For US citizens, obtaining a visa to Ghana is relatively easy to do online or through the DC embassy in person. Either way, anyone over nine months old will have to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccinations first.
Note that this guide does not take into account any additional, temporary requirements in place during the Covid pandemic. For the most up-to-date Covid requirements, visit the Ghana embassy website.
- Visa needed for US citizens: Yes
- Visa types for US citizens: Single-entry or multiple-entry tourist visa or transit visa
- Visa application: Online and mail
- Visa issued: By mail
- Cost: $60-$130 for standard processing
- Timing: 7-10 days in advance
- Length of validity: 6 months
- Max length of stay: 3 months for tourist visa, 7 days for transit visa
Who Needs a Visa to Visit Ghana?
- All Americans arriving in Ghana with plans to leave the airport will need to apply for a visa.
- Travelers transiting through Ghana will need to apply for a transit visa. If you are transiting through Ghana multiple times, you will need to obtain a multiple-entry tourist visa.
What Types of Visas are Available for US Citizens?
Tourism: Tourism visas that are available for American travelers include single-entry and multiple-entry visas. Both types of visas are typically valid for up to a three-month stay.
Transit: A transit visa is a separate option and is needed, even if you plan to stay in direct airside transit. In the past transit visas were not required, or you could obtain one at the airport. Now, all passengers transiting are required to apply for a visa ahead of time.
How to Apply for a Ghana Visa
The most common way to apply for a Ghana visa is to fill out the application online and then mail in your documentation for processing. There is an option for expedited processing if you are traveling in the immediate future.
You can also apply in person at the Ghana embassy in DC or the consulate in NYC. To make an appointment for the NYC office, you will need to request 24-hour processing and schedule the appointment as you are completing your online application process. To make an appointment at the Washington DC embassy, you need to call them to find out when an appointment might be available.
Required Documents and Information
The Ghana Embassy has an online visa checklist to ensure that you have all of the proper documentation needed to apply for a tourist visa. You must:
- Complete the proper Ghana Visa Application form (which is for the Washington D.C. embassy).
- Have the full information about where you plan to stay in Ghana, including full name, address, and telephone number. For those American travelers who are transiting, you need to provide contact information for your destination.
- Include your original passport, not a copy, and the name on your application must match your passport exactly.
- Get two original passport-sized photos, 2” x 2” with a white background.
- Attach supporting documentation that can help with your visa application—this includes a photocopy of your bank statement, photocopies of hotel reservations, a sightseeing itinerary, etc.
- List your full address and telephone number in the U.S., as well as your employer information (including contact information).
- Payment must be in the form of a money order made payable to The Ghana Embassy/Embassy of Ghana.
- Do not forget to include a self-addressed, prepaid return envelope with tracking so the embassy can mail back your passport and documents.
If you plan to travel to Ghana with a minor, you will need letters of consent from both parents, a photocopy of the birth certificate, and photocopies of both parents’ identifications. If only one parent has legal custody, you must present proof of that as well. You will need to have the documentation notarized, as noted on the Ghana Embassy website.
For travelers applying through the mail or in person at the New York Ghana Consulate, you will need a money order or bank draft issued to “The Mission of Ghana.” If you pay in person, you are allowed to use your bank card.
Visa fees for American travelers applying for a Ghana visa online through the embassy in Washington DC are as follows:
- $60 for single entry, regular processing
- $100 for single entry, expedited processing
- $100 for multiple entries, regular processing
- $200 for multiple entries, expedited processing
The fees for the Ghana visa are different if you apply through the New York consulate. They are as follows:
- Single $90 (standard), $130 (express 72 hours); $190 (priority 24 hours)
- Multiple $130 (standard); $230 (express 72 hours); $290 (priority 24 hours)
- Transit single $80 (standard); $130 (priority 24 hours)
- Transit multiple $130 (standard); $240 (priority 24 hours)
- Single $60 (standard), $100 (express 72 hours); $160 (priority 24 hours)
- Multiple $100 (standard); $200(express 72 hours); $260 (priority 24 hours)
- Transit single $50 (standard); $100 (priority 24 hours)
- Transit multiple $100 (standard); $210 (priority 24 hours)
The processing time for a Ghana visa begins once the application is received. There are different processing times based on whether you walk in or mail your documentation. The estimated times for processing through the Washington DC Ghana Embassy are:
- Walk-In Applications: Four business days for expedited and seven business days for regular.
- Mail-in Applications: Seven business days for expedited and ten business days for regular.
The estimated times for processing through the New York Consulate are seven to ten business days from receipt of the application. As noted in the fees above, some visas have 72-hour and 24-hour processing times available. New York will only accept 24-hour processing when it’s done in person, subject to appointment availability.
Visas issued online from New York are legally valid for up to six months from the submission date. If you fail to use it within six months, you will need to reapply as your application will be automatically deleted in the system. This differs from Washington DC in that Ghana visas issued elsewhere are only valid for up to three months from the date of issue.
How to Apply
For the New York Consulate, you will visit the Ghana Application page and click to agree to the terms and conditions. From there, you will complete the application:
- Select VISA APPLICATION.
- Click on INDIVIDUAL VISA application tab.
- Select your visa category: B-2 is a temporary tourist visitor, and C-1 is an alien transit.
- Next, you will complete the drop-down boxes, including the visa category. The options here will vary based on what category you choose.
- Print out your visa application and sign it.
- Either mail your application with the required supporting documents listed above or visit the New York Consulate.
- If you want to do 24-hour priority processing, you will need to book the appointment when you are completing the application online.
- The application has to be typed or filled out in black ink only, using block letters.
- Be sure to answer every question on the application and be sure to sign and date it, or it will be rejected.
- Write your email address very legibly at the bottom of the application.
If you plan to complete your application online through Washington, DC, and mail your documentation, be sure to follow the specific instructions on the website. It details exactly how to address your packet and how to put your SASE inside. Instructions for completing your application through Washington DC include:
- Go to the online Washington DC visa application page.
- Select your visa fees and type of visa from the drop-down menu.
- Fill out all of your information, which includes the guarantor and witness information.
- Print out and sign your application form. In the event you don’t receive a copy of your application in the email to print out, you need to fill out the PDF visa application form to mail.
- Prepare your package for mailing, including your SASE and money order or cashier’s check.
- If you are traveling with a minor, don’t forget the additional documentation that needs to be notarized and included with your application.