All foreign nationals travelling into Ghana effective December 1, 2023, are going to enjoy a visa-free regime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has announced.
Ampratwum Sarpong, deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, has said the policy is in response to ‘December in Ghana’.
Initiated by the Ghana Tourism Authority, December in Ghana is to serve as an incentive for foreigners who want to travel to Ghana to spend their holidays during the Christmas.
The policy according to the minister will grant foreign nationals a 60-minute time frame to access their visas on arrival.
“Anybody who wants to come to Ghana can take advantage,” Ampratwum Sarpong disclosed; explaining that “December of late, it’s become a month of activity, big activity in the country and it’s a month that a lot of our compatriots living outside the country take advantage to come in and enjoy the Christmas festivities.”
He noted that the move was necessitated by the government, coupled with efforts from the entertainment industry to have the diaspora return home. The visa-free regime will last till the end of December.
“Looking at the trend and the number of people over the years that have been coming into the country, there have been complaints of frustrations at the various missions abroad in getting visas on time to be able to get down here and have a good time.
“And being a responsive government, we’ve looked at it and we think one of the best things that we can do is to lessen the frustrations of their travel to their home base and make it possible for them to get down here and get their visas.
“Because if you arrive today, give and take, in about an hour, you should be able to go through the processes of getting your visa on arrival. So this is just for December,” Mr. Sarpong told Accra-based JoyNews.
In recent times, some East African countries including Kenya have announced a grand visa waiver programme for all Africans.
Commenting on whether Ghana will do same, deputy minister Sarpong noted that “there’s a committee looking at that,” adding that “(Ghana) has been trying to get visa-free waivers from a whole lot of other countries.”
The deputy minister also pointed to a recent agreement signed last week which will now allow diplomatic service and ordinary Ghanaian passport holders to travel to Barbados visa-free, a move he described as a testament to the willingness of the government to aid the free movement of people.