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Ghanaian ID Card for Foreigners (Accra)

In case you don't know, all foreigners who stay in Ghana for more than 90 consecutive days or who have a resident permit must acquire a Ghana ID card under the Foreigner Identification Management System (FIMS) and pursuant to the 3 or more laws on national identity register and ID card system.

All of this sounds highly complicated but the process is rather simple. Even if you have heard about it, the media and the various websites have not provided the correct information on the application process.

The slightly bad news is that it costs $120 and takes a couple of hours to complete the process.

As someone setting up an organization here and will no doubt have to wait for months for the usual permits, such as work permit and resident permit etc, this ID card is kind of valuable as it will hopefully allow me to deal with government officials, perhaps get a driver's license and maybe even import my personal items even before I get my resident's permit.

Here is the step by step application process:

Go to the Head Office of CAL bank in Accra (Independence Avenue, Ridge - driving into central Accra, after crossing the Ring Road on the flyover, CAL bank is on the Right Hand side).

You go to the banking hall first - the entrance is almost straight ahead of you as you drive into the complex. At the banking hall, you buy the "scratch card" for $120 or GHC252. An employee will approach you when you go inside and will provide you with a signature form and show you where to queue.

Don't scratch the card. Instead go outside an follow the signs - there are a series of signs with Foreign ID or FIMS written on them. They lead to an office at the back of this large complex.

When you arrive at the office, you will receive a large form. If they are full, you may have to sit outside (under a sun awning and chairs are provided) while filling out the form. Some items on the form do not apply to you as a foreigner - leave them blank. Some items refer to codes for your country - there is someone who goes around an checks your form. You then go through a seated queue system in an air-conditioned office until you arrive at a desk where your finger-prints are taken, your forms and passport are scanned and your pic is taken. You are given a paper printout of the card first so that you can check your details are correct and you sign it. Eventually you are provided with the card.

While I was there, everyone was most helpful, polite and everything worked.