Applying for citizenship

Becoming a Ghanaian national

Applying for citizenship

Depending on your situation, you may be obliged to take the oath of allegiance that states the person swears to “uphold the sovereignty and integrity of Ghana and to protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana”.

It is possible to obtain Ghanaian citizenship other than by birth. The different options for receiving citizenship are:

  • Adoption of children
  • Citizenship by registration
  • Naturalisation

Adoption of children

An adopted child, whose adoptive parents are Ghanaian, can legally be rewarded Ghanaian citizenship once they are 16 years old (by legal virtue of the adoption).

Citizenship by registration

If you are old enough, you may apply by registration for Ghanaian nationality. This process is on condition of the President’s approval.

Applicants have to prove they are of good character, are currently a resident of Ghana, or have been living there for at least 5 years (shorter stays may be accepted by the government in special situations). They also must prove that they can speak and understand the local language so that communication and integration is possible.

Citizenship via registration mainly concerns people who have married a Ghanaian and settled a family in Ghana.


This options deals with an individual request to become a Ghanaian citizen: applicants are not necessarily married or linked personally to the population.

For this option, applicants have to prove that they have been supporting or can support local economic activities and bring considerable contributions to any national sector. In addition, they must have integrated themselves into the culture and language as well as adapt to the way of life in Ghana. 

You must have lived in Ghana for five of the seven years that precede the 12 month period that occurs immediately before the application date, in order to be eligible. For example, to apply on 1st June 2013, you must have lived in Ghana for five of the seven years between 1st June 2005 and 1st June 2012 in order to be eligible.

Applicants must prove they have a legal residence permit, the written support from a Ghanian of repute, and have not taken part in any legal matters in the country. Finally they must be incorporated into Ghanaian life (i.e. adapted to the culture, able to speak and understand the language, and accept working conditions etc).

It is also possible to receive dual-citizenship in Ghana. This means you are both a citizen of Ghana and of your home country. Only governmental position holders are not entitled to have dual-citizenship.

Further reading

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