The Ghana Immigration Service says the current visa sticker issued to travellers who wish to visit the country, is archaic.
According to Public Affairs Director for the Immigration Service, Chief Superintendent Francis Palmdeti, the Ghana visa sticker lacks certain security features making it quite easy to fake. It also means that information on the visa cannot be read when placed under ultraviolet light.
“We need to look at our visas, they do not meet international standards. It doesn’t have the required information that a standard visa should have,” Chief Supt. Palmdeti told Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
He said having identified the problem, the Ghana Immigration Service notified the Foreign Ministry on the need to upgrade the features on visas but that is yet to be taken into consideration.
“We think that it shouldn’t take us this long to get this done. Visas have evolved, in certain cases, you have the pictures of the person on the visa. Our visa has to evolve, ” Mr. Palmdeti emphasised.
Perhaps, this is one of the reasons for the influx of thousands of Chinese citizens, some of whom are engaged in the illegal mining which is destroying the environment and threatening the future survival of communities in the areas where these activities are taking place.
Despite the challenge, the Immigration Service spokesperson said their officers are able to detect fake visas. “We have made quite a number of arrests based on that,” he added.
The GIS is also enjoying support from airlines who conduct “serious scrutiny checks” on persons they fly into the country. In some cases where they failed to do so, the GIS has had to “slap a penalty” on them.
According to him, “those [Chinese] who come in with ill motives are not in the majority; they are the minority”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Palmdeti said the GIS refused entry permits to some 202 foreigners who applied for visas from the country’s missions worldwide in 2016. These were people with interests ranging from business, social and economic.