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Ghana to charge GH¢500 as passport application fee?



Ordinary Passport applicants currently pay GHC 100 ( US$8) for regular service and GHC 150 ( $13) for expedited service respectively.

Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, which issues the travel documents via Passport Offices sited around the country, contends that the current application fees are inadequate to cover the cost of procuring, processing, and issuing the travel document.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, has given the strongest indication that his outfit may be asking for an upward review from US$8 (GHC 100) to US$40 ( GHC 500) to be able to recover cost and be at par with West African neighbours Liberia.

“Our passport happens to be the cheapest in the whole West African Sub-region. Ghana passport costs 8 dollars, the next cheapest is Liberia [which charges] 40 dollars. The supplier of the Liberian and Ghanaian passport booklet is the same company. So our passport is heavily subsidized,” he said.

He added: “The money that we are supposed to use to buy the computers and the printers to be able to provide quick service delivery is being used to subsidize the passport that people apply for.”

Introduction of Chip-embedded passports

In a related development, the government is to introduce chip-embedded passports in the second quarter of 2024, and gradually phase out the current biometric passport.

The chip-embedded passports are to be linked to national identification. The biometric information on the chip can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, who revealed the timelines noted that the planned shift from the current biometric to chip-embedded passports is a key requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN agency in charge of civil aviation.

“We are at the moment using biometrics but we want to upgrade to chip-embedded. Moving from the biometric to the chip-embedded is a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. It is asking all countries who are on biometric to upgrade to the chip-embedded passport,” Ampratwum-Sarpong said.

Security-wise, he indicated that the chip-embedded passport will make it nearly impossible for non-Ghanaian and fraudsters to acquire the document.

“Since a passport is a serious security document that needs not be tampered with or abused, moving from biometric to chip embedded is for our security and to also make life easier and better for all of us. We are modernized, we are moving digitalization. Chip embedded is an upgrade on digitalization so we have to get there and be one of the leading lights,” He added.




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