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Opinions of Thursday, 16 February 2012

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

UK – Ghana Visa application and the Scam involved

To ease the congestion at the Visa section of the Ghana Consulate in Highgate, London, the High Commissioner has introduced a new system. The High Commissioner requires that any foreigner visiting Ghana go online to apply for their visa. Failure to do as directed will make it difficult for one to secure appointment with the Visa Section and hence, unable to obtain Ghana visa. The High Commission's definition of foreigner applies to anyone who carries a foreign passport other than that of Ghana, regardless of one's previous origin.

The above requirement has not come easy for many a Ghanaian carrying passports of their foreign countries of residence. Most of them have run into various difficulties in their attempt to apply for visa online. There are private visa agencies without any mandate from the Ghana High Commission but are on the internet actively operating as though, the embassy has nominated them to procure applicants Ghana visa. Ghanaians should be mindful of these probably dubious agencies.

A Ghanaian woman has inadvertently applied for a visa through Services. She is encountering some problems. She needed to go to Highgate for clarification. The staff at the Consulate as insolent as usual, did not offer her good customer service. Anyway, I took the trouble upon myself to contact the Consular & Welfare section on the phone after which I decided to put out this publication to warn Ghanaians against possible fraud.

From the lengthy telephone conversation in the wake of the problem as explained, the Ghana Embassy is obliged to shun their lukewarm or lackadaisical attitude to effect needed changes to prevent applicants from unnecessary headaches. People have been misinformed and this is costing them a lot of money and time. Additionally, it is causing them stress and needless apprehension. The failure of the embassy to respond appropriately, by advertising on the Ghana FM stations in London and on the most frequented media websites will amount to not discharging their duty of care, which they are obliged to render to the public.

In the meantime, all foreigners requiring Ghana visa can do so by visiting ONLY to avoid being conned. Will the Ghanaian media and London based FM radio stations assist in spreading this information for the sake of the public.

Rockson Adofo