• Significant Increases in Immigration Filing Fees and Penalties; Rotator Work Permit Introduced
  • January 14, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has implemented a new fee schedule effective immediately for work permit and other immigration applications. Work permit filing fees have been increased by 50 to 100 percent for some categories, while penalties for unauthorized employment have been increased by 150 percent. This is the first increase in filing fees since 2010.

    The GIS will also introduce a new work permit for rotational technical assignments of up to twelve months within the oil and gas sector. Eligibility requirements are expected to mirror those of the standard Ghanaian work permit, but government processing times should be shorter.

    Fragomen has been informed that the new rotator work permit category is being introduced to curb rotators’ use of the business visa to perform short-term work. Following the dismissal of two division heads last year, the GIS is expected to take a firm stance on immigration compliance. Increased compliance is anticipated particularly in the areas of adjudications, border review of visitors and in-country compliance audits.

    The following table sets forth the new fees for most employment-related visa categories. The Emergency Visit Visa fee remains unchanged at USD 150, as do the fees for Residence and Work Permits for nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

    What This Means for Employers

    Employers should incorporate the increased filing fees into their corporate budgets and should also ensure foreign employees’ compliance with immigration law to avoid potential fines and penalties. Compliance is particularly important for the oil and gas industry, as the GIS is expected to significantly increase immigration compliance in 2014 with a particular focus on short-term rotators.

    VISIT VISA-RELATED IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS

     

    Previous Fee

    New Fee

    % Increase

    Emergency Visit Visa

    USD 150

    USD 150

    0%

    WORK PERMIT-RELATED IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS

     

    Previous Fee

    New Fee

    % Increase

    Work Permit (ECOWAS national)

    USD 500

    USD 500

    0%

    Residence Permit (ECOWAS national)

    GHC 100

    GHC 100

    0%

    Work Permit (all other nationalities)

    USD 500

    USD 1,000

    100%

    Residence permit (all other nationalities)

    GHC 200

    GHC 300

    50%

    Rotator Work Permit (up to six months)

    N/A

    USD 500

    New category

    Rotator Work Permit (Six to twelve months)

    N/A

    USD 1,000

    New category

    Re-Entry Permit

    USD 100

    USD 150

    50%

    PENALTIES FOR IMMIGRATION NON-COMPLIANCE

     

    Old Fee

    New Fee

    % Increase

    Unauthorized employment

    GHC 2,000

    GHC 5,000

    150%