US visa sanctions on Ghana take effect today

The US Embassy in Ghana will from today, Monday, suspend the issuance of all new visas for domestic employees of Ghanaian Diplomats hosted in the US.

The Embassy would also limit the normal five-year validity period and a number of entries on Tourist and Business visas for all Ghanaian Executive and Legislative branch employees, their spouses and children under age 21, to single entry visas valid for only one month.

This has become necessary following what the United States says is the government of Ghana’s failure to accept about 7,000 Ghanaians earmarked for deportation from the US.

“Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has refuted claims by the United States of America government that it is not cooperating on the deportation of Ghanaians from the US, which has led to visa sanctions being placed on some Ghanaian citizens.

In the government’s first official response on the matter, it expressed concern and disappointment with the development and said such allegations were “unfounded.”

The ministry also said, “the sanctions imposed on Ghana are without any justification whatsoever.”

It held that it had “always cooperated with the US authorities in the processing and removal of Ghanaian citizens who have been cited for deportation.”