The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has hinted at a possible rise in passport application fees.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr. Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, explained that the hike in price has become necessary due to high production costs. Saying the current price is very low compared to other countries in the sub-region.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, Ampratwum-Sarpong said “Liberia charges $50, we charge $8, meaning we have to subsidize every passport. So the money to buy the printers is used to subsidize the passports… And also, we are thinking of upgrading our passport from biometric to chip-embedded.
So the chip-embedded version is going to cost more. If we continue charging at $8, we will continue to face the problems that we are having at the passport office… So we have to raise the fees,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has said that the visa-free regime for all foreign nationals traveling into Ghana starts December 1, 2023, as part of the ‘December in Ghana’ launched by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is aimed at welcoming visitors to the country without much stress.
The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, further explained that the move was to lessen the frustrations of their travellers.
“Anybody who wants to come to Ghana can take advantage,” he said.
He further explained that “December of late, it’s become a month of activity, big activity in the country and it’s a month that a lot of our compatriots living outside the country take advantage to come in and enjoy the Christmas festivities.”
The visa-free regime will last till the end of December, Mr Ampratwum said.
“Looking at the trend and the number of people over the years that have been coming into the country, there have been complaints of frustrations at the various missions abroad in getting visas on time to be able to get down here and have a good time.
And being a responsive government, we’ve looked at it and we think one of the best things that we can do is to lessen the frustrations of their travel to their home base and make it possible for them to get down here and get their visas.
Because if you arrive today, give and take, in about an hour, you should be able to go through the processes of getting your visa on arrival. So this is just for December,” Ampratwum Sarpong noted.