Rules & Eligibility: Chapter 3 of the Constitution of Ghana
(1) Every person who, on the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of Ghana by law shall continue to be a citizen of Ghana.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a person born in or outside Ghana after the coming into force of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Ghana at the date of his birth if either of his parents or grandparents is or was a citizen of Ghana.
(3) A child of not more than seven years of age found in Ghana whose parents are not known shall be presumed to be a citizen of Ghana by birth.
(4) A child of not more than sixteen years of age neither of whose parents is a citizen of Ghana who is adopted by a citizen of Ghana shall, by virtue of the adoption be a citizen of Ghana.
(5) A woman married to a man who is a citizen of Ghana or a man married to a woman who is a citizen of Ghana may, upon making an application in the manner prescribed by Parliament, be registered as a citizen of Ghana.
Application Process for Citizenship (How-To)
A citizenship application is valid for all Ghanaians living in the country and abroad However, the application process differs depending on where the applicant is based.
(1) For those in Ghana, application forms are acquired from the Ghana Immigration Services office in Accra.
(2) For those living abroad, they should contact the Ghana Mission in their countries for advise on the proper application form and the process at large.
As proof of citizenship, provide any of the following:
- Birth Certificate (original and a photocopy)
- Old Passport
- Certificate of naturalization
- Baptismal certificate
- Statuary declaration made in a High Court by one of applicant’s parents
- Affidavit by Head of Family, in respect of applicant, regarding citizenship
- Four recent passport-sized photographs on plain background (without hat or sunglasses) – one must be endorsed by a witness or guarantor
- Two guarantors who are relatives living in Ghana.
Acquisition and Purchasing of Form
As of 2010, the old passport has been replaced with the new Biometric passport. In order to acquire the biometric passport, one will have to be physically present at the time of processing. The new Biometric passport is valid for 5 years from the date of issue. Within Ghana, there are regional offices who can issue the passport. The main issuing office is in Accra and the regional offices are in Ho, Tamale, Sunyani and Takoradi. Ghana missions abroad cannot yet issue the Biometric passport, but the old passports are still being issued at the diplomatic missions. Passport forms can be purchased from most high street banks. Examples of these banks include Ecobank, Ghana Commercial Bank, National investment Bank, and Agriculture Development Bank. The costs of obtaining a new passport are below.
- Express service [7 working days] – GH¢100.00 [US$70.00]
- Regular service [4 weeks] – GH¢50.00 [US$35.00]
Dual Citizenship: Qualifications and How-to apply
Dual citizenship may be awarded to anyone who is either born in Ghana or has parents of Ghanaian origin. However, for some host nations, dual citizenship is not allowed. It is important to find out the rules and regulations on dual citizenship from individual host countries. Children born in Ghana by foreign parents or Ghanaian parents with foreign passports are not automatically granted Ghanaian citizenship; they can only apply for citizenship at the age of 18 years old.
The following are required:
- Application forms (can be bought from Ghana Missions abroad).
- Evidence of your Naturalisation (certificate, passport etc.)
- A letter addressed to the Minister of Interior stating reason (s).
- 4 Passport sized photos
- Photocopy of Ghanaian Passport (if any)
- Photocopy of current Nationality’s Passport
- Birth certificate
- Attach receipts received after purchase of the Application Forms
- Under 18-year olds must add a letter of consent from their parents
Please find here the Citizenship Act, 2000 (Act, 591)
Right of Abode
Right of abode is granted in the following cases:
(a) A Ghanaian by birth, adoption, registration or naturalization within the meaning of the Citizenship Act who by reason of his acquisition of a foreign nationality has lost his Ghanaian citizenship
(b) A person of African descent in the diaspora.
Please find the Immigration Act, 2000 (573) which gives legal basis to the Right of Abode and Dual Citizenship.
For quick reading visit the links Right of Abode, Dual Citizenship, and Biometric Passport or call on the Diaspora Support Unit for further information.
Currently Ghanaians in the diaspora cannot vote from the diplomatic missions abroad.
Application for a National Identification Card
Rules and How-To apply
The National Identification Authority (NIA) was established in 2003 under the Office of the President. The NIA was given the mandate to issue national ID cards and manage the National Identification System (NIS). This resulted in the passing of the NIA Act, 2006 (Act 707), which gave the NIA the necessary legal premises on which to operate. The National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) was also passed to give authorization for collection of personal and biometric data and to ensure the protection of privacy and personal information of enrollees. Anyone who qualifies as a Ghanaian under the 1992 Constitution is eligible.
Registration for the National Identification card is done in person at the NIA. Applicants have to register biometrically, in others words register by having their finger prints taken. For registration, applicants should submit their birth certificate and passport in order to identified before registration. As of now, Ghanaians in the diaspora can only apply by travelling to Ghana; however, measures are currently being put in place to allow Ghanaians in the diaspora to register and apply for their National ID cards from abroad. As information on the procedure for diaspora registration and application becomes available, it will be shared via this website.
Cost There is no cost involved in the acquisition of the National ID card. For further Information please refer to the following:
National Identification Authority Near Gulf House, Behind Catholic Secretariat South legon Siashie-Accra, Ghana Hotline:+233 302 2180 80 Website: www.nia.gov.gh
Marriage certificates from overseas are duly recognized by the authorities in Ghana. To make marriage certificates legal, it is advisable to contact local authorities such as the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, for those who intend to establish themselves in Accra, or the Register General. For those who intend to establish themselves out of Accra, it is advisable to contact the respective local authorities for registration of marriage certificates.
Birth Certificates (How to Obtain)
The birth of every child is to be registered in the district where the birth occurred. The birth must be registered within 12 months of the birth. Registration outside this period attracts a penalty. A birth certificate is issued after the registration is complete.
Birth Registration for those born overseas Births outside of Ghana cannot be registered, according the Ghanaian law.
Death Registration in Ghana
Every death is to be registered in the district where the death occurred. One of the following must be provided for registration:
1) A medical certificate stating the cause of death that is issued by a Medical Practitioner and who was last in attendance
2) A coroner’s certificate
A death must be registered within 14 days after occurrence. Registration outside this period attracts a penalty. Fees for burial within the 14 days time frame is currently GH¢ 5. After the 14 days, there is a penalty of GH ¢ 30. These fees are as of March 2012.
Death registration (for those abroad)
Remains of a deceased person, which are to be imported into Ghana, shall be accompanied by the following documents:
- A certificate issued by the Health Authorities of the country of origin to the effect that the remains have been wrapped in cloth winding sheets that are saturated with solutions of the eight parts of commercial formalin and ninety-two pats of water and placed in a hermetically sealed casket
- In the case of ashes of the deceased person, a certificate that the ashes have been placed in a hermetically sealed container
- A medical certificate from the country of origin stating that there is no objection on health grounds to the exportation of the remains of the deceased person from the country of origin to Ghana
- The name, age and nationality of the deceased person
- The date and place of death
- A certified copy of the entry in the Register of Death in the country of origin
Once these entire requirements are met, application for exhumation shall be made through the Exhumation Health Officer responsible for the district in which the remains of the deceased person are to be buried. The fee for burial permits for deceased persons brought in Ghana is GH ¢ 20 . The fee for registration of death for imported remains is currently GH ¢ 50. These fees are from March 2012.
Retirement in Ghana
Ghana, like most African countries, tends to be more sympathetic with the aged in our societies. Most people tend to prepare for their retirement by building their own homes or living with relatives. However, there are no official pension schemes that the government provides. Nonetheless, former employees of the government are entitled to a pension scheme for contributions that they have made during their time of work. Most high street banks also have a saving scheme that can be used for retirement purposes. There are not yet official retirement homes in Ghana.
For Ghanaians who worked in Ghana prior to migrating abroad, they may be eligible for state pension. This is dependent on the number of years worked in Ghana. NOTE: This is only applicable for those who worked with government institutions.
For residence permit please refer to the following link: www.ghanaimmigration.org.
Please call on us for further assistance.