Permanent stays in Ghana

Long term residency

A permanent residence visa is called an indefinite residence, or, in other cases, the right of abode. The two types share the same characteristics, but not the same application criteria.

A permanent visa (indefinite residence)

A permanent visa legally allows the applicant, if his request is accepted, to stay in Ghana for the amount of time he or she wants (indefinitely). They are allowed to leave and return freely and also work legally in the country. It is important to note that if you have a permanent visa, you will be subjected to the Ghanaian law system.

General requirements include the following:

  • A completed application form
  • A letter of support from a Ghanaian company
  • A police report from your previous country of residence
  • A medical certificate from an approved medical institution
  • Proof of support from two high-ranking Ghanaians (via a letter from notaries, public lawyers, senior officers, etc.)
  • Proof of property ownership in Ghana
  • Proof of economic contribution to the country (bank statements, employment records etc.)

Permanent visa application process

In order to get authorization to remain in Ghana for an indefinite period of time, you have to be married to a Ghanaian citizen and have been living in the country for a minimum of 5 years. If you are not married to a Ghanaian, you can get authorization if you have been living in Ghana for at least 10 years and are providing significant support to Ghana’s economy in some way.

Applying for a visa when married to a Ghanaian

In order to apply for this visa, you should gather different documents including:

  • The completed application form
  • A photocopy of your Ghanaian spouse’s passport
  • A residence permit that is still valid for 6 months
  • A photocopy of the marriage certificate (or death/divorce certificate as applicable)
  • Letter of sponsorship or introduction from your spouse

Application forms for this visa are found in Ghana Immigration Service headquarters as well as regional offices.

A general applicant will be charged 2 GH¢ as an application fee for the indefinite residence visa, and 2,000 GH¢ (€808, US$1,055) for the document itself. For those married to a Ghanaian, the visa is charged 500 GH¢ (€202, US$264), the same cost applies to ECOWAS citizens.

It is important to know that divorce or death should not affect the visa. However, if you leave Ghana for a period of twelve months it would automatically cancel the authorization.

The Right of Abode visa

ECOWAS citizens or people of Ghanaian descent (coming from the African diaspora) are not eligible for the indefinite residence visa, and have to apply for the Right of Abode.

The Right of Abode visa allows the same permissions as the permanent visa. This includes unrestricted entrance to the country, the ability to work without the need for a work permit, and being subject to Ghanaian law. Applicants are allowed to stay in the country for an indefinite amount of time. The Right of Abode is free for Ghanaian descendents and for ECOWAS citizens.

Criteria for a person of Ghanaian descent

These applicants generally hold two passports of countries which do not allow dual nationality, and are willing to choose the Ghanaian one.

  • Applicants should be at least 18 years old
  • Have the written support from Ghanaian relatives or sponsors
  • Fill in the application form
  • Provide a photocopy of their passport and birth certificate/affidavit
  • Have a curriculum vitae
  • Provide a photocopy of the renunciation certificate

African diaspora citizens

This group can apply for the Right Of Abode if they have lived in Ghana up to 10 years. An applicant will have to prove their support of the Ghanaian economy in monetary terms, or employment provision.

The application form must be filled in, with proof of sufficient financial resources, proof of support from two Ghanaians of repute and the support of one local and one national company.

Further reading

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