are over six years old and who have been physically present in Ghana for a cumulative period of 90 days or more during a calendar year are required to register with the National Identification Authority (NIA). NIA will issue registered foreign nationals a Non-citizen Ghanacard.The Non-citizen Ghanacard will be necessary for all transactions that require identification, i.e. opening bank accounts, obtaining work permits, acquiring driver’s licenses, etc.

A list of permanent registration centers, fee requirements and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the NIA website.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ghana.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.

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Safety and Security

Due to the potential for violence, you should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain situational awareness of events or activities around you at all times. 

West Africa, to include Ghana, faces an increased threat from transnational terrorist groups. Terrorists have carried out attacks and/or kidnappings in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali targeting Westerners.

There are a number of ongoing chieftaincy disputes in Ghana that generally involve competition over limited resources. Several of these disputes have erupted into violence and unrest during recent years. Exercise caution in rural areas and remain alert to outbreaks of unrest.

We encourage you to refer to the U.S. Embassy Accra website for the most updated safety and security information.

CRIME: Pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and financial scams are the most common forms of crime visitors encounter. Violent crime, including reports of armed robberies in expatriate residential and shopping areas and money solicitations at the airport and at police checkpoints or road stopsand beaches, is on the rise. Resisting robbers can lead to serious injury.

Be safe:

  • Travel in groups
  • Avoid travel at night
  • Don’t use shared taxis or communal mini-buses (locally called “tro-tro”)
  • Limit your display of jewelry
  • Handle cash discreetly
  • Pay close attention to those around you or following you
  • Carry limited amounts of cash and only photocopies of key documents. 

Thefts of luggage and travel documents occur at Kotoka International Airport in Accra and in hotels across Ghana. Keep your documents secure at all times and don’t leave your baggage unattended. Be wary of all offers of unsolicited assistance at the airport from anyone other than uniformed porters or officials.

Credit card fraud is common. Exercise caution when using credit and ATM cards in Ghana.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.


Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at the nearest police station or at +233 (0)30-277-3906 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +233-(0)30-274-1000 ext. 1570. 

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Smoking: Public smoking is illegal in Ghana. The U.S. Embassy is aware of arrests for cigarette smoking in public places, but has received no reports of prosecutions.

Building Construction Standards: Be aware that building construction standards are often lower than those found in the United States. These lower standards have contributed to building collapses, fires, and electrical shock.

Natural Resource Controls: In recent years, U.S. citizens have reported substantial financial losses from questionable transactions involving gold and other precious metals. The Government of Ghana maintains strict regulations on these natural resources. All agents must be licensed and all transactions must be certified.

Romance, Financial, Commercial, and Tourism Scams: Ghanaian fraud schemes target foreigners worldwide. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings or by unsolicited emails and letters.  Scammers almost always  pose as U.S. citizens in Ghana who unexpectedly experience a medical, legal, financial, or other type of “emergency” requiring immediate financial assistance. For additional information on these types of scams, see the Department of State's publication, International Financial Scams and the U.S. Embassy in Accra’s website. Commercial scams are also common and involve phony offers of money transfers, lucrative sales, contracts with promises of large commissions, or up-front payments.

You should also be wary of overly-friendly locals offering tours, discounted lodging, or other services that seem too good to be true. Tourists are often targeted by scam artists and hawkers . Some U.S. citizens have been victims of false criminal accusations and have lost time and money as they seek to resolve these difficult situations. Some U.S. citizens have reported being scammed by individuals representing themselves as public officials.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Ghana’s criminal code outlaws “unnatural carnal knowledge” which is frequently interpreted by local authorities as consensual same-sex sexual relations. This is criminalized as a misdemeanor in Ghana. The U.S. Embassy is aware of arrests and related extortion attempts for such activities, but has received no reports of prosecutions.

See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: You may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Ghana’s Persons with Disabilities Act (2006) explicitly prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, health care, air travel and other transportation, and other domains. The government does not systematically or overtly discriminate against persons with disabilities, but such persons may experience societal discrimination.

The law provides persons with disabilities access to public buildings “as far as is practical.” However, most buildings, transportation, and educational facilities do not provide for people with special needs. Because many streets are unpaved or not well maintained, and sidewalks are not prevalent, individuals in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking face challenges.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

Rape is a crime in Ghana punishable by five to 25 years in prison. However, rape is significantly underreported and remains a serious problem.

Domestic violence is a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine.  Police rarely respond to reports of domestic violence. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) remains a serious problem, particularly in the north of the country.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical facilities in Ghana are limited, particularly outside the capital, Accra. You should carry adequate supplies of any needed prescription medicines, along with copies of your prescriptions, the generic name of the drugs, and a supply of preferred over-the-counter medications. 

Documentation of yellow fever vaccination is required for those over nine months of age upon arrival in Ghana.

Mosquito borne illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue are a significant problem and prevention of bites and proper yellow fever immunization are important for all areas. Before coming to Ghana, you should consult with your physician regarding the advisibility of taking malaria prophylaxis and obtaining needed vaccinations. While in Ghana, you should carry and use insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, treat clothing and tents with permethrin, and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. 

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 

See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Ghana to ensure the medication is legal in Ghana. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevelant in Ghana:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Main roads are generally paved and well maintained. However, some side roads within major cities and many roads outside of major cities are in poor condition. Many accidents occur on the highway from Accra to Cape Coast. Travel in darkness, particularly outside the major cities, is extremely hazardous due to poor street lighting and the unpredictable behavior of pedestrians, bicyclists, and farm animals. Aggressive drivers, poorly maintained vehicles, and overloaded vehicles pose serious threats to road safety.

Another hazard is pedestrians who intentionally bump vehicles and pretend to be hit. They then attempt to extort money from the vehicle’s occupants. Scams of this nature most commonly occur in congested urban areas.

Armed robbers have targeted travelers leaving Accra’s Kotoka airport. A common tactic is to deliberately cause a minor road traffic accident to make a car stop, and to then rob the occupants. If your car is hit by another car it is best to drive to the nearest police station to sort out the incident. 

There has also been an increase in incidents of highway robbery on the road from Kintampo to Tamale in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions. Embassy personnel are not permitted to travel at night outside of major cities and are encouraged to avoid the areas listed in our November 2016 security message.

Remain vigilant, and drive with doors locked and windows up.

Traffic Laws: Travelers are routinely stopped at police checkpoints throughout Ghana, and vehicles and passengers may be searched. Drivers must possess an international driver’s license (available from AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance) or a Ghanaian driver’s license. When foreign drivers apply for their Ghanaian driver’s license they may be asked to have their international driver’s license or their home country driver’s license confirmed by their embassy. The U.S. Embassy in Ghana is unable to authenticate such state issued or international drivers’ licenses and advises U.S. citizen to contact the National Identification Authority in Ghana or have their U.S. driver’s license authenticated in the U.S. prior to arriving in Ghana. While in Ghana, you should carry documentation of your immigration status, such as a passport and a visa.

Public Transportation: Safety standards for small private buses, often called tro-tros, are substandard. You are encouraged to consider this when making travel arrangements.

See our Road Safety page and Ghana’s national tourist office for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Ghana’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ghana’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

Due to serious safety concerns, Ghana Civil Authority prohibits transporting via air carrier any Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone device.

Maritime Security: Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue to trend upwards with more incidents occurring in 2016 than in any of the previous four years.  Pirates/armed groups operating in the region typically carry out attacks on vessels using automatic weapons. Attacks, kidnappings for ransom, and robbery of crew, passengers, and ships property, continue to be the most common type of incidents.  For information on current conditions: http://www.oni.navy.mil/Intelligence-Community/Piracy/

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Accra

No. 24 Fourth Circular Road,
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +233-(0)30-274-1000

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Ghana, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Ghana.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Ghana is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Ghana and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Ghana and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Website: travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

 

Parental child abduction is a criminal offense in Ghana.  The Children’s Act of 1998 makes removal of a child from a person who has legal custody an offense with possible fines or imprisonment.  Links to Ghanaian law regarding children are available at the Ghanaian Ministry of Women and Children’s website.

The Children’s Act 1998 

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Ghana and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy in Ghana for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Ghana are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana, posts a list of attorneys,including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Mediation is becoming a common practice to settle custody disputes in Ghana and courts will refer cases for mediation to the Department of Social Welfare to work with the families.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Ghana and from the United States to Ghana are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

The Ghana country specific information page is currently being updated. Please check back here for updated information. In the meantime, you may send any questions to us by email at Adoption@state.gov.

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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Traveling Abroad
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After Adoption
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Contact Information
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Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 24 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 24 Months
C-2 None Multiple 24 Months
C-3 None Multiple 24 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 24 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 48 Months
F-2 None Multiple 48 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 36 Months
N-9 None Multiple 36 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 6 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 6 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 24 Months
R-2 None Multiple 24 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. As of February 1, 2011, only originals of the computer generated certified copies of birth certificates should be recognized and accepted for business and travel documentation.

Persons over 18 years of age must apply in person at the appropriate Registrar's Office. Records of registrations more than one year old are deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Ghana, C/O Ministry of Local Government, P.O. Box M.270, Accra, Ghana. If the applicant resides outside of Ghana, the person applying must present a written authorization from the individual whose birth certificate is being requested. Persons under 18 years of age must have their parent or guardian obtain the certificate. There may be a fee for this service.

Note: The majority of registrations are not made at the time of birth, and often no registration is made until an individual requires a birth certificate for immigration purposes. Registrations not made within one year of an individual's birth are not reliable evidence of relationship, since registration, including late registration, may often be accomplished upon demand, with little or no supporting documentation required.

  • Secondary Evidence: Because of the prevalence of late registrations, secondary evidence of birth is often required. Common secondary evidence includes midwife's certificates of birth, weight cards or welfare centre cards, and baptismal certificates. Recent affidavits by relatives or friends are not reliable.
  • Illegitimacy: Ghanaian birth documents do not indicate the marital status of the parents, and the appearance of a man's name on a birth document should not be taken as prima facie evidence of legitimate birth or of subsequent legitimation.


Death/Burial

Available. As of February 1, 2011, only originals of the computer generated certified copies of birth certificates should be recognized and accepted for business and travel documentation. Records more than one year old are deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Ghana, C/O Ministry of Local Government, P O. Box M.270, Accra, Ghana. There is a fee for this service.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available for marriages entered into under civil law from the Principal Registrar of Marriages, C/O Registrar General's Office, P.O. Box 118, Accra, Ghana. There is a fee for this service. Most marriages are performed under customary law, and written records are kept only if the couple chooses to register the marriage with the local council. Persons married under customary law who subsequently wish to marry under civil law must obtain a civil marriage certificate which reflects the words "married under native customary law" in the space provided for "condition." Polygamous marriage is permissible under the customary law of some groups, but not under civil law.

Divorce

Available. Certificates for the dissolution of a civil marriage may be obtained from the court that granted the divorce. Proper documentation of the dissolution of a customary marriage is a decree, issued by a high court, circuit court or district court under the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1971 (Act 367), Section 41(2), stating that the marriage in question was dissolved in accordance with customary law. Affidavits or "statutory declarations" attesting to a divorce under customary law, even when duly sworn, do not constitute proper documentation of the dissolution of a Ghanaian customary marriage.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Ghana Police Clearance Certificate: Available. Residents of Ghana should report to the headquarters branch of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Ghana Police Authority in Accra, where a fingerprint sample will be taken. Cost for preparation of the certificate is approximately $17 USD (higher for expedited service), payable in local currency, for preparation within 7 days.

Non-residents should send a request via international courier (DHL or Fedex) and pay the round trip courier cost in advance. Accompanying the letter requesting the police certificate should be a receipt for a completed bank transfer of $200 to Ecobank Ghana (Main Headquarters), A/C 1101530940211, Commissioner of Police CID account. The international courier should deliver the documents to:

Commissioner of Police
Criminal Investigations
Department Headquarters
PO Box GP505
Accra, Ghana"

In addition, the applicant should also send the following documents/information:

  • The Bio-page of Applicant's Passport
  • Two Passport-sized Photographs
  • Full Name of Applicant
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Father's Name
  • Mother's Name
  • Home Town
  • Occupation
  • List of All Schools Attended, including Year of Entry & Year of Completion
  • Contact Address
  • Email Address
  • Telephone Number

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. In the case of a person who has been incarcerated, a prison record may be obtained from the Director of Prisons, P.O. Box 129, Accra. There may be a fee for this service. Processing time varies, depending on the length of the sentence, how long ago and in what prison the sentence was served.

Military Records

Available. In the case of a person who has served in the Gold Coast or Ghana Armed Forces, a military record may be obtained from the Director of Personnel Administration, Ministry of Defense, Burma Camp, Accra, Ghana.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Certificate of Identity

Issued to residents of Ghana until citizenship status is determined. The document bears a validity date and ceases to be valid if the bearer obtains a national passport. Certificate of Commonwealth Citizenship and Laissez-Passer is issued to citizens of the Commonwealth who are residents of Ghana and who are not in possession of their own national travel document. The Certificate meets the passport requirements of Section 101(a)(30) of the Act and is valid for a period of one year in the first instance and may be renewed as circumstances demand.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Accra, Ghana (Embassy)

US Embassy
No. 24, Fourth Circular Rd, Cantonments, Accra
P.O. Box 194
Accra, Ghana

Telephone: (233) 21-741-000

After Hours Emergency: (233) 21-741-775

Fax: (233) 21-741-389

Consular Section
No. 19 Fifth Link Rd.
Cantonments, Accra
Accra, Ghana

Telephone: (233) 21-741-100

Fax: (233) 21-741-362/741-426

Email: consulateaccra@state.gov

Mailed in Ghana:
Consular Section
US Embassy
P.O. Box GP 194
Accra, Ghana

Mailing Address from the United States:
Consular Section
US Dept. of State
2020 Accra Place
Washington, DC 20521-2020

Tel: (233-21) 775-347 or 775-348

Fax: (233-21) 701-1813

Visa Services

All categories for all of Ghana.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 686-4520

Houston, TX (713) 960-1950 (713) 960-8833

New York, NY (212) 832-1300 (212) 751-6743

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Accra
No. 24 Fourth Circular Road,
Cantonments, Accra
Ghana
Telephone
+233-(0)30-274-1000
Emergency
+233-(0)30-274-1000
Fax
No Fax
Ghana Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.