U.S. lifts visa restrictions imposed on Ghana a year ago

Kent Mensah Jan 16, 2020 at 07:30am

January 16, 2020 at 07:30 am | News

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Kent Mensah

January 16, 2020 at 07:30 am | News

Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo and President Trump in a handshake | Photo: Ghana Presidency

The Trump administration has lifted visa restrictions imposed on West African nation Ghana since February 2019.

The restrictions, which affected mainly government employees and politicians, were as a result of a row over the deportation of Ghanaians staying illegally in the United States. The West African nation then, did not want to accept the return of Ghanaian nationals the U.S. wanted to deport.

However, in a statement on Thursday, January 16, 2020, the U.S Embassy in Accra said: “Visa processing will return to normal procedure” by January 17, 2020.

“The United States has lifted the visa restrictions applied under Section 243 (d) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. 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 section 21 will revert to receiving the normal validity, based on reciprocity, which is currently five years with multiple entries,” the statement on the embassy’s website read.

It 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.”

According to US immigration authorities, some 7,000 Ghanaians are living illegally in America. Ghana and the U.S have had cordial trading relations over the decades, with trade volume exceeding $1.2 billion.

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