Have you ever considered obtaining residency in Ghana or one of the various residence permits available in Ghana? Or you may be considering the legal requirements for acquiring a Ghana residence permit. If you have any questions about residence permit in Ghana and how to obtain one, this article is worth your time because it walks you through the process of obtaining a residence permit in Ghana including documents requirements, fees, and processing time.

What is a Resident Permit?

Generally, a residence permit is a document that allows a foreign national to reside temporarily or permanently in a country. Just like any other country in the world, Ghana has laws on how residence permit can be acquired, as well as categories of persons to whom such permits may be granted. The application process for residence permits varies depending on the category of an applicant as well as the activity intended to be undertaken by the applicant in Ghana.

The government may grant residency to foreign nationals so that they can live in the country for certain specified period. Foreign citizens who intend to remain in Ghana for extended periods may be eligible for an indefinite residence permit after meeting certain criteria.

Resident Permit for Various Groups in Ghana

Immigration laws in Ghana have specific requirements for residence permit applications. Applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible. A foreigner may apply for a residence permit in Ghana as an employee, a business person, or as a student. They may also apply for a residence permit to retire in Ghana or as spouses or children of a Ghanaian or a holder of a residence permit in Ghana. A resident permit issued to a student may differ from that issued to a business person. There may be differences in terms of fees, requirements, the length of time granted, and permissible activities allowed on the permit.

Basic Checks for A Resident Permit

The process of getting a residence permit in any country isn't that simple and often requires a lot of paperwork and bureaucratic procedures. Immigration officials are required to conduct necessary checks before issuing a residence permit. In Ghana, the Ghana Immigration Service is the authorized institution to process and grant residence permits.

For a person to apply for a residence permit, he or she must first have a permissible purpose to support the application, and must provide evidence to support the purpose. For example, an application for residence permit for study must be supported by evidence that the applicant has been enrolled in an academic institution in Ghana. Similarly, an applicant applying for a permit on the basis of work must provide evidence of their employment status and appropriate qualification for the role they have been employed.

Once granted, a resident permit must only be used for the purpose for which it was granted. The permit may be revoked if used for purposes other than that for which it was granted.

Documents required for a Resident Permit

For a resident permit, the following documents are required by the Ghana Immigration Service:

  1. The applicant's passport
  2. A copy of the passport biodata
  3. Two recent passport photographs (usually not more than 6 months)
  4. A completed and signed application form
  5. A letter addressed to the Comptroller-General of Immigration applying for the permit
  6. If employed, a letter from the employer, applying on the applicant's behalf for a residence permit.
  7. Details of the company – Certificate to Commence Business and Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Registrar-General; Company Tax Certificate issued by the Internal Revenue Service;
  8. Work permit approval letter from GIS, if applicable
  9. The applicant's Curriculum Vitae, and professional and academic qualifications, if employed
  10. Automatic quota approval letter from the GIPC, if applicable
  11. Approval letter from the Free Zones Authority, if applicable
  12. Marriage certificate, if applying as a spouse
  13. Birth certificate, if applying as a child
  14. Letter of admission from an educational institution and proof of paid school fees, if applicable

Students under 18 years of age

  • A bond has to be signed by an official of the school, especially when the child is in a boarding school. The official must submit a copy of their national ID
  • Letter of consent from the child's parents, or a consent from one parent if the other parent is applying with the child.

Get Your Resident Permit in Ghana Faster!

Applying for a residence permit without a thorough knowledge of how Ghana's immigration laws work can be cumbersome and may lead to considerable delay. It is, however, best to seek advice and guidance from firms that can help you deal with complicated immigration paperwork and fast-track the process for you.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.