U.S government lifts non-immigrant visa restrictions on Ghana

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The United States government has lifted the visa restrictions on Ghana which was applied under Section 243(d) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

According to the US Embassy in Ghana, from “Friday, January 17, 2020, visa processing will return to the normal procedures.”

The US imposed the visa restrictions on Ghana in February 2019 after the West African nation refused to accept the return of 7,000 Ghanaian nationals that it wants to deport.

The US government imposed visa restrictions on Ghana for what it said was the Akufo-Addo government’s failure to issue travel documents to over 7,000 Ghanaian citizens awaiting deportation from the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security, in a statement last February, ordered the US Embassy in Ghana to discontinue issuing all non-immigrant visas (NIV) to two groups of Ghanaian applicants, starting February 4, 2019.

They are the domestic employees of Ghanaian diplomats posted to the United States.

Limitations were also placed on the validity and the number of entries on new tourists and business visas for all Ghanaian Executive and Legislative branch employees, their spouses and their children under 21 years to a one-month single entry.

Since the imposition of the restrictions, some workers of public institutions who used to receive five-year visas now get up to three weeks maximum, with others having far less.

“The validity period and number of entries on new tourist and business visas (B1, B2, and B1/B2) for all Ghanaian executive and legislative branch employees, their spouses, and their children under 21 will revert to receiving the normal validity, based on reciprocity, which is currently five years with multiple entries.

The Embassy added, “All pending non-immigrant visas (NIV) to domestic employees (A3 and G5) of Ghanaian diplomats posted in the United States that were received during the visa restrictions will now be processed.”

This follows the establishment of a mutually agreed process for the identification, validating and issuance of travel documentation to Ghanaian citizens under final orders of removal in a manner consistent with international standards issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization, of which Ghana is a Member State.

 

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