Becoming Ghanaian: Registration as a Citizen Part 3 – The Interview

After 11 years in Ghana, I have applied to become a Ghanaian Citizen. This is the third post in the series of my experience of the application process. Read part 1 Submitting the application and paying the fee and 2 Submitting the Application to Ghana Immigration Service.

Just before the holidays, I sent a few WhatsApp 

messages to my Ministry of Interior contact to ask of my citizenship application. I wanted specifically to know if the application had reached the stage where they would make a home visit and interview my husband and me. After a little back and forth, we decided on the last Friday before Christmas.

It was a brief affair. After arriving almost two hours late, due to Christmas traffic and phone network disturbances to clarify our location, the visit / interview seemed to be centered around two issues:

  1. Did we live where we said we lived?
  2. Had my husband written the “consent letter” to support my application included in my docket?

Everything else was pleasantries that reminded me of cordial, although formal, family visits before an engagement or similar where you take turns to welcome/accept the welcome, offer water/drink the water, and state the purpose of the visit/ accept the purpose of the visit.

At the tail end of the two officers’ visit, we enquired how long it would be before my application was concluded and were told it would most likely be finalized in the first quarter of this year.

So there we have it, step three toward my Ghanaian citizenship is now behind me. End of this month, it will be one year since I started the process and took the selfie that illustrates this post at the Ministries in Accra. 

If you have any questions on this process, please post them below and I will do what I can to help.

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Becoming Ghanaian: Registration as a Citizen Part 2

On Wednesday, I submitted my application to register as a Ghanaian citizen to the Ministry of Interior (MINT). I described the first step of the process in Registration as a Citizen Part 1. Between then and now, I was making sure all paperwork ( see a checklist in the earlier post) was in order and properly copied. 

Next steps

I was told the next step (to be expected in a few weeks) is a letter sent to Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for them to start their investigation. GIS will call me in for an interview. Then GIS will write a report to be handed back to MINT. The folder will then be sent with a recommendation to the president. The whole process takes 6-12 months.


Group effort

I am part of a group of several foreigners living in Ghana applying this year. We are all members of the International Spouses of Ghanaians (ISAG) group. We have a WhatsApp group where we share information and cheer each other on. It has been very helpful and I encourage anyone who has to go through larger application processes to organize with others or join already available groups, for instance on Facebook. The group I Väntan På Familjen for instance shares info on family-related residence permits to Sweden.

The officers at the ministry are also very helpful and friendly. I spent less than 15 minutes getting my application reviewed and submitted.


Clarification on completing the application

Submitting the paperwork to office 17 I learned:

  1. The application sponsors ( in my case, a lawyer friend and a family member in the public sector) should ideally use their STAMP under their signature when signing the form. (Nowhere is that indicated on the form or checklist). I had letters from the sponsors in addition, one of them luckily with a stamp, so it passed with some frowns.
  2. The MINT officers did not ask for a police report (something we were told when buying the forms but was not on the checklist).
  3. Before submitting, a Notary Public stamps the application. You can find one to put a red seal on your application at the High Court (around the block from the Ministry of Interior) for GHS 50.

If you have any questions about the process, I will try and answer them. I will also continue reporting here about the progress of my application to naturalize!

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