US Imposes a Visa Restriction on Ghanaians

All countries that signed the UN Convention on International Civil Aviation has an obligation to issue to its citizens, all the relevant travel documents under removal orders given by another country. Section 243(d) of America’s Immigration and Nationality Act states that when a country is adamant in denying or delaying without reason, in accepting the deportation of its citizens, the government of the USA should impose visa restrictions pending the resolution of the situation.

US Imposes a Visa Restriction on Ghanaians

With effect from February 4, 2019, the American Embassy in Ghana will halt the issuance of all non-immigrant visas to domestic staff — which include the G5 and A3 visas — of diplomats of Ghanaian nationality who are posted in the US.

The situation could become worse

Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, explained that this ban was imposed on Ghana because its government failed to keep its obligations as prescribed by international law to accept the return of its citizens who have been ordered removed from the US. If Ghana does not respond appropriately to this situation, the US government may widen the scope of this visa ban.

Note though, that applications for the G5 and A3 visas will continue, but then, none of the visas that fall under this category will be issued to any applicant until the restrictions are lifted. There will not be an adjudication for the applications, but this certainly does not translate to visa refusal. The applications will remain unprocessed awaiting the removal of the ban, at which point, the embassy will begin processing all applications for issuance.

Again, consular offices are obligated to cut down the validity period as well as place a cap on the number of entries for the business and new tourist visas, being the B1, B2, and B1/B2. These visas will be reduced to a one-month validity and having only one entry. The affected persons will be all employees of Ghanaian legislative and executive branches, their spouses and all of their children who are below 21 years of age. Exemptions will be visas that were issued before February 4, being the start date of the ban.

The US Embassy in Accra, Ghana will continue to provide all of its other consular operations. The visa restrictions will only affect the services mentioned above.

The American government anticipates working together with the Ghanaian government to resolve the situation.

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