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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has hinted at a possible rise in passport application fees.

Akomapatheblogger
Monday, December 18, 2023 | views Last Updated 2023-12-19T23:04:14Z

 

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has hinted at a possible rise in passport application fees.


Al8 mlm. ..n on Bob 9m Production costs and higher fees charged by other countries in the sub-region are the reasons for the imminent increment. This was disclosed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, November 28, he said “Liberia charges $5 0, we charge $8, meaning we have to subsidize every passport. So the money to buy the printers is used to subsidize the passports… And also, we are thinking of upgrading our passport from biometric to chip-embedded.

“So the chip-embedded version is going to cost more. If we continue charging at $8, we will continue to face the problems that we are having at the passport office… So we have to raise the fees,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has said that the visa-free regime for all foreign nationals traveling into Ghana starts December 1, 2023, as part of the ‘December in Ghana' launched by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and aims at welcoming visitors.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Ampratwum Sarpong, said that the move was to lessen the frustrations of travelers.

“Anybody who wants to come to Ghana can take advantage,” he said.

He further explained that “December of late, it's become a month of activity, big activity in the country and it's a month that a lot of our compatriots living outside the country take advantage to come in and enjoy the Christmas festivities.”

The visa-free regime will last till the end of December, Mr Ampratwum said.

“Looking at the trend and the number of people over the years that have been coming into the country, there have been complaints of frustrations at the various missions abroad in getting visas on time to be able to get down here and have a good time.

“And being a responsive government, we've looked at it and we think one of the best things that we can do is to lessen the frustrations of their travel to their home base and make it possible for them to get down here and get their visas.

“Because if you arrive today, give and take, in about an hour, you should be able to go through the processes of getting your visa on arrival. So this is just for December,” Ampratwum Sarpong noted.

The Ministry earlier expressed deep concern regarding reports of extortion and mistreatment faced by certain passport applicants at various Passport Application Centers (PACs).

To address this pressing issue, the Ministry has established channels for affected applicants to report such incidents for prompt resolution.

Applicants who encounter mistreatment or extortion are encouraged to provide detailed information, including the names of officers and PAC locations, through the following communication channels: ipab@mfa.gov.gh, 024-091-3284, 024-079-3072, 020-455-2056, 020-455-2750, 026-804-9031, and 026-979-4871.

The Ministry emphasized that legitimate passport applications are processed through the official passport application portal, passport.mfa.gov.gh. Payments for approved processing fees are exclusively made through the ghana.gov.gh platform, with fees set at GH¢100.00 for the 32-page booklet and GH¢150.00 for the 48-page booklet. Importantly, all payments are electronic and not in cash.

As part of preventive measures, the Ministry announced that all officers at the PACs will be required to wear name tags, enhancing transparency and accountability. The public is cautioned against engaging with individuals who cannot present proper identification through issued name tags, as these intermediaries, commonly referred to as “goro boys,” are unauthorized.

Applicants are strongly advised to adhere to the official channels for passport acquisition and avoid involving unauthorized intermediaries in the application process. The Ministry underscored its commitment to improving the system by enforcing its policy of annual rotation for PAC officers. Officers who have exceeded a year of service will be promptly replaced.

It's crucial to note that regular applications submitted through PACs do not incur additional charges. However, applicants have the option to utilize Premium PACs, with an added fee of GH¢150.00 payable in cash at the Premium Centers for their specialized services.

 

Previous article‘December in Ghana’: Visa free regime for all foreign nationals travelling into Ghana starts December 1 – 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has put a proposal before Parliament to review the current charges for passport application from GH¢100 to GH¢644.

This is a 544% increase.

The proposal, which is currently being considered by the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, is to enable the ministry to curb losses in the printing of passport booklets.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who made this known in Parliament on Thursday, said “It is time for Ghanaians to pay realistic prices for passports they acquire to travel beginning next year. 

She said it is due to financial constraint prevailing in the economy, it had come to a point where it was no longer “sustainable” for the state to continue to subsidise passports.
Ghanaians pay just about GH¢100 for a passport yet to produce one passport booklet it costs GH¢400 which means that for every passport that an applicant acquires, the government has to put in GH¢300 and this is not sustainable,” she said.

The minister stated this ahead of the approval of the GH¢1.127 million budget estimates for her ministry.

Per the report by the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the 2024 budget estimates of the ministry, a comparison of Ghana’s passport fees with that of other West African countries shows the rate of $7.7 is the lowest within the sub-region.

The report said Cameroon charges $180, Guinea $57, Guinea-Bissau $65, Burkina Faso $80 and Nigeria $54.29.

Speaking to Graphic Online's Nana Konadu Agyeman outside the Chamber, Ms Ayorkor Botchwey said the current passport fees in Ghana was insufficient to cover production costs.

She stressed that the deficit in the printing of passport booklets was preventing the necessary investments in the Passport Office.

“Passports are no longer sources of identification as we all have our national ID. Therefore, anybody who needs a passport and actually applies and acquires a passport does so because they have intention to travel.

“So, if you are going to travel or you intend to travel and you cannot pay GH¢400 then it is unfortunate because even tickets are now expensive,” she said.

Ministry proposes 544% increase in passport application fees [UPDATED]

Nana Konadu Agyeman Dec - 15 - 2023 , 10:12

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has put a proposal before Parliament to review the current charges for passport application from GH¢100 to GH¢644.

This is a 544% increase.

The proposal, which is currently being considered by the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, is to enable the ministry to curb losses in the printing of passport booklets.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who made this known in Parliament on Thursday, said “It is time for Ghanaians to pay realistic prices for passports they acquire to travel beginning next year. 

She said it is due to financial constraint prevailing in the economy, it had come to a point where it was no longer “sustainable” for the state to continue to subsidise passports.

VIDEO: Government considers passport fee increase amidst supply shortages

“Ghanaians pay just about GH¢100 for a passport yet to produce one passport booklet it costs GH¢400 which means that for every passport that an applicant acquires, the government has to put in GH¢300 and this is not sustainable,” she said.

The minister stated this ahead of the approval of the GH¢1.127 million budget estimates for her ministry.

Other countries’ charges

Per the report by the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the 2024 budget estimates of the ministry, a comparison of Ghana’s passport fees with that of other West African countries shows the rate of $7.7 is the lowest within the sub-region.

The report said Cameroon charges $180, Guinea $57, Guinea-Bissau $65, Burkina Faso $80 and Nigeria $54.29.

Speaking to Graphic Online's Nana Konadu Agyeman outside the Chamber, Ms Ayorkor Botchwey said the current passport fees in Ghana was insufficient to cover production costs.

She stressed that the deficit in the printing of passport booklets was preventing the necessary investments in the Passport Office.

“Passports are no longer sources of identification as we all have our national ID. Therefore, anybody who needs a passport and actually applies and acquires a passport does so because they have intention to travel.

“So, if you are going to travel or you intend to travel and you cannot pay GH¢400 then it is unfortunate because even tickets are now expensive,” she said.

The minister also appealed to Ghanaians who were not in a hurry to travel to, “please do not go for passports”. 

Dwelling on providing responsive services to applicants, Ms Botchwey said Ghanaians had complained about services and environment provided by the ministry at passport applications centres.

To address such challenge, she said the ministry has provided applicants with options for consular services, passport, visas or attestations.

We have provided them with options to go to a premium centre where they pay a fee to the service provider in the comfort where they will be provided world class 
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