Plans
are afoot to make the issuance of visas at Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions abroad
the sole responsibility of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

Interior
Minister, Hon. Ambrose Dery made the remark in response to concerns raised by
the Immigration Service Council (ISC) when the latter paid a courtesy call on
him.

The Minister indicated that both the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior had concluded decisions on the approach, and were working on the rollout.

The
successful implementation of this decision, he said, would be in fulfilment of
the Immigration Service Act 908 of 2016.

“However,
the takeover of the issuance of visas from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will
be gradual and in phases,” he explained.

This was contained in a release copied to Adomonline and issued by the Head of Public Affairs at the GIS, Supt. Michael Amoako-Atta.

To
the Minister, the GIS has the functional capacity and technical expertise to
provide seamless visa services including detection of fake travel documents,
among others. “Certainly, the issuance of visas at Missions abroad by an
immigration body has been the standard practice across the globe,” he stated.

He lauded the Council for the tangible transformation the GIS was experiencing as a result of exemplary leadership being exhibited by its members.

He
averred that the growing terrorism threats in neighboring countries was an
indication of the crucial role the GIS had to play as the first line of
defense, adding that, the recent attack on a church in Burkina Faso was a sign
of changes needed in the dynamics of migration management.

The
Minister, therefore, called on the GIS to step-up its role in intelligence
gathering and the patrolling of the borders of the country.

Immigration Service to issue visas at Ghana’s missions

He assured the Council of government’s commitment at equipping personnel of the GIS with the needed resources to enhance their operational activities.

“Although there have been great improvements in infrastructure and logistics since H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took office as President, the government is still not content with the current state of affairs in the GIS, and so, plans are in place to provide the GIS not only with resources but also retool the GIS to meet the exigencies of the time in migration management,” he noted.

Hon. Dery commended the GIS for the improvement in relationship and strengthening of collaboration with sister security agencies such as the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ghana Police Service. This, he said, would engender effective intelligence sharing among the security agencies to enhance the provision of security in the country.

The
chairman of the ISC, Dr Edward Prempeh on his part, underscored the urgent need
to arm personnel of the GIS to enable them confront border crimes with needed
ruthlessness. “The current situation at the borders poses a great risk without
firearms,” he said.

He noted that the takeover of the issuance of visas at Ghana’s Missions abroad by the GIS would significantly improve on the monitoring and control of the current visa regime while contributing to national security.

He thanked the President and his government for increasing the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) of the GIS from 13 to 30 per cent and appealed to the government to hasten with the processes of the increment.

“The 13 per cent was woefully inadequate, and so, it was heartwarming when the Vice President announced the increment to 30 per cent,” he noted.

He
stated that with the increment in the IGF and subsequent provisions by the
government to resource and retool the GIS would greatly boost the morale of
personnel and enhance the internal security of the country.