PASSPORT: You must have a current valid passport from your respective country. Make sure your passport has an expiration date that is at least six months in the future. You want to avoid any trouble at customs when you get to Ghana. Also make sure you have enough blank pages in the back of your passport for your visa.
VISA: In order to enter and exit, you must have a current, valid visa. Here are the steps to obtaining a visa for Ghana:
1. Get a yellow fever immunization shot. You cannot obtain a visa without one. It is a requirement for all types of Ghana visas. Yellow fever shots are good for up to 10 years. Contact your local health provider on getting a yellow fever shot. Not all health insurance companies cover the shot because it is considered a tropical disease immunization, so make sure to contact your health insurance company to double check if they cover the costs of the shot. It is an expensive shot, but totally worth it! Also contact your doctor at least two to three weeks in advance to set up your appointment to receive the shot. It is not as readily accessible as you would hope, so you have to give your doctor time to order the immunization for you. Once you receive the shot, make sure you have it documented on the yellow WHO (World Health Organization) card because you will provide the card when you apply for the visa.
2. Get passport photos. As any good traveler may know, you will always need many passport photos! The Ghana Consulate requires you provide TWO (2) passport photos when you apply for a visa. If you don’t know what a passport photo is, it is a color 2″x2″ photo with a white background. It is a small headshot of just your face. You can get passport photos done at any major drugstore or discount stores (CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Walmart, Kmart, Target). Make sure to bring many photos with you when you go abroad. You never know what may happen if you need them.
3. Find the closest Ghana consulate/embassy. If you live in/near New York City, Houston or Washington D.C., then you are in luck. Ghana has consulates/embassies in those cities, so you can easily drop off your paperwork in person. The address of the New York City – Ghana Consulate General is 19 East 47th Street (between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue), New York, NY 10017. The address of the Washington D.C. – Ghana Embassy is 3512 Internationl Drive NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. The address for the Houston – Honorary Ghana Consulate is 3434 LockeLane, Houston, TX 77027. Also when you go, call ahead to check their hours or to see if they will be open for a Ghanaian and/or American holiday. Check the Ghana Embassies & Consulates page for their contact information.
**One thing to know about the Ghana embassies & consulates is that there are designated hours to drop off and pick up your visas. The hours on listed on the Ghana Embassies & Consulates page on this website.**
If you don’t live anywhere near those cities, then you can easily mail in your paperwork. Make sure to include a self-addressed, overnight, trackable envelope with a prepaid stamp on it. The embassies will not process the paperwork if you don’t send the envelope.
4. Book your flights. Even before you apply for a visa to go to Ghana, the embassy won’t even process your paperwork without proof showing you will be returning back to the United States. The best places to find the cheapest flights is Kayak and StudentUniverse.
When I went to Ghana, I booked my flight on StudentUniverse and it cost $1200. Recently, I have been finding flights for $1000 to $1500 on Kayak. Book your flight before you apply for your visa, then print out your confirmation and attach it to your visa paperwork.
5. Research the Ghana Embassy’s website. The websites will provide with the necessary forms and information to find everything you need to submit. Please read ALL of the necessary information because there are a lot of things you need to obtain a visa. The items are easy to get, but forgetting one thing can prohibit you from getting your visa. Links to the embassies & consulates’ websites are listed on the Ghana Embassies & Consulates page.
6. Payments for your visa. No matter what type of visa you are getting (tourist, student, work, etc) you must pay for either a single or multi-entry visa. A single entry visa cost $60. A multi-entry visa cost $100. The single entry mean you can only enter and exit Ghana ONCE. The multi-entry visa means you can enter and exit as many times as you want until the date of expiration for your visa. I recommend getting the multi-entry visa because if you do decide to leave Ghana for any reason, you won’t have go through the trouble of getting a whole new visa to get back into the country. Multi-entry visa means less hassle from customs in Ghana’s port of entry.
7. FORMS. The forms are pretty much self-explanatory. Fill the paperwork and send it in. Here are the links for the visa applications for each embassy and consulate.
Ghana Consulate NY: http://www.ghanaconsulatenewyork.org/Visa_Form.pdf
Ghana Embassy Washington, DC: http://www.ghanaembassy.org/uploads/files/Visa_Application_Form.pdf
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