In this article, we discuss what dual citizenship is and the application process in Ghana. A dual citizen is a person who holds the citizenship of two countries. Not all countries allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship.
Fortunately in Ghana, a person can hold the citizenship of another country in addition to Ghanaian citizenship. Ghanaian law allows dual citizenship from any country except where the country in question does not allow dual citizenship.
Certain benefits of Dual Citizenship
Dual citizenship may be beneficial to Ghanaians who may want to relocate to Ghana for purposes of establishing a business. Dual citizens get to enjoy the benefits and privileges offered by both countries. For example, they can work in either country without the need to apply for residence or work permits. Another advantage is that the applicant can travel on the two passports.
Certain drawbacks of dual citizenship
On the other hand, dual nationals also have some drawbacks. The holder of dual citizenship shall be subject to the laws of both countries. Thus for example, a dual national residing in Ghana shall be subject to the laws of Ghana and may not be allowed to enjoy certain privileges associated with the laws of their second country, however, beneficial. Under Ghanaian law, a holder of dual citizenship does not qualify to hold certain public positions including Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court, Ambassador or High Commissioner among others.
Certain countries require a person seeking citizenship to renounce the citizenship of their original country before they are granted citizenship. Considering the fact that citizenship is important and statelessness cannot be encouraged, a person seeking to renounce Ghanaian citizenship must provide a letter or document from an authority in the other country showing that they will be given citizenship should they renounce their Ghanaian citizenship.
The Ministry of Interior in Ghana is responsible for registering a person as a dual citizen. The applicant must fill an application form which requires details like names, place and dates of birth of both parents. It also requires specific information about the applicant’s additional passport, place of normal residence as well as particulars of employment and address in the foreign country.
Additionally, there is a supplementary form attached to the main form which requests for names and contact details of two of the applicant’s close relatives who live in Ghana. In making the application, the applicant must write an application letter addressed to the Minister of Interior stating his intention as well as the reasons for the application.
The applicant must provide the bio-data page of both foreign and Ghanaian passports. But where the applicant does not have a Ghanaian passport, they may add either the biodata page of their mother, father or grandparent’s Ghanaian passports, with a birth certificate to establish the claimed relationship upon which the claim of nationality is based. In addition, they must add four recent passport photographs with the required fee.
Cost and Processing Time
The fee for the application form is 500 GHC. However there is a separate fee of 100 GHC which is paid upon the completion of the process. The process may take up to two months before a decision is made. Where the process is successful, the applicant will be given a hard copy of their dual citizenship certificate. In addition, the applicant will be provided with a small card showing that the applicant is registered as a dual citizen of Ghana.
In conclusion, the article discussed dual citizenship, some benefits and drawbacks. It also considered some of the documents that may be required, the cost involved, the processing time as well as a brief description of the certificate and card.
By Thelma Owusu-Abrokwa
Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on dual citizenship and the application process in Ghana. The specific facts that apply to your matter may vary. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is a Legal officer specializing in immigration specifically in Ghana and the UK. She works for Acheampong & Associates Ltd, an immigration law firm in Accra and may be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org