- Download our Moving to Ghana Guide (PDF)
Expats will need to do some research and ensure that they have the correct visa before arriving at a Ghanaian point of entry.
Nationals of certain countries may be exempt from needing a tourist visa for Ghana whereas others will receive one upon arrival. When it comes to moving to Ghana however, all expats, regardless of nationality, will be required to apply for a work and/or residence permit.
Tourist visas for Ghana
Most people travelling to Ghana will need to get a tourist visa in their home country before arriving in Ghana, but nationals of certain countries can obtain a visa on arrival or can enter visa free.
Those who don't qualify for visa-free entry or a visa on arrival will need to apply for an entry visa at the Ghanaian embassy or high commission in their respective country. On the application form, foreigners will be required to specify whether they require a single- or multiple-entry visa which will be valid for a maximum of three months.
Residence permits for Ghana
Those moving to Ghana for work will need a residence permit as well as a work permit. The residence permit application process requires many of the same documents as those needed to apply for a work permit. Once granted, residence permits are valid for between one and four years and are renewable.
Expats with a residence permit for Ghana are entitled to apply for a similar permit for their dependants, including their spouse, children under the age of 18 and parents over the age of 60.
Permanent residency in Ghana
Expats are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Ghana if they meet one of the following criteria:
They are married to a Ghanaian citizen who has lived in Ghana for five or more years
They have resided in Ghana for more than 10 years and can prove that they have made a substantial contribution to the Ghanaian economy
* Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change at short notice and expats should consult their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For an overview of the job market, read Working in Ghana
►Read Embassy Contacts for Ghana for a list of foreign representatives
"The work visa and resident visa process can take a long time. Most expats are employed prior to moving to Ghana, and if married, the trailing spouse is given a resident spouse visa, which does not allow for in-country paid employment." Read Australian expat Chris's interview for useful advice on visas and working in Ghana.
"Obtaining a visa or work permit in Ghana is a simple process in theory. However, the bureaucracy makes it difficult to process. It is advised that patience is needed when applying." Read dual-citizen David's interview for more on the visa process.
Are you an expat living in Ghana?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Ghana. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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