Working legally in Ghana

Applying for a work permit

Working legally in Ghana

Any foreigners wishing to work in Ghana must have a work permit. Ghanaian companies are formally forbidden to hire workers who do not have the correct work permits.

Since 2012, it is no longer possible for a person seeking a job to enter the country before obtaining a work permit. You should consequently apply and obtain a work permit before arriving in Ghana.

Having a temporary residence visa does not automatically allow you to work and does not replace a work permit. You should get both the correct visa and work permit in order to live and legally work in Ghana.

Everyone wanting to work in Ghana has to follow the same process in order to get a work permit. Applications are made via the Ghana Immigration Service.

If you want to work in Ghana following a personal choice, you are responsible for the application procedure. If you are planning to move to Ghana on behalf of a company, it is the company that applies for you.

Foreigners have to provide the following documents:

  • A personal CV
  • An official police report from your home country (or previous country of residence)
  • A medical report

Apart from these documents, the person or legal entity representing him/her will have to gather additional information, depending on the case. If a company is applying for the permit on behalf of an employee the following documents will need to be provided:

  • Certificate of registration
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Certificate to commence business
  • Regulations of the company code
  • Current audit code
  • Tax clearance certificate form
  • The GIPC registration certificate (if the company invests in Ghana)
  • The legal employment contract of the worker
  • Proof of imported machinery (via shipping documents, invoices of pro forma invoices)
  • Proof the company tried to hire a local Ghanaian for the position (via advertisement of the job vacancy for instance)

Of course, you or your company, will have to provide photocopies of your valid passport.

If you are the spouse of a Ghanaian citizen, you are legally allowed to apply for a work permit and will need:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate
  • A copy of the bio-data page of your passport
  • A copy of your residence permit
  • An employment contract

In order to renew your work permit, you have to reapply at least two months before the end date. For renewing your permit, the company documents are not compulsory. All other documents have to be presented in the same way as the first application process.

It is important to note that a work permit does not replace a residence permit: you have to apply for both permits in order to complete all legal requirements and complete a move to Ghana.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: