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In Ghana, no foreigner shall employ or accept employment unless that person is granted a work permit or immigrant quota. Work permit or Immigrant quota is an authorization granted to an employer or employee to engage in lawful and gainful employment in Ghana. The work permit or immigrant quota specifies the job title and indicates the employer by whom that person is employed and the holder cannot engage in any other employment, business, profession or occupation in Ghana for reward than what is specified by the work permit or Immigrant quota.

Usually, a work permit is valid for a period of 1 year with the option of renewal. It must be noted however that, a foreigner that has been granted work permit or immigrant quota cannot start working immediately in Ghana unless that person is granted residence permit by the Director of Immigration to remain and work in the country.

From the foregoing introductory remarks, it is important for foreigners intending to work in Ghana to apply and obtain a work permit from the relevant authorities before the commencement of work. For the purposes of this discussions, the relevant authority is the Ghana Immigration Service.


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Application for the work permit shall be lodged at the Ghana Immigration Service. Forms for the application can be obtained from the Ghana Immigration Service office in Accra, Ghana. The forms ought to be completed and signed by the applicant.  The Applicant is expected to provide accurate and credible answers to all questions asked.

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In order to apply for a work permit from the Ghana Immigration Service, the following related documents ought to accompany the application forms;

  1. Cover Letter.
  2. Bio data page of the prospective employer’s passport.
  3. Company’s certificate of Registration
  4. Company’s certificate of incorporation.
  5. Company’s certificate for commencement of business
  6. Valid Tax Clearance Certificate of the Company
  7. Medical Report of the Prospective Employee
  8. Police Report of the Prospective Employee
  9. Professional and Educational Certificate of Applicant
  10. Employment Contract issued by the Company
  11. Completed Application Documents/ Forms
  12. CV
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The following documents usually must accompany the application for the work permit in Ghana.

  1. Medical report
  2. Police clearance report from home country
  3. Passport pictures (current one)
  4. Appointment letter if employed


Usually under some circumstances, some additional documents may be requested by the Ghana Immigration Service. However, this depends on the individual applicants circumstances and the type of work he is being engaged and or employed to do in Ghana. There is therefore the need to seek legal advice before submitting an application for work permit in Ghana.

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Once submitted, Ghana Immigration Service will cause an extensive review of the application to ascertain whether all relevant documents have been submitted in consideration of the work permit. In some instances, the outcome of the review could be any of the following;

  1. application refused- meaning the application lacks merit.
  2. additional information required-meaning recommendation for approval will be subject to additional information being provided.
  3. application approved- meaning the application satisfies all the requirements hence granted by the Ghana Immigration Service.


The Applicant shall be informed by the issuance of the work permit by the Ghana Immigration Service for pick up.



The contents of this publication, current at the date of publication set out above, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

Written By: David Danquah Esq.

© Legalstone Solicitors LLP

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