A new passport application centre has been commissioned to enable Ghanaians acquire passports in a short period.
The new Premium Passport Application Centre which is located at the Accra Digital Centre will enable applicants go through the passport application process within 30 minutes but at an additional charge of GH₵50.
The move is a collaboration between government and international company, VFS Global, to address the cumbersome processes which have characterized passport applications in Ghana.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, similar facilities will be established in other parts of the country to make passport acquisition more convenient.
“The Ministry is still committed that additional passport offices are established in each region to ensure that each Ghanaian has easy access to apply for their passport in every regional capital in Ghana without necessarily traveling outside their respective regions.
“It is against this backdrop that the ministry through the approval of cabinet has engaged the services of VFS Ghana Limited, a specialized business process outsourcing agency to provide front offices for receiving online passport application. This is aimed at providing the Ghanaian public the option of improving with respect to online passport application in a seamless convenient manner,” the Foreign Minister said.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey also outlined the process by which Ghanaians who want to use the premium service will have to undergo.
“Passport applicants who want to use this service, will go through the vetting and do their passport applications as usual. 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 payment of Ghc50 and Ghc100 for standard and the premium services respectively”.
“It is just another passport office just like the one we have at the old Ministry of Foreign Affairs office. Everything will be done so it goes through the superior vetting at the regional office and then the passport booklet are issued. So, it is the same process we have at our passport offices. This is to give Ghanaians many more options to acquire their passports”, she added.
In November 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration announced that Ghanaians can now acquire passport forms online.
This change was announced among what appears to be a series of reforms in the acquisition of passports.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the forms which used to cost between GH₵50 and GH₵100 and mostly sold in the banks, will now be free.