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How to get a Residence Permit in Ghana:

In order to reside in Ghana legally, there are a few basic procedures that all must go through, whether you are an African born in the Diaspora (repatriate) or a European (expatriate) seeking to exploit Ghana's vast resources, the rules apply the same.  Residency is given to the following categories:

  • Investors

  • Non-Governmental Organizations

  • Students

Note that there is no special consideration for those of us, whose parents were shipped out as human cargo, so don't waste much time expecting a red carpet, rather come in and prepare to fight for your rights, enlightening those we come into contact with and leaving an impact that will force the government to acknowledge the need to make provisions for returning repatriates.  Nothing speaks like positive works.

Investors:

Most commonly, those relocating to Ghana take advantage of the investment incentives offered by Ghana government, through its extension known as the Ghana Investment Promotion Center.  After complying with a few requirements, G.I.P.C. will write to Ghana Immigrations on your behalf, for your residence permit.  The incentives for investing in Ghana include tax holidays, protection of interests under specific laws and an opportunity to legally operate your business in Ghana, but the most significant reason is to be granted permission to reside in Ghana.   However, one should note the following first:

  • Investment in all sectors of the economy other than mining and petroleum can be established without prior approval.  Mining and petroleum projects have be licensed by the Minerals commission and Ministry of Mines and Energy, respectively.

  • There are categories for every investor, where a minimum equity contribution has to be met:
        Joint Venture (90% foreign owned, 10% Ghanaian)                $10,000 USD
        Foreign Owned (100% foreign owned)                                  $50,000 USD
        All trading Enterprises (stores)                                            $300,000 USD
        Exportation of non-traditional exports                                   no minimum required

  • The minimum equity investment can be in cash and/or kind.  Machinery and equipment relevant to the objective of your business is added as part of the investment once it is imported in the name of the company and inspected by an official in Ghana.

  • All of the above categories allow for one immigrant quota, providing residence permit for that person and his or her family, if they are the director of the company.  Additional quotas are available for $1,200 per person.
     

The procedure is undoubtedly tedious and time consuming, however, we have ways of simplifying it for you, but first, consider the requirements in their totality and then we will present your options.  The procedure is as follows:

  1. Investors must register their business with the Register General.  At this point you will determine availability of chosen name, incorporate your business and receive the appropriate docs to verify your registration.

  2. A bank account must be opened, in the name of the business, to facilitate wiring in of investment capital and  all other business transactions.

  3. Investors must now provide the minimum equity investment required for business type either by wire transfer or the importation of business equipment.

  4. The investor then registers with G.I.P.C. and pays all relevant fees. (Prior to this phase, fees should not exceed $100 USD, but with G.I.P.C. the minimum cost of fees for any type of business will be about $1,300 USD.

  5. All enterprises must then register directly with the Internal Revenue Service and the Value Added Tax Secretariat for purposes of statutory taxes.

Please refer to our page on Doing Business in Ghana for greater detail.

Non-Governmental Organizations

This route is less commonly used by incoming repatriates, but it offers a wonderful alternative to those of us who intend to make our impact via strengthening the environment in which we live.  An NGO is the same as a non-profit outfit.  Its objectives are to serve the community.  Due to the misuse of the privileges appropriated to such organizations, there has been many new restrictions and constant annual checks to insure that the NGO is operating as promised and yielding positive results. One of the areas most needed and most readily accepted by Ghana government is in the area of education.  Health care workers also receive a welcome invitation as well as those who promote development in the rural areas of Ghana, whether it be providing water wells, lavatories, or processing plants for the better production of non-traditional exports. 

There are no minimum equity investments for a NGO, but the outfit must show sponsorship from a parent company who will be responsible for the expenses of operation, that is, the salary of its employees and the funds to embark on the various projects.

Registration is done both through the Register Generals office and then through the NGO office in Ghana. An annual submission must be made to verify compliance with stated goals and objectives.

Students

Students are given permission to reside in Ghana for the extent of their term in school.  This category is just above tourist and really doesn't attract a residency permit, but an extended visa.  There are various exchange programs available through the schools who are affiliates with our universities, however, if a foreigner wishes to apply for to one of our universities and can pay the fees, he or she will be enrolled and given permission to stay in the country until the courses are complete.  The main universities are:

 

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