The United States Embassy in Ghana has clarified its recent statement about visa acquisition for Former Presidents, Members of Parliament and other high profile personnel who are travelling for leisure or on personal business.
The US Ambassador to Ghana earlier this week clearly stated that “if you are traveling for tourism or for business but is not related to government business, yes you would have to make a personal appearance.”
This statement generated a public debate of which the Government of Ghana has indicated that it will investigate.
But even before the Ghanaian government initiates its probe for clarity of the statement, the US Embassy has released a statement to clarify that “under U.S. law, travelers seeking a nonimmigrant visa for travel to the United States must generally appear in person for an interview with a consular officer.
U.S. law also designates limited exceptions under which the visa interview may be waived, such as for diplomats and officials traveling on official government business.
“However, under U.S. law, when a diplomat or official applies for a new visa for personal travel, that applicant must appear in person for an interview. This is not a new policy. In such limited and special circumstances as having a former president come in, we have procedures established to ensure the appropriate courtesies are extended.”
In conclusion the statement said “when a diplomat or official applies for a visa for personal travel, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for the applicant to be accompanied to the interview by protocol assistants.
“As a general policy, only visa applicants are allowed in the waiting room. Our communication to the Government of Ghana was meant to clarify this policy. We will continue to work with the government to facilitate legitimate personal and official travel.”
By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana