Visas

Important Note for Current and Future Visa Applicants

The consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Accra is scheduling a limited number of visa appointments for qualifying applicants. If you have an upcoming appointment at U.S. Embassy Accra, please watch this video to learn about health protocols that will keep us all safe during your visit.

In order to carry out worldwide prioritization guidance for consular services and to provide efficient and equitable availability of visa interviews, it may be occasionally necessary for the consular section to reschedule some appointments already on the calendar for the coming weeks and months. Applicants affected by these actions will receive an email or text message with notice of appointment cancellation from USTravelDocs.com/gh that contains instructions on how to reschedule their appointment for a future date. Applicants with a qualifying need for urgent travel should follow the instructions below to request an expedited appointment.

Immigrant Visas (IV):

Immigrant Visa (IV) applications are processed according to worldwide prioritization guidance. Travel restrictions and operational constraints caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a backlog of IV cases. Recognizing how this backlog affects all of the thousands of families waiting for reunification, the consular section is not able to approve most requests for expedited IV processing, and instead works to process all cases according to their priority date.

The consular section and the National Visa Center will notify IV applicants well in advance of their scheduled interview.  After receiving notification of a scheduled interview, please review and follow the provided instructions carefully to avoid delays in processing.

Nonimmigrant Visas (NIV):

Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) applications are processed for students, temporary workers, and for the traveler’s emergency medical care via expedite requests at USTravelDocs.com. Appointments for interview are subject to operational capacity and worldwide prioritization guidance. The consular section cannot guarantee an interview date prior to any program’s start date, even with an approved expedite request. Students unable to secure an interview date before their program’s start date should work with their academic institution to update the permitted start date in SEVIS or defer initial enrollment to a later semester.

Visa holders in possession of a still valid or expired B1/B2 visa are encouraged to apply for a renewal via the Interview Waiver Program. Appointments for routine nonimmigrant visa interviews, including B1/B2 “tourist” or “visitor” visa interviews, are acutely limited and applicants should expect lengthy waiting periods for routine appointments. Expedited interview requests for business, tourism, or family visitation travel are not being considered for emergency appointments at this time.

We understand that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. The validity of your nonimmigrant visa payment (known as the MRV fee) has been extended until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants the opportunity to schedule and attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.

Please review U.S. visa-related COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions to determine if you will be able to travel to the United States with your visa. If you are currently present in Ghana, and subject to restrictions, and qualify for an exception, please contact the consular section at least 15 business days before your planned travel to apply for a National Interest Exception (NIE). Travelers subject to regional proclamation because of planned transit through Europe, the United Kingdom, or other affected countries should reroute to travel directly to the United States instead of requesting an NIE.

Informational Links:

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

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, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: 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.).

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.