General News of Friday, 14 February 2014
An international relations analyst, Dr. Yaw Gebeh has disclosed that Ghana will be disadvantaged with new directive given by the British High Commission in relation to mode of payment for visa application.
The British High Commission since January 2014 is demanding that visa applicants must pay for their application with internationally recognized Visa Card, Mastercard or Skrill Credit Card.
The High Commission is therefore suggesting that persons who do not have these internationally recognized Visa cards should solicit the help of an individual who owns one to make the payment on their behalf.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Gebeh appealed to government, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and stakeholders “to revisit this policy and see the way forwards” because “I don’t think that it [new payment policy] is in our best interest.”
Touching on its effect on diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom (UK) and Ghana, Dr. Gebeh stated that, “really, it is not in the interest of both countries".
He explained that since the majority of Ghanaians who visit or plans to visit the UK do not have such internationally recognized visa cards, “I don’t think it will fly” and so the government of Ghana and other governments from developing countries must deliberate on the matter with the UK government for alternative means of payments.
He observed that the new directive is also a clear indication that the UK aims at tightening its immigration laws.
In 2013, the UK announced an immigration policy which required visitors from ‘high risk’ countries including Ghana who want to travel to the UK to deposit £3,000 as a guarantee for their return.
But the UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Peter Jones clarified that the policy was yet to be implemented although the UK government was seeking other possible bond options.
He gave the assurance to persons who wished to travel to the UK to do so because the laws remained the same.