Immigration Service hosts workshop for foreign spouses

A one-day workshop to inform and educate members of the International Spouses Association of Ghana (ISAG) on the requirements and processes to acquire immigration permits has been held.

The workshop was put together by the Migration Management Bureau (MMB) of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and hosted at its National Headquarters in Accra.

Emergency Entry Visa, Extension Permit, Spousal Indefinite Residence Permit, Investor (General) Indefinite Residence Permit, Right of Abode and Citizenship were among some of the issues discussed.

The Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration (DCGI) in-charge of Legal, Research and Monitoring, Madam Baaba Asare who spoke on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Immigration, said the ISAG has had a long-standing relationship with the GIS since its creation in 1994.

“I recall the times when some of your pioneers sought an audience with the former Director of Immigration, now Ghana’s Ambassador to Spain, Ambassador Elizabeth Adjei and her readiness to engage you,” she added.

She expressed happiness about their eagerness to acquire more information on immigration permits.

“We are delighted you are here to get more insight and explanation to all issues relating to immigration permits,” she said.

She assured them of GIS’s continuous support of assisting them in acquiring appropriate work and residence permits and hoped the relationship between GIS and ISAG would improve after the workshop.

Madam Asare recognized the contribution some of the members of ISAG to the concept paper on Indefinite Residence Permit when the Immigration Act of 2000, ACT 573, was being drafted legislation.

She commended them for making Ghana their second home and for contributing to the socio-economic development of their families and the country at large.

She advised them to be law-abiding and contribute to the peace and security the country was enjoying while enjoying the Ghanaian hospitality.

The President of ISAG, Dr. Rebecca Ashley Asare in her remarks noted that the formation of the Association was to help foreign spouses who had challenges in acquiring residence permits but later expanded its objectives to helping spouses to fully integrate into the Ghanaian society.

“We also promote and advocate for the legal rights of our members to live and work in Ghana as our Ghanaian spouses do,” she added.

She noted that apart from contributing to the Immigration Act of 2000 which granted them indefinite residence permit with the right to live and work in the country, they were also instrumental in contributing to the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Act of 2013, ACT 865, which exempts them from the requirement of foreign capital import when registering a business.

Dr. Asare acknowledged the immense support the Association had received from the GIS in knowing the rights and responsibilities of foreign spouses in Ghana.

She, however, raised concerns about the challenges some of the members went through to acquire indefinite residence permit as well as dual citizenship.

“I, therefore, hope that the workshop will unravelled some of the challenges we encounter and get a better understanding of our rights with respect to indefinite residence permit,” she stated.