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I recently married a Ghanaian and will be moving to Ghana in August. Do we need to apply for the resident visa before I get to Ghana or can I enter on a visitor's visa and then change it to a resident's visa when I get there?

I am in the same situation and we are also moving in June/July.
I wouldn´t leave it to the Embassy and I don´t expect it to go swiftly in Ghana either.
We have decided that I will get a visitor´s visa and then apply in Ghana. For me the embassy is not an option since we always struggle just to get our visas in time or the passports at all.

Any advice from the expat community?

I visited in February and had no problems getting a visitor's visa in Hong Kong. In fact I went in and got it on the same afternoon which I found amazing. This time however I only have a one way ticket and hope that isn't going to cause a problem.
I hope you can keep me posted on any developments

Hi there,
I was in your/s situations a couple of years ago. I was coming to work which requires the same as resident visa. It's easier to come on the tourist visa, as you noted, and then initiate the process once you're here. My process was actually initiate by my employer before I arrived, but it took a long time.

If you try to begin the process outside Ghana I think you'll have too many problems as, even inside, it's hard to find people to give you consisitent info about what you need.

On that note, particularly because I just finished writing a travel/living guide to Ghana and had a lot of contact with immigration during the process, I can advise you to check their site: This has the details on documents you need.

Alternativel (*shameless plug*), you could buy our guide book. It has all the info you need about travel and preparation in coming to Ghana, based on my 4 years experience here and my Ghanaians partner's life experience. You can read more at


Thanks Gayle!

It is good that I checked the sites so that I know which documents to bring and I guess we have to get married after 17 years together :). About time I guess.

The embassy in Denmark is not very reliable and as we stay in Sweden it means long distance mail. Once they didn´t answer the phone for an entire week and when they finally did the explanation was that they had a new phone system and they didn´t know how it worked.  Then my man´s and my son´s passport had  " disappeared" even though it was sent together with our daughter´s and mine. We almost missed the flight.I can only imagine where the passports were. I´d rather deal with that inside Ghana than outside.

I checked your site and I was LOOL as I imagined all the experiences you have gone through to be able to put together such a detailed guide. I would buy it even if it was only a list of toilets. Good Job!

Thanks again!

Hi. I came here on a tourist visa and then had two year residents visas, it's was no problem at all to be honest. To qualify for a permanent resident’s visa, you would need to live here for a minimum of 5 years. The dependant’s resident visa does not however permit you to work, so if u need a work permit, your employer would have to do that.
Hope this helps. As for the documents, if I remember correctly its only pics, filled form and a marriage cert.

Thanks for the reply.
I actually don't want to work as my husband and I will be running a company together. I hope that is covered by a spousal visa!

Thanks Margarita!
Sooner or later I would like to work for my own sanity but I´ll deal with that then.


Thanks for your reply Margarita.
I talked to my partner about your info regarding work but he seemed to think that would only apply if you were the dependant of a person who was on a working visa in Ghana. I know this is the case in certain other countries I have worked in.

Viv - working in Ghana will rather make u
Hkann - The visa u get as a spouse, actually states ur husbands name (sad as it is) and states that u r a dependant of his, and also stated that work is prohibited. I do think that applying for a work permit as a spouse of a Ghanaian is much easier than that if you just come to work.

Last edited by MargaritaB (18 March 2010 08:59:06)

Lol, Margarita you are right. I keep forgetting that it is Ghana we are talking about. It´s a matter of being a desperate house wife or a desperate employee/employer.
I actually miss the unpredictable encounters with the Ghanaian police force as long as I know that my papers are in order.

Is it possible to study on a spouse visa? I found a Swedish distance course in which you are supposed  to take part in seminars at a univerity wherever you are staying. I assume that the arrangement means that you have to register at Legon as well. Do you think I would need a study visa for that?

Viv - u miss GH police??? LOL...
No I don't think u will need a student visa, I think the only thing is working, but even that u can sort out if u need to.

Hi, I'm not sure whether I will need to start a new topic. Will just try it here!
My husband may start working in Ghana and I would love to work in Ghana as well. Is there any possibility to get a work permit as a spouse?
I read this on the immigration website and would like to know what the possibilities are and whether there are people on this forum with experience in obtaining a work permit.
Foreign spouses with special skills may on application to the Minister of Interior be issued with work permits to work so long as they remain with partners who have lawful residential status in Ghana .

Thank you very much in advance!


I came into Ghana on a visitor's visa and got my resident's permit once I arrived. I think that is the better way to do it.

thank you. Did you have to buy a one way, or round trip ticket. Just thinking ahead as to which would be easier in dealing with customs in ghana.

I actually only had a one way ticket to Ghana as I intended getting the resident's permit once I arrived. I did have a return flight to the UK booked within the 3 months period as I wanted to visit my mother. I also thought it was insurance in case there were any problems at Immigration at the airport but I don't remember anyone asking to see that or even see my ticket.

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