The Ghana Immigration Service has announced that from today, Tuesday, March 1 Ghanaian holders of the Ghana Card can travel on it into Ghana from all parts of the world.
A press statement by the Ghana Immigration Service on Monday explained that dual citizen Ghanaians, who hitherto required visas to return to Ghana on their foreign passports, will also now be able to travel back to Ghana on their Ghana Card, without requiring entry visas.
The affirmative statement by the Ghana Immigration Service follows a similar one by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) last month, which asked all airlines in the world through the International Air Transport Association (IATA), that the Ghana Card, would from March 1, 2022, be recognised as an electronic international travelling identity document for all holders of the Ghana Card.
The GACL’s announcement to the airlines, followed a Key Ceremony at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada, to officially recognise the Ghana Card as a Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD).
As the Ghana Card e-passport takes effect, the immigration authority’s press statement has thrown more light on the Ghana Card as an e-passport and its limitations.
For now, as was announced by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, holders of the Ghana Card can now use it to travel back to Ghana from any part of the world, as well as use it for travels within the ECOWAS subregion, which does not require entry visas.
The second phase of the Ghana Card e-passport will be when Ghana reaches bilateral agreements with countries, which will make it possible for Ghanaian holders of the Ghana Card to use it to travel to other countries with electronic visas issued on the card.
The Ghana Immigration Service has also announced measures it has put in place at the Kotoka International Airport to process Ghanaians returning home on their Ghana Card.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia first announced government had nearly completed processes to turn the Ghana Card into an electronic travelling document for Ghanaians (e-passport) by the end of the first quarter of the year.
The e-passport idea received a major boost when the International Civil Aciation Organization (ICAO) recognised the Ghana Card as a Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD) that can be read and verified by the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD) at most airports globally.