Now and then, Ghanaians bother Google with one question, “Am I supposed to still visit the Passport Application Center after I finish filling the online form?”.
Other online passport applicants go further to ask, “Why does the passport office require my physical presence?”
To cut a long story short, the answer is YES.
Visiting passport centres is a must because the application process isn’t fully digital.
So never think that you can sit in front of your PC or smartphone and click on one or two buttons to print your passport.
Of course, it would have been better that way. But hey! We’re still moving forward bit by bit.
When a presidential aspirant mounts a stage in your area to campaign, tell him/her your mind. The Government must fully digitize the Ghanaian passport application, lest we won’t raise a finger.
Ghanaian passport has been trending on every nook and cranny of the media. But many Ghanaian citizens cannot just wrap their heads around this confusing twist of events.
For your kind information, here are:
What should you know about the Online Biometric Passport Before Applying?
Some people say ignorance is no excuse.
Others say it’s a disease.
For me, I think ignorance of the biometric passport in Ghana, kills faster than AIDS.
You can agree and disagree with me, but I’m about to hit your face with the “true facts”.
Getting a Biometric passport hasn’t been easy peasy from day one. That said, sections of the public don’t even know what the hell biometric passports mean.
Before you misinterpret it, a Biometric passport is a smart or digital passport that captures your bio-data and stores it in a microchip.
This data can include your fingerprint and your facial scan. These biographical data can be used to verify your real identity when you travel abroad.
You should thank your stars for being alive to witness this innovation.
Biometric passports, also known as e-passports, have completely revolutionized identity verifications at crucial entry and exit points across the world.
You can’t forge an e-passport. Neither can you use it if you manage to steal one from someone.
Conventional passports weren’t equipped with these features. So they had their weaknesses.
As we speak today, over 120 countries have started using biometric passports.
Coincidentally, Mother Ghana happens to be one of the technologically alert countries that have embraced e-passports. The only question is, how smart is the Ghana passport?
We cannot condemn its reputation. But a background check will tell you that the Ghana Biometric passport isn’t up to world-class standards.
Whatever the case may be, Ghanaians can still take pride in their government for launching biometric passports.
Since the Online Passport Application portal came into effect in 2017, the procedures for acquiring a Ghana passport haven’t been the same.
If you want to stay up-to-date with the new system, then you have to pay rapt attention to this article.
How Genuine is the Ghana Biometric Passport?
Some Ghanaians have their own reservations about the biometric passport brouhaha.
But I can assure you that it’s 100% real. In fact, some of my friends are now chilling in the UK and Italy; because they listened to my advice and didn’t hesitate to go for their biometric passports.
When a study-abroad opportunity presents itself before you, it’ll be too late to run helter-skelter.
Get your biometric passport! It’s now or never. There is no need to raise your eyebrows! The Ghana digital passports are real.
Expedited Passport Application vs. Standard Passport Application
This is one of the four things that Ghanaians don’t know about Ghana passport application procedures.
As far as I know, there are two options for passport applicants— the expedited application and the standard application.
However, there is a thick line of difference between these two application types.
While the expedited application is the same as the express option, the standard application is the usual (normal) approach to a passport acquisition.
Also, in terms of costs, standard applicants pay around GHS50 for their Ghana passports forms.
And express applicants will pay around GH100 for their expedited passport forms.
Now you may be asking yourself: why the huge price difference between the two options?
The reason is that Express applicants can get their passports in a matter of two weeks (roughly 15 days); so they have to pay more for processing fees.
If you go with the standard application, it normally takes about 1 month for you to receive your passport.
NB: Aside from the difference in price and processing time, there’s no physical difference between an express passport and a standard passport
Passport Application Center
Some Ghanaians have a funny way of interpreting the term “passport online“.
The common misconception is that you probably don’t need to visit any passport centre since the application process is completed online.
There is a huge misunderstanding. Let me bust the myth right here for you.
The truth is, you still have to book passport appointments with the application centres (PAC).
This mean, you will have to show up at the application centres.
Otherwise, how do you expect the passport office to record your bio-data?
I hope you are not expecting them to look for you and your family’s whereabouts.
If you fail to visit the PAC offices after filling the online form, you have done a “cos 90° job”. Or better still, “nothing“. That means zero (0) work is done.
So, no Ghana biometric passport for you!
Visit the PAC offices for them to verify the authenticity of your documents, take your fingerprint and begin the processing.
Don’t forget that you’ll face a vetting panel of maybe 4 members. They will throw questions at you to confirm your identity as a Ghanaian.
If you’re a foreigner in Ghana (who’s not a dual citizen), it will be highly criminal of you to dare apply for a Ghana passport.
Assuming you meet the requirements and your passport is finally ready, you must visit the PAC you chose for collection. Probably this will deter foreigners from acquiring the Ghanaian passport through fraudulent means.
Sample Biometric Ghana Passport Online Application Form
Have you ever caught a glimpse of a filled biometric passport application form?
Do you want to see how it looks like, in order to stay more informed about the required details?
Here is a sample PDF of the biometric passport for download. Mind you, it’s already filled. Use it as a guide to be accustomed to the passport system.
FAQs and Answers about Ghana Biometric Passport Application
Knowing the following questions and answers will do you good.
#How long does it take to get a passport in Ghana?
It takes roughly 10–30 days to get a standard Ghana passport. If you expedite your application, you will get your express passport within 2 weeks (or 15 days).
Your passport will be processed if only you’re able to meet the requirements and pay the fees involved.
#How do I apply for a Ghanaian passport?
Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. After paying for the form, report to one of the following centres close to you to finalize application matters.
- Accra Premium PAC, Greater Accra Region
- Kumasi Premium PAC, Ashanti Region
- Accra PAC Kinbu Road, Greater Accra.
- Ridge PAC Ridge, Greater Accra Region.
- Koforidua PAC, Eastern Region.
- Tema PAC, Greater Accra Region.
- Kumasi PAC, Ashanti Region.
- Takoradi PAC, Western Region
- Sunyani PAC, Brong Ahafo Region
- Ho PAC, Volta Region
- Tamale PAC, Northern Region.
#How do I know if my passport is ready in Ghana?
If your passport is ready for collection, the PAC registration office will send you a message. This quick alert will let you know your passport is ready for pickup.
For the sake of convenience, I normally go to the passport renewal near me.
#How many types of passports do we have in Ghana?
There are 3 main types of passports in Ghana. They’re contemporary or regular passports (for ordinary citizens), service passports (for government officials on special duties), and diplomatic passports (for Ghanaian diplomats).
NB: regular passports now have a 10-year validity period, instead of 5 years.
#How can I verify my Ghanaian passport?
If you’re travelling abroad, all you need to do is hand over your passport to the checking officers. They’ll scan it in their systems to see if you’re real and not on a wanted list. If your passport expires, you may need passport renewal forms.
In Ghana, you can check your passport verification code here.
The code is either sent to your mail or phone number.