You are responsible for obtaining your study visa for Ghana! Keep in mind that the Ghanaian Consular Service offices are not affiliated with New York University. They are entities of the Ghanaian national government that issue visas and perform other official functions, and they may create and/or change their requirements for obtaining a student visa at any time and without prior notification. Therefore, the steps below are meant as a general guide but it is your responsibility to follow the most up-to-date and accurate instructions as reflected on the Ghanaian Consular Services official web sites.
What is a Visa?
It is an official stamp issued by the Ghanaian government that gets affixed to a page inside your passport before you depart the United States. You must present it to immigration control when you arrive in Ghana.
You must have a study visa because it is not legal to study as a full-time student in Ghana without it.
What do you need to Do?
1. Obtain a Valid Passport
Because the visa is actually adhered to your passport, you will need a passport in order to get one. Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your scheduled departure date from Ghana, or through June 2013.
If you do not have a passport or need to renew your passport, visit travel.state.gov/ for information. We suggest that you request expedited processing (two week turnaround time) to allow plenty of time to apply for your student visa (the New York Consulate takes up to two weeks and other consulates may take up to 2 months to process visa applications!)
If you do not have two weeks to spare, you can then go to the US Passport Agency to request a passport the same day. For a Passport Agency near you and for more information, please refer to their website. In addition to the Passport Agency requirements, please contact NYU Global Programs for a letter to accompany your application.
2. Get Your Yellow Fever Vaccination
The vaccination is a requirement of the Ghanaian government. Start the vaccination process no fewer than 6-8 weeks prior to your departure. Make an appointment well in advance so that your physician can order the vaccine if it’s not in stock.
More information on vaccinations can be found on the Vaccinations page of this blog.
For NYU students appointments may be me made with the NYU Health Center.
3. Decide Where to Apply for Your Visa
There are two offices that issue study visas for Ghana in the US: the Permanent Mission of Ghana in New York City and the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC. All students are eligible to apply at either office in person or by mail. Whichever you use, be sure to check websites for updated requirements prior to submitting your application. As mentioned earlier, requirements may change suddenly and without notice.
- Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City
If you live in the New York area, we strongly encourage you to submit your application with the Ghana Permanent Mission in New York. *Check hours of operation at the website above before going in person.
- Embassy of Ghana – Consular Section in Washington, DC
If you live in the DC area, we strongly encourage you to submit your application in person to the Embassy of Ghana in Washington. The embassy accepts applications that you can print out online at http://www.nyu.edu/studyabroad/pdf/Ghana.Visa.App.DC.pdf .*Check hours of operation at the website above before going on person*
4. Gather all materials and apply for your visa
Visa’s must be applied for within 90 days of arrival in Ghana. That does not mean you should wait to gather the required application materials!
The checklist under Visa Documentation, below, should be used as a guide of materials needed for a complete application. Keep in mind this is just a suggested guideline and you must confirm with the embassy’s website for the most update requirements.
5. Immigration Procedures in Ghana – Final Step!
You’re required to register with the immigration service upon arrival, an important and mandatory step. The staff in Ghana will guide you through the procedure and discuss additional immigration requirements when you arrive.Students are only permitted to stay in Ghana legally for 60 days with your visa. You will need to submit your passport to our staff in Ghana so that they may process your visa extensions, which is an extension of your status as temporary residents of Ghana. Our office is Ghana will handle the process of extending these visas and will pay the fees associated with the extensions. If you do not complete the process you will have to do it on your own and pay for the additional expense.
Visa Documentation Checklist
- Must be signed and valid through 6 months beyond the end date of the program
- You’ll need to leave your actual passport with the Embassy of Mission for processing. If you’re going to travel out of the US (including trips toMexico, Canada, or the Caribbean), make sure to time your application accordingly.
Application (and a copy)
- The application can be found in the following links:
- Use the Sample applications here as a guide:
- We recommend that you apply for a Multi-Entry Visa. Even if you think you will not be traveling outside of Ghana, if you change your mind after arrival it is much more difficult to arrange once there.
2 Original 2″x2″ Official Passport Photos (Consider Taking 5 – see more below!)
- Photos should be recent, no more than 3 months before you apply.
- Write your name on the back of each photo and attach one to each of the applications (the original and the photocopy).
- No photocopies, personal photos, or scanned photos from home printers will be accepted.
Note: since you’re having passport photos taken, you might want to take 3 more for your University of Ghana Legon application. Take all of them now to save time and money later!
Round Trip Flight OR Travel Itinerary
Show proof of purchased round-trip flight by submitting photocopy of ticket or e-ticket. You can also show the itinerary of the flight you intend to buy.
Original Acceptance Letter from New York
Print out, in color, the acceptance letter from NYU Global Programs signed by the Director, Chris Nicolussi. This letter will be available in mid-to-late April from our office.
Original Acceptance Letter from Ghana
Print out, in color, the acceptance letter from NYU Global Programs signed by Dr. Akosua Anyidoho, Director, NYU Accra. This letter will be available in mid-to-late April from our office.
Photocopy of the Yellow Card – Certificate of Immunization against Yellow Fever
- This is required by international health regulation, Ghanaian Law and NYU.
- You should submit a photocopy since you will need to present the original certificate to customs when you enter Ghana. (Bring the original with you, though—they may ask to see it!)
- Your health care provider will give you this once you’ve received your vaccination.
Evidence of Financial Support (only if applying in Washington, DC)
- An original bank statement or letter from your bank (or your parents’ or other sponsors’).
- The Consulate doesn’t state a specific dollar amount. Don’t worry about the bank balance; just provide the best documentation you can.
Copy of your University ID
- Bring the original as well in case they ask to see it.
- $100 for a multiple entry visa. $200 for a rush visa.
- Cash or money orders are accepted if you apply in person, personal checks and credit cards are NOT.
- If applying by mail send money order, cashier’s check, or certified bank check payable to the “Embassy of Ghana” (WashingtonDC) or the “Ghana Consulate” (New York).
Self-Addressed Pre-paid envelope
- This is only necessary if you’re applying for your visa by mail. If you pick up your visa in person, there’s no need to include a FedEx envelope.
- Write the embassy or Consulate’s address as the sender’s address. (This is crucial: FedEx may re-route and inspect mail that does not have a return address, delaying the delivery of your visa by weeks.)
- Keep FedEx tracking numbers for your records.
- Please bring the original and a copy of your I-20 form and F-1 visa, or, if you are a permanent resident, U.S. permanent resident card. The Consular official may ask to see it and/or request that you leave a copy.