Types of visas available for Ghanaians who wish to visit the UK

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Over 32k Ghanaians apply for a UK visa, from Ghana, every year. By far the more popular visa is the standard Visit visa, with more than 75% of applications from Ghana being of the Visit type. However, it should be noted that the UK visa refusal rate from Ghana is quite high with over 40% of applications being refused.

It isn’t all bad news, as Ghana talks radio reports that Ghanaian nationals can apply for any of the visas that nationals from most other nations can (some countries don’t allow their nationals to apply for certain visas in another country). The types of visas that are available are rather varied, although the standard visitor visa is enough for most people and situations. This means that a UK Spouse Visa is also available to Ghanaians and they can apply for this visa type.


Listed here are the main visas that are available, with a brief description. The more commonly applied for visa (the standard visitor visa) is explained in more detail. Some visas are not listed because they do not apply to Ghanaian nationals.


The types of UK visas that can be applied for

This is not an exhaustive list. Some visa types have been left out because they only apply to countries within the Commonwealth of Nations (Ghana left the British-led Commonwealth in 1960, which many Ghana radio stations reporting on it at the time), while a few others have been omitted due to the rarity of them being applied for.

• Spouse Visa – if your wife or husband is a UK national, or they have the right to remain in the UK, you need this visa to live with them in the UK.


• Fiance Visa – if the person you are engaged to is a UK national or has indefinite leave to remain, the fiance visa is the one to apply for.

• Marriage Visitor Visa  – you must apply for this visa if you wish to be married in the UK but are not staying in the UK. If you qualify for British Citizenship then you cannot apply for this visa, you must apply for British Citizenship instead.

• Visit Visa – this visa is a standard visa and covers most eventualities and situations

• Indefinite Leave To Remain – If you wish to stay in the UK indefinitely, and have no restrictions placed on you previously, then you may be eligible to apply for this.

• Permanent Residency – If you can show that you can live in the UK, and you wish to there permanently, you may be able to apply for this.


• British Citizenship – there are several ways that this can be applied for, depending on personal circumstances. If you find that you are eligible to apply in more than one way then you choose which application path to take.

As noted, this list is not complete, but they are the more widely applied for visas. What follows is an explanation of the more popular of these.

Visit visa

Ghanaian nationals can apply for this Standard Visit Visa to travel to the UK for several different reasons:

• Tourism –  For a holiday, for example, or to visit family members and friends

• Select business activities – attending a meeting, for example

• Studying – if the course of study is short

• Other academic reasons – for instance, to take part in research or an exchange programme as an academic


• Medical – to receive private medical treatment

Visitors can normally remain in the UK, on this Visa, for no longer than 6 months. However, you may be permitted to stay longer if you are heading for the UK for private medical treatment, in which case the maximum length of your visit is increased to 11 months.

If you need to visit the United Kingdom regularly then Ghanaian residents can apply for a long-term standard visitor visa, these last for 2, 5 or 10 years. It should be remembered though that each visit, whichever long-term visa is applied for, can last no longer than 6 months each visit.

As some Ghana news online outlets have stated already, since this has confused many people in the past, nobody is permitted to change from a Standard Visitor Visa to a different type of visa, for any reason.


If a visitor needs to stay longer there has to be a specific reason for this, such as requiring further private medical treatment before the visitor can return home. In these instances, a visa extension must be applied for.

Should you want or need to anything but visit, while using a Standard Visitor Visa, then you will need to leave the United Kingdom and make a new application for the relevant visa.

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