Ghana launches online passport application system

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has launched an online passport application service for Ghanaians to ease the mode of application while ensuring maximum security for applicants.

Ms Hanna S. Tetteh, the sector Minister, said the service was inherent in the e-Government strategy.

She said: “The e-Government strategy is targeted at ensuring the use of information technology to provide citizens with efficient passport services through a secure, fast and convenient means.”

Ms Tetteh said the challenges that had surrounded the application for passport over the years necessitated the adoption of the online passport service by the ministry adding that “it is aimed at addressing the existing difficulties that bedeviled passport acquisition in Ghana”.

She said the Ministry would make every effort to deliver the highest levels of customer service and maintain the integrity and international standing of the Ghana passport.

She said with regards to the online application a decision had been reached to establish application centers in some six regions in the country to offer requisite services to Ghanaians in need of travel documents.

An applicant would have to visit or after which he or she would be required to create an account with valid and active mobile number as well as email address (optional) as a new user or log in as an existing user.

The banks for transaction are Ecobank, GCB Bank, and Zenith Bank through a payment channel of choice namely VISA, MasterCard, MTN Mobile Money, and Airtel Money.

The applicant would then be required to complete the passport form after which he or she would be required to select a preferred passport application center (PAC) from the available list.

The final stage of the application is the visitation of the selected PAC on the date of appointment with the appointment slip and relevant original documents to complete the process.

In an interaction with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the launch, Mrs Tetteh said when all the processes involved in the online service was duly followed with all relevant documents provided, the passport would be issued to the applicant within 10 days.

Meanwhile, Ms Tetteh said the introduction of the Ghana biometric passport to replace all non-biometric passports by the end of 2017 had greatly enhanced the physical security of Ghana’s travel documents.

“The biometric passport has enhanced the international status of our passports and enabled us to build a data base which facilitates the verification and authentication of travel documents,” she said. 

Mr Leslie Kojo Christian, the Technical Advisor of the Ministry and the Chairman of the Online Passport Application project, said: “We are optimistic that the online application service would go a long way to benefit the Ghanaian citizen.”

He said the mandate was supported by representatives from the National Security Council Secretariat, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), National Commission on Civic Education and the Births and Deaths Registry.

The online passport application project was initially introduced in 2014 through NITA’s pilot project and consequently resulted in the Ministry taking steps to further enhance and improve the system to address the technical challenges encountered with the NITA programme.

The committee for the online passport application project started work in August, 2015.

Source: GNA

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