Visas

Important Note for All Visa Applicants

The consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Accra continues to address large COVID-induced appointment backlogs and high demand for all visa classes and many U.S. citizen services.  The global pandemic and its repercussions in visa processing mean that applicants will continue to experience long waits and limited appointment availability for most visa categories.

Visit the Accra Answers – U.S Embassy Accra Consular Information and Service Portal for more information on visa processing.

If you have an upcoming appointment at U.S. Embassy Accra, please watch this video to learn about health protocols that will help keep you safe during your visit.

Immigrant Visas:

Immigrant Visa (IV) applications in all visa classes are processed according to the priority and documentarily qualified dates of the case, and Department of State scheduling guidance.  Recognizing how the lengthy appointment backlog in pending cases affects all of the thousands of families waiting for reunification, the consular section is not able to accommodate most requests for expedited IV processing, and instead works to process all cases according to their priority date as rapidly as current resources permit.

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:

Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) applications in all visa classes are processed.  Routine interview appointments in many NIV categories have been made available several years into the future to address high demand.  The consular section will open additional appointments in the coming weeks and months according to estimated staffing and capacity.  We encourage applicants to monitor our calendar at USTravelDocs.com/gh for newly added appointments and earlier appointment dates.  NIV applications are processed for students, temporary workers, and for the traveler’s in need of emergency medical care via expedite requests at USTravelDocs.com.

Students, temporary workers, and travelers needing urgent medical care are encouraged to submit an expedited appointment request at USTravelDocs.com.  However, all interview appointments are subject to operational capacity.  Even with an approved expedite request, the consular section cannot guarantee an interview date prior to the applicant’s anticipated travel date or program start date.  Students unable to secure an interview date before their academic program’s start date should work with their educational institution to update the permitted start date in SEVIS or defer initial enrollment to a later semester.

If you are a citizen or resident of Ghana who has been issued any class of nonimmigrant U.S. visa after turning 14 years of age, you may be eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview requirement for your F, M, or J student visa application.  Citizens or residents of Ghana in possession of a still valid or expired B1/B2 visa, and qualifying children under the age of 14 applying for the first time with parents who are renewing their travel documents, are encouraged to apply via the Interview Waiver Program.  Read here for details and visit https://ustraveldocs.com/gh/ for steps to submit your applications.

Appointments for routine NIV interviews in many visa categories, particularly the B1/B2 “business” or “tourism” category, are acutely limited and applicants should expect lengthy waiting periods for routine appointments.  We understand that some 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 (also known as the MRV fee) has been extended until September 30, 2023, to allow all applicants the opportunity to schedule and attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.

In order to provide efficient and equitable availability of consular services, 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 on USTravelDocs.com/gh to request an expedited appointment.

Visit the Accra Answers – U.S Embassy Accra Consular Information and Service Portal for information on diplomatic and official visa processing for representatives of international organizations and national government officials traveling to the United States for inherently governmental activity.

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.