About GIS

The Ghana Immigration Service started as the Immigration and Passport Unit of the Gold Coast Colonial Police Force under the command of Mr. Nevile C. Hill. On attainment of independence in 1957, the rapid expansion of the economy coupled with Ghana’s role as a trailblazer in the African liberation struggle led to the country being swamped with foreign businessmen, tourists and African aliens. To control this influx, a Cabinet decision in 1960 transferred the Immigration Unit to the Ministry of the Interior as a separate department, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took over the issuing of passports. These measures were taken to enhance service delivery. Three (3) years later, the aliens Act 1963, Act 160 was enacted to give legal backing to immigration operations.

In November 1989, by PNDC Law 226, the Immigration Department was converted into a Paramilitary Service.

Established under PNDC Law 226 in 1989, the Ghana Immigration Service remains the sole institution with the statutory mandate to regulate and monitor the entry, residence, employment and the exit of foreigners in the country. The passage of Immigration Act 2000, Act 573 expanded the functions and roles of the Service. Prominent among these are the Indefinite Residence and Right of Abode facilities.
Our purpose is to build a stronger and better Ghana by operating fair but firm immigration controls that regulate and facilitate the movement of people through Ghana’s borders; and efficient, effective residence and work permit systems that meet the social and economic needs of the country.
The vision of the Service is to build an Immigration Service that facilitates travel, promotes the development needs of Ghana, which is recognized internationally for its professionalism and high standards of service and control.

Our cardinal aims are to maintain an effective, efficient control on and after entry, which meets prescribed service standards and to do so in a professional, cost effective way, and also contribute to economic growth and improved standards of living for residents of Ghana through the facilitation of increased tourism and foreign investment. In pursuit of these aims, our main objectives have been to:

• To ensure that people who do not qualify for entry under the various Immigration Laws and Regulations such as PNDCL 226, the Immigration Act 2000 and the Immigration Regulations 2001 do not enter Ghana. • Ensure that applications for permits are handled efficiently and effectively amongst other things encouraging investment to Ghana.

• Deal expeditiously with departing passengers.

• Ensure that people who have no entitlement to remain in Ghana are removed expeditiously, and that firm action is taken against people who facilitate or harbour illegal migrants.

• Lastly, to co-operate fully with other agencies that have a legitimate interest in the movement of people in and out of Ghana, and of their presence in the country.
The Ghana Immigration Service is the government agency responsible for the enforcement of all statutory and regulatory enactment relating to immigration. Apart from regulating and monitoring the movements and activities of foreigners in the country, the Service also serves as a frontline agency, which ensures that the vision of Ghana becoming the gateway to Africa is achieved.

This is done by :
• Examination of travelers entering or leaving Ghana.
• Examination of application forms of foreign nationals applying for extension or variation of existing permits.
• Examination of applications for visas, entry permits and permits to prohibited areas, and authorization of such visas and permits in appropriate cases.
• Issuance of permits to foreign nationals in Ghana, their employment and movements; ensuring that foreign nationals comply with the Immigration Laws and Regulations.
• Facilitation of the economic development of Ghana by ensuring that unnecessary restrictions are not placed in the way of foreign nationals wishing to enter or remain as investors
• Provision of advice about the Immigration laws and regulations, to people wishing to enter, remain in or leave Ghana
• Investigation of breaches of the Immigration laws and regulation.
• Registration at Regional and District Immigration offices of all foreign visitors for statistical purposes. • Conduct court prosecution of foreign nationals in Ghana without permits.
• Vetting of passport applications in the regions and the districts.
• Liaising with other agencies with responsibilities for security, the combating of crime and other issues relating to the public good.
• Provision of information to other agencies with a legitimate interest in people entering, remaining in or leaving Ghana.
• Ensuring compliance with the provisions of the GIPC, Social Security and Income Tax Laws.
• Issuance of Permanent Residence Status and Indefinite Stay Status to deserving applicants.
Para-military training for Immigration Officers became imperative following the conversion of the erstwhile Immigration Department under the Ministry of the Interior into a security service under PNDCL 226 of 1989.  

With this new status, the need was felt to have the Service’s own training facility where professional training of staff could be delivered. Prior to the establishment of the Academy and Training School in 1998, Immigration Officers were trained by the Military, the Police and the Fire Service. The establishment of the school is credited to the former Director of Immigration Mr. W.K.Aboah (Rtd. Commissioner of Police) who acquired two road construction camps from the Assin Traditional authorities which were later converted into what is now known as Immigration Academy and Training School. The road camps were part of the estates that were handed over to the Assin Chiefs by the construction firms that built the Yamoransa/Kumasi highway- Kajima Shimuzu and Daewoo Construction Firms. In December 2001, His Excellency, the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama commissioned the

Academy and Training School and reviewed the first graduation parade of Cadet Corps of the Academy. Two years later in 2003, the second cadet corps graduated from the Academy. The review officer was Hon. Prof. Dominic Fobi.
The Academy will continue to be the venue for career enhancement for serving officers and induction training for new entrants. The objective of the training is to build capacity in the Service by equipping officers with relevant knowledge and skills required to develop their leadership and managerial potentials. The Commandant of the Academy is Major Mathias Kwasi Agordekpey (Rtd). He was preceded by Mr. A.A. Adubah (Rtd. ACP) who was the first Commandant of the Academy.