The Ghana Immigration Service, GIS, has set a deadline for all foreign nationals with residence permit to register for the non-citizen Ghanacard.
The deadline is August 30, 2013. With effect from September 2, 2013, the GIS will require all foreign nationals to show their non-citizen Ghanacard before they are issued with residence permit. All new applications or renewals for residence permit must be submitted with a copy of the non-citizen Ghanacard. Residence permit holders, who do not have the non-citizen Ghanacard, will not receive services from the GIS.
Currently, there is a special mass registration going on at the Accra International Conference Centre for residence permit holders. This is being organised by the National Identification Authority (NIA) in partnership with the GIS. This mass registration ends on August 30, 2013.
According to a joint press release from the NIA and the GIS, all foreign nationals, however, can always register at the NIA head office near the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, or at the CAL Bank headquarters at Ridge. Registration centres are open from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. every week day and Saturdays. Other registration centres across the country will be announced on radio and in the newspapers.
To register, foreign nationals should first purchase a FIMS scratch card from any CAL Bank branch during normal banking hours at a cost of $120 or its cedi equivalent, then proceed to a registration centre to fill in a form with one form of identification - a passport or residence permit. Foreign nationals can also download the form from the Internet at www.fims.org.gh and fill it before they get to the registration centre.
The non-citizen Ghanacard is the national identity card for foreign nationals living in Ghana. All foreign nationals, who have lived in Ghana for a total of 90 days or more in a given year, are required by law to register for their non-citizen Ghanacard.
The exercise to register foreign nationals started in January, this year, as part of a comprehensive process to issue all people living in Ghana, both nationals and non-nationals, with modern and highly secured identity cards. The mass registration of Ghanaian citizens above the age of six years old started in July, 2008, and is almost complete with the current mass registration in the three northern and upper regions.
The national identity card is by law required to be used as proof of identity in instances where there is the need to do so and also for access to many essential services.
Members of the diplomatic community are exempted from registering.