Ghanaian government is making headway in efforts to reverse US visa restrictions

By Magdalene Teiko Larnyoh

Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Dr Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, says the government is making some progress in its quest to reverse visa restrictions imposed on the country by the United States government.

According to Dr Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, a government delegation led by the Foreign Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has held two successful meetings with the US authorities to help bring the restrictions to an end.

“We are about holding the third meeting in the coming weeks and we trust that there will be finality to the restrictions based on mutual understanding,” he told the Daily Graphic.

The US government imposed visa restrictions on Ghana for what it said was the government’s failure to issue travel documents to over 7,000 Ghanaian citizens awaiting deportation from the United States.

In February, the Department of Homeland Security ordered the US Embassy in Ghana to discontinue issuing all non-immigrant visas (NIV) to two groups of Ghanaian applicants, starting February 4, 2019.

They are the domestic employees of Ghanaian diplomats posted to the United States.

Limitations were also placed on the validity and the number of entries on new tourists and business visas for all Ghanaian Executive and Legislative branch employees, their spouses and their children under 21 years to a one-month single entry.

After the imposition of the restrictions, some workers of public institutions who used to receive five-year visas now get up to three weeks maximum.

Ghanaians have expressed fear that if the government does not resolve this issue, the restrictions will be extended to other citizens.

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