Guidance

Living in Ghana

Advice for British people living in Ghana, including information on health, driving licences, residence requirements and more.

Introduction

This guide sets out essential information for British national residing in Ghana, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on the services consulates can and cannot do for British nationals.

Health

Medical standards are different in quality to the UK and you will have to pay for any treatment that you receive so travel/health insurance is recommended. Pharmacies may not be sufficiently supplied, and if you are under treatment prior to departure, you should bring all your medications and prescription drugs with you (in their original containers). There are private medical facilities, which are provide good health care but may be expensive. Local government hospitals are usually crowded and sometimes have basic medicine shortages. See our Ghana travel advice for further information.

Driving licences and vehicles

You can drive in Ghana using an International Driving Permit or a local driving licence. A UK driving licence is not valid. If you’re applying for a local driving licence from the Ghana DVLA, you must get your UK driving licence authenticated by the UKDVLA. You should carry your driving licence or International Driving Permit with you at all times when driving.

Social ethics and traditions

Ghanaians are friendly to visitors. English is the official language and is widely spoken. Homosexuality is illegal in Ghana. Although there is a small gay community, there is no ‘scene’ and most Ghanaians don’t accept that such activity exists. Dress code in most towns is conservative. Remember to be sensitive to the different culture and people around you and do not engage in behaviour that may cause offence. Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for drug related offences are severe. Even possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process.

Entry and residence requirements

You will need a visa to visit Ghana. You can get a visa from the Ghana Embassy in London or the nearest Ghana embassy/high commission. Visas are usually valid for 60 or 90 days from date of entry. You should check that the number of days given at the port of entry covers your intended period of stay or visa obtained. A business visa is required to work in Ghana. Whenever a foreigner wants to work in Ghana, the employment contract has to be declared to the local authorities to be granted an authorization. The agreement is needed before entering Ghana. You can apply to have this period renewed and extended if required at the Ghana Immigration Services offices. Visit the Ghana Immigration website for further information. Visa requirements are subject to change at any time. You should check with the nearest High Commission/Embassy for the Republic of Ghana and its consulates for up-to-date information. All travellers are also required to produce evidence of yellow fever vaccination at the port of entry.

Police clearance certificate and Subject Access Requests

You may require a police clearance certificate for your stay in Ghana. It is advisable to obtain this at the end of your stay from the Ghana Police Service, Criminal Investigations Department Office Headquarters Accra; otherwise, a lawyer may have to act on your behalf to obtain this.

To obtain records being held about you from your local police in the UK, please see our information on Subject Access Requests for further information.

Leaving Ghana

At the end of your stay in Ghana, you should check that your visa/resident permit is valid or you will be liable to pay a fine to the Ghana Immigration Service.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the high commission by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British high commission will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 14 May 2014