The USA is a perfect dream destination to dig into its years-old museums, falls, beaches and landscape beauty. If you are planning to unearth the country for its divine food and much more, you can be really close to it.
Plan for a holiday to the USA and bet it will be one of the best decisions of your life. However, before you do so, you will need a visa to enter the USA.
Ghanaians at large travel to the U.S. for holidays or to visit family and friends living there.
As a Ghanaian, traveling to the USA for holiday is an idea which no other proposition could beat. Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- What is a US Visa?
- How to Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa to the US
- Processing Times for Different U.S. Visa Types
- U Visa
- FAQs about Visa for the USA from Ghana
- Do Ghanaians Need Visa for the USA?
- Is There A Visa On Arrival In The USA for Ghanaian Citizens?
- Documents required for the USA Tourist Visa
- Other supporting documents could include:
- But what is the purpose of asking for these documents?
- USA Tourist Visa Fee for Ghanaian Citizens
- How can I apply for a USA Tourist Visa?
- USA Tourist Visa Processing Time
- Should I buy travel insurance for the USA?
- What should be the Minimum Validity Period for my Ghanaian Passport to Apply for a Visa When I am visiting the USA?
- Will I Receive a Refund if my Visa Application for the USA is not approved?
- What happens if my tourist visa for the USA is damaged?
- What are the Rules Regarding the Extension of a US Visa for a Ghanaian Citizen?
- When Should I Apply for a US Visa while Planning to Visit the Country?
- Is it Necessary to have a Sponsor for US Visitor Visa?
- I am in the US with my husband on a visa / green card and my parent wants to visit me. They have sufficient funds. Do we still need to sponsor their trip?
- My Visa is rejected with a comment that I do not have enough funds. The Reality is that I do have enough money to Visit the USA. What should I Do?
What is a US Visa?
First, a visa is a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of one’s citizenship to travel from their country to another country.”
If you’re entering the United States of America for the first time from another country, you may need a US visa. This visa is normally stamped or placed in the passport of the traveler.
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport.
According to the US consular, “Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel.”
If you are a US citizen, this is what the US embassy in Ghana says about your traveling and visa situation. “U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.?
Applying for a US Visa in Ghana Overview
Confirm whether or not you need to apply for a visa. If you are n Ghanaian national or a citizen of any other Visa Waiver Program participating country or already hold a valid U.S. visa, you may not need to apply for a new U.S. visa
If you do need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, follow the steps below.
How to Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa to the US
Steps for Nonimmigrant Visa applicants:
Determine your visa type by reading Common Nonimmigrant Visas. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.
Be sure to also review the Visa Waiver Program. If your country participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure and will only be staying in the United States for 90 days or less.
Once you have determined the correct visa type, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fees in US dollars and native currency.
The next step is to complete the DS-160 form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes.
If you need assistance, consult an immigration lawyer or translator. Their call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.
You are almost ready to schedule your visa appointment! Now you will need to create a profile. Create a New User profile since you’re doing this for the first time.
Complete all fields and create a password. Once you are logged into the system, you will see your dashboard. Then, click on Schedule Appointment.
This will start the process of scheduling your appointment. For each applicant being scheduled you will need:
- The applicant’s passport number
- The receipt number from GT Bank receipt.
- The ten (10) digit barcode number from the applicant’s DS-160 confirmation page
As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment and finally, schedule your appointment.
Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. Be sure to check the Schedule My Appointment page for the necessary documentation needed for your appointment.
Current and Future Visa Applicants
The consular section of the U.S. Embassy, Accra continues to operate with reduced in-person staffing and is only scheduling a limited number of visa appointments for qualifying applicants.
If you have an upcoming appointment at U.S. Embassy Accra, watch this video below to learn about health protocols that will keep us all safe during your visit:
If you have an urgent need to travel immediately, follow these expedited appointment guidelines (for NIV requests) or look into these frequently asked questions (FAQs) (for IV requests) to request an emergency appointment.
Again, understand that the consular section is only able to approve those requests that qualify under established priority and emergency criteria, including categories of medical professionals, students, essential workers, and those in exceptional humanitarian need.
All these and many more important notices including those for students were stated in a statement by the embassy especially during these hard times for everyone including travelers.
Visa Fees Overview
Visa applicants, including children, are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, sometimes referred to as the MRV fee, before applying for a nonimmigrant visa.
The visa application fee must be paid whether a visa is issued or not. The type of visa for which you apply determines the fee amount. This webpage lists visa application fees associated with each nonimmigrant visa type.
Although fees are listed in U.S. dollars, payment must be made using local currency. You can pay your fee at any GT bank branch or, if you are an account holder at GTBank, you can pay online. More information about payment options is here. To find a GT bank or GT bank branch, click here.
Your visa application fee is non-refundable and you cannot transfer it to another person. You will receive a receipt after paying the application fee. This receipt is valid for one year from the date of payment and allows you to schedule your interview at the U.S. Embassy.
You must schedule your interview while the receipt is valid, which means your interview must be booked within one year of paying your fee. If you do not schedule an interview within a year of payment, your receipt will expire, you will not be able to schedule an interview, and you must pay the fee again and begin the process anew.
Visa Types and Application Fee Amounts
The application fees are shown below and apply to one visa application. The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is $160. This includes tourist, business, student and exchange visas.
Most petition-based visas, such as work and religious visas, are $190. K visas cost $265 and the fee amount for E visas is $205. Please note that visa fees for K applicants should be paid at any GT bank location in Ghana.
The tables below are a more comprehensive list of visa types and fee amounts. Following the tables is a shortlist of nonimmigrant visas that do not require payment of an application fee.
Processing Times for Different U.S. Visa Types
Processing times vary for different visas. Generally, more complicated visas – like visas for establishing permanent residence in the U.S. – will take longer to process than short-term visitor visas.
The B-1 visa for temporary business-related visits to the United States is one of the most popular non-immigrant visas. There’s no specific timeline for a B-1 visa application. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months to process your visa. It depends largely on the workload of your local U.S. embassy.
The B-2 visa for temporary tourist travel in the United States can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to process. Processing times vary from country to country. Like other visas, it depends largely on the workload of the U.S. embassy.
The E-1 visa typically takes between 2 to 4 weeks to process. Once the processing time is complete, you will be told whether the visa has been processed or your application has been denied.
E-2 visas typically take 4 to 6 weeks to process (for companies) and approximately 2 weeks (for employees). Processing times vary depending on the workload of your local U.S. embassy. If you haven’t heard about your application outside of this period of time, then it doesn’t necessarily mean your visa was denied.
E-3 visas take around 6 to 8 weeks to process.
The F-1 visa is one of the fastest visas to process. In fact, the F-1 visa is often processed immediately before your embassy interview. The interview is the last step of the application process.
By the end of the interview, the consular officer should tell you whether or not your application was approved. The officer will congratulate you or hand you a letter explaining why you were denied. Some F-1 visa applications will take several days to process, in which case your approval will come several days after the interview.
The F-2 visa, like the F-1 visa, is one of the faster visas. Some applicants get a response immediately after their consular interview. However, typical F-2 visa applications are processed within a few days to a few weeks. F-2 visa applications rely on the status of the F-1 visa holder (including their financial status and security concerns), which is why they typically take longer to process.
The J-1 visa for education and cultural exchange opportunities in the United States can take 1 to 4 months to process. The U.S. Department of State has a special division called the Waiver Review Division that will check your application before making a recommendation. That recommendation is sent to the USCIS, at which point the final decision is made on your application.
A Q-1 visa takes anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months to process, depending on your country of origin, background, security concerns, and other circumstances. At the conclusion of the application process, you will be contacted to determine whether or not you’re eligible.
The M-1 visa is one of the fastest visas available to gain entry to the United States. Like certain other visas on this list, the M-1 visa embassy interview tends to be the last part of the application process.
By the time you reach the interview for your M-1 student visa, your application may have already been processed. At the conclusion of the interview, you will have heard whether your visa has been approved or rejected. However, even if you are approved at the end of your embassy interview, it may take up to 4 weeks to process your application.
H-1 and H-1B Visa
The H-1 and H-1B visas can take a long time to process. The wait time depends entirely on your local embassy or consulate. Some H-1B visas take 4 to 7 months to process. However, the U.S. government allows employers to pay a “premium processing” fee, in which case visa application times can be reduced to just 15 calendar days.
The H-1B1 visa, unlike the H-1 and H-1B visas, is not available for premium processing. Generally, this visa takes more time to process than the H-1B visa. Expect to wait about 4 to 6 months for the visa to be completely processed.
The H-2A visa is designed for seasonal workers, which is why it’s processed differently than the other H visas above. Generally, it’s recommended that U.S. employers file the USCIS petition at least 60 days before they need the foreign worker. Priority is given to H-2A visa applications because the U.S. government recognizes that agricultural work is seasonal.
An H-3 visa application should take about 4 to 6 weeks, although most experts recommend starting the application at least 6 months before your training program begins. We’ve heard reports of some H-3 visa applications taking as long as three months, particularly in countries with overloaded U.S. embassies and high volumes of applications.
The H-4 visa is for the spouse or children of an H visa holder. The processing time for your H-4 visa will depend largely on the H visa holder. Generally, if you’re applying together, the H-4 visa will be processed in the same length of time as the other H visa. If applying separately, however, then processing times vary widely depending on the local U.S. embassy’s workload and application backlog.
The H-4 EAD visa is a special visa for certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants. This visa is processed on a case-by-case visa and depends largely on the original H-1B visa holder – say, your spouse or parent. Typically, the H-4 EAD takes 3 months to process. Unlike certain other H visas, there is no premium processing option available, so all H-4 EAD applications take roughly the same amount of time.
The L-1A visa for intracompany transfers typically takes about 3 to 4 months to process. Companies that are issuing a blanket petition for multiple employees tend to have their applications processed more quickly than companies making individual petitions. As with certain other employer-sponsored visas, employers have the option to pay extra fees for premium processing. If you pay the extra fee, then you should get a response within 1 to 3 weeks.
The L-1B visa has similar processing times to the L-1A visa. Expect to wait for 3 to 4 months for the USCIS and local U.S. consulate to approve or deny your application.
The L-2 visa takes anywhere from 15 to 30 days to be processed. As with other dependent visas, it depends on the status of the L-1A visa holder. If the L-1A visa application is completed quickly without issue, then the L-2 visa should be completed completely similarly quickly.
The R-1 visa has one of the longest visa approval times in the United States. Religious workers seeking to work in the United States may need to wait 8 to 9 months for their visa application to be completed.
Employers stateside have the option to pay an extra fee for premium processing. With premium processing, your visa should also be approved or denied within 2 weeks, although the final application can take 2 to 3 months to process.
The P-1 visa is for individual athletes or entertainers seeking to work in the United States temporarily. A typical P-1 visa takes 3 to 6 months to process. Like other employment-based visas, you can pay a fee of $1,225 for premium processing, in which case your visa will be approved or denied within 15 days.
The I visa has one of the shortest visa application processing times. Typically, the visa for members of the foreign media, press, and radio will be processed within 10 days of your application.
O-1 and O-1A Visa
The O-1 and O-1A visa application typically takes 2 to 3 months. This visa is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in science, education, or athletics. A premium processing fee of $1,225 can be paid to get a response within 15 days.
The O-1B visa is for those who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. Like with the O-1 visa, you can pay an extra fee for premium processing. An ordinary O-1B visa takes about 2 to 3 months to be processed, although premium fees can reduce this to as little as 15 days.
The O-2 visa is for support personnel of those with extraordinary abilities. A typical O-2 visa takes 2 to 3 months to process (similar to the O-1 visa), although premium processing fees can reduce application times to as little as 15 days.
The visa is for the dependents of those on other O visas, including unmarried children and a spouse. A typical O-3 visa application is completed within 2 to 3 months, similar to other O visas.
U.S. Transit Visa
A U.S. transit visa is processed much differently than other U.S. non-immigrant visas. Typically, transit visas are processed much more quickly. You should receive a response on your transit visa application within 5 working days.
The T visa is one of the most unique visas offered by the United States, and little information is available about processing times for U.S. T visas. The T visa is designed specifically for victims of human trafficking and their immediate family members. As with other emergency visas, the T visa should be processed in a relatively short period of time.
The U visa has a relatively long processing time. The U visa for victims of criminal activity can take 12 to 14 months to be processed and approved. This visa is unique and rare and relies on a thorough investigation of extenuating circumstances, which is why application processing times are longer than other visas.
FAQs about Visa for the USA from Ghana
Do Ghanaians Need Visa for the USA?
No disparate from the rest of the world, yes Indians definitely need a tourist visa to enter and visit the USA. It is wise that before applying for the visa, one should be sure of the places to visit. As no matter the purpose is just a holiday, there will always be rules to follow.
Is There A Visa On Arrival In The USA for Ghanaian Citizens?
No, the USA does not give tourist visas on arrival to Indian citizens. Only some parts of South America and North America of the continent allow for a visa on arrival.
Documents required for the USA Tourist Visa
Nobody likes paperwork, but sometimes there’s no escape! Even when the purpose of travel is a holiday and visit family or friends, you need a list of verified and mandatory documents that may include:
- Original Passport and it should have six months validity dates after arrival in the USA.
- All old passports.
- Digital and Hard Copy of the photograph as per the defined specifications.
- Interview Appointment letter.
- DS160 US Visa Application confirmation page stamped at the Visa Application Center.
- Payment receipt of the fee paid.
Other supporting documents could include:
- Your travel itinerary.
- Bank Statements and other proof of funds.
- TAX and PAN details along with the previous year’s tax documents.
- Business Card, if any.
But what is the purpose of asking for these documents?
The idea is to fulfill the expectations of both the tourist and the host. In other words, these documents are asked for the purpose to avert any kind of hassles. It will indicate:
- Financial Affordability
- Clear intent to return home country, India.
- Criminal History, if any.
USA Tourist Visa Fee for Ghanaian Citizens
The fee is charged depending on the type of USA visa applied for. The USA tourist visa fee for Indian citizens is 11840 (varies as per the USD rates).
How can I apply for a USA Tourist Visa?
There is a lot of hype about the US visa application and approval. The process is simple but the whole procedure may take some time. You can apply for a US tourist visa following simple steps.
- Download and fill the Visa Electronic Application Form (DS-160).
- Pay the required visa application fee.
- The candidate can then schedule the interview. Keep a few information handy like your passport number, CGI number of visa fee receipt and the ten (10) digit barcode number mentioned on the confirmation page of
- Last, visit the U.S. Embassy on the date of the interview. Do not forget to carry all your original documents printed and verified. Also, take the supporting documents along with you.
USA Tourist Visa Processing Time
Getting a US visa is worth the wait. While you are busy building your own castles in the air, the embassy is on its toes to either approve of or cancel your application. If everything goes fine, the embassy will take 3 to 5 days to process the visa and about 10 days for you to receive it.
Should I buy travel insurance for the USA?
Safety is gainful and any accident is painful. The intensity feels weird when we are a thousand miles away from home. USA Travel Insurance policy is for your safety, it will never prevent any mishap from happening. But it will help you manage many unforeseen events. Hence, when you plan to travel, it is advisable for you to buy a Travel Policy for the duration of travel and stay. Let us understand in what circumstances the policy can be helpful.
- To cover medical expenses. Think of that last meal you took on a food truck. It made you sick and caused food poisoning. You immediately need medical assistance and hospital admission. With your travel policy, medical expenses could be covered.
- In some cases, people meet severe injuries leaving them motionless. There need is a medical evacuation to the safest place which is covered under travel insurance.
- To cover immediate cancellation costs due to a mishap like a backbone injury. Now obviously anyone cannot travel in such a situation. But still, in such instances, the huge booking amounts of hotels and cost of tickets are covered under Travel Insurance.
- For the times when you sat in a public place and happened to lose your handbag. The bag had your passport and other valuables needed by you. Without your passport, a lot of things may come to a standstill for you, but don’t worry, travel insurance could compensate you for that too.
- A travel insurance policy will protect you from liability incurred due to third-party property damage caused by your error or mistake.
- For times when you would want to actively participate in adventure sports activities, your insurance will cover it in case of any emergency.
What should be the Minimum Validity Period for my Ghanaian Passport to Apply for a Visa When I am visiting the USA?
The minimum validity for your Ghanaian passport should be at least six months to receive approval for your visa when traveling to the USA. It is counted after the completion of your intended duration of stay in the country.
Will I Receive a Refund if my Visa Application for the USA is not approved?
No, the fee paid for visa application to visit the USA is non-refundable, and will not be returned to you irrespective of approval or cancellation of your visa application.
What happens if my tourist visa for the USA is damaged?
If your tourist visa to the USA is damaged, you must reapply for it to receive a new one. However, if it has been issued recently, you will not be required to complete the interview process to receive a new visa in the place of a damaged one.
What are the Rules Regarding the Extension of a US Visa for a Ghanaian Citizen?
The validity of a USA visa is non-extendable. Thus, once the validity of your visa expires, you need to apply for a new one.
When Should I Apply for a US Visa while Planning to Visit the Country?
While the ideal time taken to process a USA visa for an Indian citizen is 3-5 days, it can extend up to 12 weeks for verification requirements. So, prepare to apply for it at least three months before your planned trip.
Is it Necessary to have a Sponsor for US Visitor Visa?
No, it is not. Having a US-based sponsor may help to strengthen your case if you are not financially well off to support your US trip.
No, you do not need to. If your parents or relatives have good financial standing and can provide evidence of funds, they need not have a sponsor. A letter of invitation may still be helpful.
While you may be of the opinion that you have enough money, however, that may not match with the visa officer’s guidelines. Funds may not be enough considering your overall case, your travel plans, the length of your trip, etc. Or you may not have provided enough and meaningful information about your financial situation.