Resident Permit in Ghana

Residence Permit In Ghana

A residence permit authorizes a foreign national to live in Ghana for a specified period. A resident permit may be issued to a foreign national who intends to remain in Ghana for a substantial period. It may be issued usually generally between the duration of one to four years in the first instance, and no more than eight tears in total.

A foreign national who wishes to study, carry on business, work or employment in Ghana must apply for and be issued with a Residence Permit to carry on the activity for which the permit is sought. Retirees or persons with regular income or landed property who can demonstrate that they will not be charged on public funds may be eligible for a Resident Permit.

One of the conditions for the grant of a Residence Permit is that the applicant must have been lawfully admitted to Ghana at the time of the making of the application. When granted, it is also subject to the condition that the person to whom it is granted shall not undertake any employment or engage in any business, trade or profession except as may be specified in the Permit.

We can assess the eligibility requirements for the permit, advise on relevant supporting documentation, complete relevant application forms, draft and review supporting letters in support of the application, and engage with the GIS officials to ensure that the application is processed within time.

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Indefinite Residence In Ghana.

Indefinite Residence or Permanent Residence may be granted to a foreign national to remain in Ghana for an indefinite period.

Indefinite Residence also allows a person to enter and leave Ghana without limitation and to engage in work either as a self-employed or an employee without the need to obtain a work permit.

Persons who are eligible for Indefinite Residence may apply for their spouses and dependents under the same category.

One of the key requirements for the grant of an Indefinite Residence is the minimum residency requirement. The applicant must have resided in Ghana for a certain number of years before they are eligible to apply. They must also satisfy the Minister that they are capable of making a substantial contribution to development of Ghana.

A foreign national who is married to a Ghanaian may be eligible for Indefinite Residence under a more benevolent eligibility requirements.

Significantly, they may be eligible to apply if they have resided in Ghana for a relatively shorter period of time as opposed to the standard Indefinite Residence Status. In addition, they need not show that they are capable of making a substantial contribution to development of Ghana.

We are able to assess the eligibility requirements for the permit, advise on relevant supporting documentation, complete relevant application forms, draft and review supporting letters in support of the application, and to engage with the GIS officials to ensure that application is processed within time.

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FAQs On Resident Permit In Ghana​

A residence permit is an authorization granted to a holder to live in Ghana for the duration of time specified in the permit. The holder may, within the validity of the permit, travel in and out of Ghana as many times without the need for a visa. They may also stay in Ghana for as long as the permit remains valid, and may engage in activities specified in the permit.

You can get a residence permit if you qualify for an appropriate permit classification. You must apply on the appropriate application form, pay government fees, attach all relevant documents, and submit your application at the appropriate immigration office.

 

Obtaining a residence permit in Ghana must be tied to a permissible purpose. For example, a residence permit may be obtained for purposes of study, employment, self-employment, studies, retirement, religious activities, etc. 

There is no one fee for all residence permits. The fee payable is dependent on the classification of permit and other factors. Your nationality, for example, may impact on the fee you may pay. For example, Ghanaians with foreign passports and ECOWAS citizens are generally subject to lower fees than their counterparts elsewhere. 

 

Additionally, permits for certain dependents might be lower than that of certain principal applicants. Also, the type of permit determines the government fee that attaches to it. For example, a residence permit for work may differ from a permit obtained for purposes of retirement. A list of government fees for all permits can be found here https://www.gis.gov.gh/fees_charges.html

A residence permit allows the holder to live in Ghana for purposes specified in the permit. A residence permit does not authorize the holder to pursue any work, employment, business, trade, or profession unless such authorisation is specified in the permit.

 

Again, the holder may travel in and out of Ghana for as many times within the validity of the permit. Provided the permit is valid, they may engage in multiple travels in and out of Ghana without the need to obtain a visa.

A residence permit may be issued for up to four years in the first instance. The duration of permit granted is determined by an immigration officer. There is no specified guidance to assess how long a permit may be granted. In practice, most applications are generally granted for a year.

A residence permit is not the same as a visa. A residence permit is an authorization granted to a noncitizen to reside in Ghana for the period of time stated in the permit. To be eligible, they must show an intention to live in Ghana for a specified purpose.

 

A visa on the other hand is granted to a noncitizen by a Ghana mission abroad. Whiles visas are issued by consular officers abroad, the period of stay granted to a traveller to stay in Ghana is determined by an immigration officer. A visa does not guarantee entry to Ghana. A person may be denied entry if they fail to satisfy the immigration officer that they meet the conditions of entry to Ghana. 

 

A noncitizen who enters Ghana would usually be admitted for a period of 60 or 90 days depending on their nationality. If they wish to reside in Ghana for a substantial period of time, (usually more than 90 days) they must obtain a residence permit. 

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The length of time within which a noncitizen may obtain residence generally depends on the type of permit they are applying for. Although there are no clearly defined processing times, the processing of a permit may generally take between 8 to 10 weeks.

No. All applications for residence permit must be made in-country. Besides, there are other application requirements that require the physical presence of the applicant, like the non citizen card and medical examination. Additionally, the application form must be signed by the applicant in person.

A non-citizen card is $US120, and its valid for a year. It may be renewed for successive years for $US60 a year.

How long you can stay in Ghana largely depends on the type of permission granted for you to stay. If you entered on a visa, you may be granted up to 60 or 90 days depending on your nationality. 

 

You may apply for an extension of stay if your original permission expires. Overstaying without authorization is unlawful. The consequences may include detention, removal, imposition of a fine or imprisonment.

In the case of a residence permit, you can stay in Ghana as long as your permit is valid.

A person is a resident in Ghana if he or she is in possession of an appropriate permit and maintains residence in Ghana. A person is a resident if they hold a residence permit, indefinite residence permit, right of abode, or citizenship. 

 

For tax purposes, a person is a resident of Ghana if they have present in Ghana for a period, or periods amounting in aggregate to, 183 days or more in any twelve-month period that commences or ends during the year of assessment 

A foreigner can buy a house and own property in Ghana. No law prohibits a noncitizen from buying a house or acquiring a property in Ghana. They can even by a house without being residents. However, the length of time they can hold interest in land is 50 years. Any agreement that grants to a non-citizen any interest in land which is beyond 50 years is void.

Yes, Ghana allows dual citizenship. A citizen of Ghana can apply to be registered as a dual citizen and be issued a dual citizen card if they hold the citizenship of another country and that country allows their citizens to hold the citizenship of other countries.

You can qualify for permanent residence if you meet the requirements for residence and other eligibility requirements. For the residence requirement, you must have lived in Ghana for a total period of 6 years. You must also show that you have made or capable of making substantial contributions to the development of Ghana.



The fee for the renewal of a residence permit is the same as the original application. You must apply for a renewal no less than one month before the expiry of the permit. An application for a renewal is treated as a fresh application. With few exceptions, all government fees and documentation required are generally as in the original application.

Like all other permits, an application for a student permit must be supported by all relevant documents. It must be made on the appropriate government forms and be accompanied by the appropriate government fees. Though, there are no specified processing guidelines, most applications are processed within 8 to 10 weeks from the date of the application.

Before deciding to relocate to Ghana, you may wish to consider a few things. You may wish to consider what actually it is you wish to do in Ghana. You may consider whether you wish to retire in Ghana, seek employment, set up a business, study, or pursue voluntary activities, or other permissible activity in Ghana. 

 

To be able to live lawfully, you must obtain a residence permit. You must establish a purpose for requesting the permit to reside. For example, a residence permit may be issued for purposes of work, employment, or self-employment. A residence permit does not permit you to work unless you have a separate authorization to do so. 

 

Again, all applicants for residence in Ghana must satisfy a public charge requirement and provide a guarantee against repatriation expenses. You must therefore show that you have sufficient means to cater for yourself and any other dependents for the duration of the permit. 

Yes. Your dependents can obtain residence permit to join you provided they meet the definition of dependents under our laws. Dependents of a principal holder can apply for  residence permit to remain with the principal holder in Ghana. Like the principal holder, a dependent cannot pursue any business, profession, or any activity for reward unless they have separate authorization to do so. 

 

Again, the duration of a permit granted to a dependent cannot exceed that of the principal holder, since the dependent derives their status from the principal. Therefore, should the permit of the principal holder be revoked for whatever reason, any permit issued to a dependent on the basis of the principal is automatically void.

  • Two recent passport-size photos
  • Application letter in support
  • Copies of business license, if applicable
  • GIPC Certificate or Immigrant Quota Approval Letter, if applicable
  • Tax Clearance Certificate from existing company
  • Applicant’s employment contract or appointment letter, if applicable
  • Police report from applicant’s home country
  • Proof of retirement, in the case of a retiree
  • Medical report from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) clinic
  • Birth certificate, if applicable
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Execution of a bond or security for two Ghanaian guarantors, if applicable.
  • Bank statement from a sponsor/guarantor (for dependents)
  • Copy of non-citizen Card



A foreigner cannot apply for a Ghana Card. However, they may apply for a noncitizen card. Under the National Identity Register Act of Ghana, a foreign national, aged 6 years or more, who is cumulatively resident in Ghana for at least 90 days may apply for a non-citizen Ghana card.

 

This requirement is not mandatory. However, the noncitizen card is tied to several key transactions. It is required to apply for a residence permit, for admission into educational institutions in Ghana, for all financial transactions including opening a bank account, payment of taxes, registration of sim cards, and applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals and permissions.

A noncitizen who wishes to stay in Ghana for a substantial period of time requires a residence permit. Likewise, persons seeking to live in Ghana for purposes of employment, self-employment, business, studies, missionary, or voluntary activities would require a residence permit. 

 

Even if you are granted a work permit, you cannot carry on your activities unless you have also been granted a residence permit.

There is no fixed income level to show for the purposes of obtaining a residence permit as a retiree. There is however a public charge requirement. This requires the applicant to show that they have sufficient resources to support their maintenance for the duration of their stay. This may be in the form of savings, investments, pension funds or income, or any other means of regular income sufficient to maintain the applicant or any other dependents.

 

There is no specified guidance on the level of amount to show. It is sufficient if there is proof of regular income and the applicant can show that they have access to those funds in Ghana.



A retiree permit is considered a dependent permit. Therefore, the application must be supported by two Ghanaians with copies of their valid national IDs. The guarantors must jointly execute a bond of guarantee or security in the appropriate form. 

 

By doing so, the guarantors undertake to be liable for the deportation or repatriation expenses of the applicant up to the value of the amount stated on the bond. At least, one of the guarantors must provide proof of sufficient means to support the bond or guarantee.

 

The applicant must show that they will not become a public charge. They must provide proof of sufficient resources to support their stay. This may be in the form of savings, investments, pension funds or income, or any other means of regular income sufficient to maintain the applicant or any other dependents. 

 

They must also provide proof of their retiree status. This may be evidence of pension income, letter of retirement, or any other official document to confirm their retiree status.

 

There is also a requirement for the applicant to show some sort of connection or commitment to Ghana to justify the basis for requesting the permit. They may do so by proof of owning property. 

 

The immigration office is aware that applicants may want to assess different options before deciding on the nature or type of property they wish to buy. For this reason, they may accept a long-term lease or tenancy agreement as proof of intention to reside. The applicant must detail their long-term plans and how they wish to develop their commitment to Ghana.

Residence Permit

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