The Ghana High Commission in the United Kingdom as well as its Embassy in the United States have cancelled issuance of visas at their various consulates.
In two separate releases, the Ghana Embassy in USA and the High Commission in UK said the suspensions are due to the increase and rapid spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) globally.
The release from the Ghana High Commission in UK said “visa applicants who have paid the visa fee and submitted their applications to the High Commission as at 16th March 2020 may either request a refund of the visa fee or wait for their visas to be issued and mailed to them.”
Applicants who have already completed their online applications and have been given appointment, but are yet to submit the said applications, have been advised not to go to the High Commission due to the cancellation of the appointments.
The statement added that requests for refunds of visa fees must be accompanied by proof of prior submission of the applications.
“In the case of the issue of passports to Ghanaian citizens, only passport applications with ‘Proof of Emergency’ will be processed at a considerably reduced scheduled in order to protect the safety and promote the welfare and well-being of our citizens and staff,” the statement added.
Ghana’s Embassy in the United States of America announced on Monday that “it will suspend its visa and passport application services from Tuesday due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.”
“Due to the increase and rapid spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) both in the United States of America and globally, it has become necessary to take precautionary measures to protect clients,” the Embassy said in a statement.
Ghana has already suspended consular services to countries like Italy and Spain, two European countries that continue to record increases in the number of coronavirus cases.
Ghana has now confirmed seven coronavirus cases recorded between March 12 and 17, with no deaths so far.
Passport application suspended
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has suspended passport application process for the next four weeks.
The Ministry says only passport application with proof of emergency will be attended to within the suspension period.
In a short notice to passport applicants, the Ministry said the suspension is “in keeping with government’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID 19.”
“Please note that only passport applications with Proof of Emergency will be attended to for the next four weeks at all passport centres across the country beginning Tuesday, March 17 2020,” the notice added.
SOURCE: Daily Statesman