A holder of a residence permit is entitled to let their dependents join them or remain with them in Ghana. The holder of the residence permit is called the principal holder. Their dependents may be granted a Dependent Residence Permit. A dependent cannot pursue any business, profession, or any activity for reward, unless they have been granted a separate permit for that purpose.
Who is a Dependent?
A dependent is defined as a child and a spouse. Therefore a child, spouse, or in some cases, aged parents of a principal holder may be granted dependent residence permit to join or remain with the principal holder.
How long is a Dependent Permit valid for?
The period of the permit granted to a dependent cannot exceed that held by the principal holder. For example, if the principal holder holds a 4 year residence permit expiring in 18 months, their dependent can only be issued a permit valid up to the 18 months residue.
A dependent residence permit derives its validity from the principal holder. Should the principal holder lose their residence permit for whatever reason, a dependent permit issued on the basis of the principal holder becomes invalid.
How to apply for a Dependent Residence Permit
An application for a dependent residence permit must be made in Form F to the GIS. The applicant must complete and sign the form, and must include an application letter addressed to the Comptroller-General requesting for the grant. The letter must state their personal details, reasons for the permit, their relationship to the principal holder, and details about the residence permit or work permit held by the principal holder.
They must also submit proof of relationship to the principal holder, like a birth certificate or marriage certificate. Consent from a parent may be required, if a child is travelling with or joining only one parent. Dependents must satisfy a maintenance requirement. They must prove that they can be maintained either by themselves or the principal holder or them both.
The dependent must also provide two guarantors with copies of their Ghanaian passports, one of whom must write a letter of guarantee for the applicant. As a condition for the grant of the permit, the guarantors must jointly execute a bond for security as in Form I. By so doing, the guarantors undertake to be liable for any deportation or repatriation expenses up to the value of the amount stated on the bond, should the dependent be required to leave Ghana. A list of the required documentation is:
Requirements for Dependent Residence Permit
- Application letter requesting for the grant of a residence permit
- 2 passport-sized photos
- Bank Statement or a lease agreement, or a combination of both
- Letter of consent from a child’s parent (if applicable)
- Copy of Birth Certificate of a Child
- Statutory Declaration by a Guardian from the High Court (if applicable)
- Two Guarantors with copies of their Ghanaian passport
- A letter of guarantee from one of the two guarantors
- Guarantors execution of a bond for security as in Form I
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- Non-citizen ID
Renewal of Dependent Residence Permit
A person granted a dependent residence permit may apply for the renewal of the permit. They must show that the principal holder has a valid residence permit, and may renew concurrently with the principal holder. The dependent must show that they did not breach any of the terms or abuse any of the privileges attached to the previous permit.
For example, a renewal of a dependent residence permit may be refused if the officer found that they engaged in an activity for reward in violation of the terms of the previous permit. A dependent residence permit follows the principal holder. Therefore, a dependent cannot be granted a period which exceeds that of the principal holder.
The fee for dependents may differ on the basis of nationality as ECOWAS nationals and Ghanaians with foreign passports may pay a fee different from other nationals. The fees are for permits valid for one year.
- Dependent Residence Permit (ECOWAS) nationals = GHS200
- Dependent Residence Permit (all other foreign nationals) = GHS300
- Dependent Residence Permit (Ghanaians with foreign passports) = GHS150
There is no requirement for dependents to undergo a medical examination. However, spouses and children of 6 years and above must obtain a Ghana non-citizen ID card at a fee of USD120, valid for one year and renewable at USD60.
Provided all documentation are in order, the processing time for a dependent residence permit ranges between 2 to 3 weeks.
Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on Ghana immigration. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is an immigration law advisor and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on Ghana, U.S., UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works for Acheampong & Associates, a law firm in Accra, Ghana. He may be contacted on email@example.com