One of the most important documents you must own (especially if you want to travel outside the country) as a Ghanaian is a Ghana passport.
The document allows you to travel freely to other countries under the protection of the Ghana government.
Aside from the protection it gives you, its primary function is to set as an identification tool and proof of your Ghanaian citizenship.
Unlike a birth certificate which is usually issued at birth, the Ghana passport has an entirely different process you have to go through to acquire.
Before 2016, applying for/renewing your passport required a totally manual process. This process called for the acquisition of a form from the passport office.
After filling the form, you would have to join a long queue and book various appointments before you could finish the process. In most cases, the queue was even more frustrating than meeting someone in a waakye queue who wants to buy waakye for ten people. This queue could take you months to complete the process. For this reason, some people who posed themselves as middlemen (also known as Goro boys) beat the process for customers at a fee. The “Goro boy system” was an industry on its own.
After various years of complaints and deliberations, the Ghana government finally launched an online platform that would ease the process, reduce the queues and kill the “black-market-goro industry”.
In December 2016, there was a more straightforward process. You could now apply for your passport online. If you are yet to apply for your passport, here are the processes and things you should take note of:
- You would have to visit passport.mfa.gov.gh or passports.mfa.gov.gh to start the process
- Create an account with valid and active mobile number as well as email address (optional) as a new user or log in as an existing user.
- Complete the online passport form
- Select a preferred passport application center (PAC) from the available list
- Visit the selected PAC on the date of appointment with the appointment slip and relevant original documents to complete the process.
You can pay for the form via mobile money by following these steps:
- After registering for a new account with the process stated above, click on “applications”
- Click “new application”
- Choose Ecobank, GCB or Zenith Bank
- Choose the preferred network
- Enter mobile number
- Confirm payment with your phone
- Continue the process on the portal
Alternatively, you can purchase application vouchers from the following institutions:
- Ecobank Ghana
- Ghana Commercial Bank
- Zenith Bank Ghana
If you are a first-time applicant you need:
- Birth Certificate(Proof of Ghanaian citizenship)
- Documents to support Identity such as Driver’s Licence, National ID card
- Proof of Profession (An introductory letter from the applicant’s employer that is if the applicant is currently employed or a work ID card that bears the applicant’s name, organisation’s name and position. A student ID if the applicant is currently in school. Homemakers/housewives and applicants that are unemployed and those in the non-formal sector of employment like mechanics, hairdressers seamstresses, traders etc. do not need proof. Registered Business Owners and self-employed applicants must produce their business registration certificate as proof)
Before you go through the process, note that there are two different packages which will determine how fast you can receive your passport:
- Extended Application (“Express“) GHS 100.00
- Standard Application (“Normal“) GHS 50.00
Don’t go through the stress of going back and forth with the application/renewal of your passport. Just sit behind your computer and click a few buttons. You can thank us later.
Premium Passport Processing Centre option
For those who are struggling with the above self-service procedure, the Ministry has commissioned a fast-track application process office known as the Premium Passport Processing Centre at the Accra Digital Centre (Contact: +233 (0) 303 978 399 for directions).
To use this passport service, applicants will go through the usual vetting and passport applications. They will fill the form online, be vetted and then be given an appointment date.
Afterwards, all their data will be captured, and then they will make a standard payment of Ghc50 or Ghc100 for premium services.