By Zulka / padfm.com.gh / April 25, 2021.
Effective 4th May 2021, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in the Savannah region will start issuing visitors permit to all foreigners who want to extend their stay or permit in the country. Such persons are required to visit the regional office at Damongo to process the extention. They can as well contact the office through this number for further directions (0551695308).
The Ghana Immigration Service team led by ACI Michael K. Aborah, the Regional Immigration 2IC, Superintendent Joel Opoku and Raynold Archer said the public must take advantage of this opportunity to visit their office at Damongo to do right thing to make their stay in Ghana legal.
This was disclosed on April 23, 2021, on the Friday edition of Damongo based Community Radio, PAD FM, 95.1mhz’s Kareyanch3 Super Morning show hosted by Nuhu Zulka.
The officers explained that some countries in West Africa [ECOWAS member states] and some other countries in Africa are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering Ghana. Nationals from African Union member states who are not ECOWAS nationals may obtain a visa on arrival after the payment of the required fees. Similarly, holders of diplomatic/Service passports of selected countries, persons in direct airside transit, as well as holders of official passports of some specialized agencies listed in the Visa Regime of Ghana are exempt from obtaining a visa.
Nationals from member ECOWAS countries are however not required Visas before entering into Ghana because of the ECOWAS Protocols. All they need is valid endorsable documents for inspection so that the GIS can regulate the 90-day stay permit. Documents such as ECOWAS traveling certificate, passport are valid endorsable documents but the service does not accept ID cards
The GIS also reminded institutions in the region that they should submit the Annual Expatriate Returns on the number of foreigners working in their institutions to help monitor their stay in Ghana. Additionally, status of any foreign worker in the region must be filled by 14th January each year to update the records on the number of foreigners in the country working as required by Act 573 section 31.
Responding to questions on the operations of the hospitality industry, the GIS appealed to all managers of hotels, guest houses in the region to submit their weekly returns on foreign lodgers at their facilities and also keep records of all foreign lodgers. This will help them keep good records of all foreigners resident in the region at any particular point in time.
The GIS officers commended the management and staff of Mole Motel and Zaina lodge, all in the Mole National Park for their timely submission of the weekly returns on foreign lodgers and urged the rest of guest houses, hotels around to emulate the Mole outfits.
Foreigners who wish to naturalize to become Ghanaians must put in their application as soon as possible.
Application for naturalization to become a Ghanaian is done by people with no direct birth or marriage root to Ghana whilst application for registration is done by people who are married to a Ghanaian citizen. This could be a foreigner marrying to a Ghanaian male or female citizen.
The Savannah region GIS office has challenges as
Inadequate weapons and ammunitions to man boarders, extended office complex, accommodation for staff, among other challenges.
The GIS is hopeful that in the near future, government will begin the registration of all foreigners who enter Ghana through unapproved roots. The porous nature of Ghana’s boarders make it difficult for GIS staff to monitor the entry and exit of these foreigners, such as Fulanis, Zambarimas, and others who use unapproved roots to enter Ghana.
Established under PNDC Law 226 in 1989, the Ghana Immigration Service remains the sole institution with the statutory mandate to regulate and monitor the entry, residence, employment and the exit of foreigners in the country.
The two main legislations which govern the country’s visa regime are the IMMIGRATION ACT, 2000, [Act 573] and IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS, 2001, [L.I 1691].
The GIS issues resident permit and work permit to foreign nationals who wish to pick permanent resident and work in Ghana.
They are also in charge of issuing visas and Emergency visas to foreign nationals.
Emergency visa is a type of visa granted on emergency basis. It is issued under the following conditions: Where, Ghana has no mission or consulate or where Ghana has a representative but the entry into Ghana is being sought on an emergency assignment from the country where the person is coming.
The issuance of this emergency visa is not automatic. The GIS will have investigate the applicant to make sure he/she is of good standing, with genuine reasons before visa is issued. This is mostly done at the international airports.
Currently all Land and Sea boarders to Ghana are closed to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in Ghana, as directed by the President.
The Savannah region’s only approved boarder is the chache boarder, located in the Bole district.
Ghana Immigration Service
OBJECTIVES OF THE SERVICE
a) To ensure the effective administration and management of migration in the country; and
b) Contribute to national security.
FUNCTIONS OF THE SERVICE
The Service shall;
a) Subject to existing laws, examine travel document of persons entering or leaving the country through the borders;
b) Ensure the application and enforcement of laws relating to the immigration and employment of non-Ghanaians in the country;
c) Advise on and implement international co-operation agreements with other countries and international organisations on matters relating to migration;
d) Manage and patrol the borders of the country;
e) Through the Comptroller – General or the dully authorized representative of the Comptroller – General issue visas for entry into the country and permits for residence or work in the country; and
f) perform any other functions as required by law
The Comptroller – General shall act in consultation with the Minister in the performance of the function specified in (1)(e).
Delivering Excellence In Security And Migration Management For National Development
To build a stronger and a better Ghana by operating fair but firm Immigration work systems that meet the social and economic needs of the country.
Professionalism, Integrity, Human Rights, Learning Organisation.
padfm.com.gh / Abdulai Zulkaninu