Ghana is an African republic with an economy based on gold mining and agriculture. Tourists travel to Ghana to see colonial-era cities, ancient temples, and exotic natural reserves. Moving to Ghana is not easy: the country has many dialects, and foreign nationals seeking employment are subject to an immigration quota. Nevertheless, many people want to move to this African republic and apply for Ghanaian citizenship. Read on to learn how to get a Ghanaian passport while keeping the citizenship of your native country, and the benefits you’ll receive.
Ghana is located in western Africa and borders the Gulf of Guinea. The country is considered one of the most friendly on the continent and has a highly-educated population. The country’s population is made up of various ethnic groups with their own unique traditions. The country’s total population is around 24 million.
The capital of Ghana is Accra. This is the most popular destination for tourists who want to experience local life and visit authentic African markets. The Kakum nature reserve is another popular spot for tourists. There are rope bridges hanging all over the reserve; visitors can observe animals in their natural habitat without risk of disturbing them.
The official language is English, but the local population uses various dialects (there are more than 80 dialects). The national currency is the cedi. The exchange rate as of August 2023 is 11.3 cedi to the US dollar. You can buy a full three-course dinner in a good restaurant in the capital for 100 cedis. The cost of living in Ghana is much lower than in Europe, however, the level of service is also lower. Ghana is considered a rapidly emerging economy, making it an attractive country for investment.
Accra. Photo: kojo nana (Unsplash)
Benefits and Limitations of Dual Citizenship in Ghana
Ghana has allowed dual citizenship since 2002; Ghanaians can hold the passport of another country, while foreigners are allowed to apply for naturalisation. Ghanaian citizenship is usually obtained by those who intend to assimilate, live, work, or do business in the country. As a holder of dual citizenship in Ghana you can:
- keep your current passport (if your native country allows it);
- buy any property in Ghana;
- officially work and study without being subject to immigration quotas;
- do business in a country with a rapidly developing economy;
- receive medical care and social benefits;
- visit 63 countries without a visa;
- pass on your Ghanaian citizenship by succession.
There are some details that you should take into account if you wish to obtain a second citizenship. Holders of two passports must obey the laws of both countries. This applies to taxation, length of stay and absence from the country, observance of national traditions, and other country-dependent rules.
Dual citizenship holders cannot hold high official positions in Ghana, such as chief judge, high commissioner, police inspector general, and others. This is possible only after the renunciation of other citizenship.
Accra. Photo: Ifeoluwa A. (Unsplash)
Who Can Apply for Dual Citizenship in Ghana
It is not easy to get a Ghanaian passport by naturalisation: the government is reluctant to approve applicants without family ties with the country. You can apply for Ghanaian citizenship on several grounds:
- marriage to a citizen of the country;
- origin (family ties);
- being born in the country;
- adoption by Ghanaians;
- naturalisation, providing that you have sufficient investments and assimilation.
In the latter case, the path to citizenship is particularly long and complicated. First, a foreigner must get a temporary residence permit. It is given to investors, as well as to those who come to work or study on the invitation of a local company or university.
To invite a foreigner to work in Ghana, a company must have an appropriate immigration quota. Foreign doctors, lawyers, and pharmacists undergo particularly strict procedures and special registration.
A residence permit is valid for up to four years. It can be extended once. In total, you can stay in Ghana with a residence permit for no more than eight years.
After five years of continuous residence in the country, you can apply for permanent residence or citizenship. The conditions are quite strict, it is necessary to have mastered at least one of the local dialects, assimilated, have no problems with the law, and gained insight into local culture and traditions. An important condition for obtaining citizenship is the ability to make a contribution to the economy of Ghana. Still, there is more: a foreigner must provide references from well-regarded local lawyers or civil servants. The decision about your naturalisation is made by the Minister of Interior and requires the approval of the President.
There are fewer requirements if you obtain citizenship or permanent residence on the basis of marriage or family ties. You do not have to contribute to the economy, and the mandatory residence period for such applicants is reduced to three years.
Фотография: Hannes Leitlein (Unsplash)
How to Get Dual Citizenship in Ghana
Ghanaian passports are issued by the Ministry of Interior. An application for dual citizenship is submitted to the Minister. It is quite difficult to obtain citizenship of Ghana without family ties in the country, and doing it without giving up your current passport is a real challenge. To obtain second citizenship, you will need:
- information about your current citizenship (passport details, information about employment, and residence address);
- information about your parents, spouse and children (if you apply for citizenship by descent, marriage, or birth);
- names and contact details of two close relatives living in Ghana;
- grounds for obtaining a Ghanaian passport.
After completing the application form, you must attach a set of documents which depends on each specific case. For example, if you apply for dual citizenship in Ghana by descent, you have to submit:
- a standard application;
- your valid passport and a certified copy with translation;
- your birth certificate;
- documents confirming your family ties with a citizen of Ghana;
- four recent photographs;
- receipt of fee payment (up to $250).
The application process usually takes two months to a year.
Cape Coast. Photo: Andrew Molo (Unsplash)
In a Nutshell
Ghana allows dual citizenship. The easiest way to get a Ghanaian passport is by descent or marriage to a local resident. In these two cases you need to reside in the country for at least three years. It is quite difficult to get Ghanaian citizenship while keeping your current passport without having local relatives. Such applications are processed on an individual basis. A foreigner must live continuously in the country for at least five years, know one of the local dialects, contribute to the economy of Ghana, and have references from local residents holding high positions.
Cover photo: lapping (Pixabay)