411
Appendix 1
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
SAM M BAYAT
Bayat Legal Services
Sam Bayat is a Quebec (Canada) licensed attorney with a ...
The Corporate
Immigration Review
The Corporate Immigration Review
Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Lt...
The Corporate
Immigration
Review
Fourth Edition
Editor
Chris Magrath
Law Business Research Ltd
THE MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS REVIEW
THE RESTRUCTURING REVIEW
THE PRIVATE COMPETITION ENFORCEMENT REVIEW
THE DISPUTE RESOLU...
www.TheLawReviews.co.uk
THE ASSET MANAGEMENT REVIEW
THE PRIVATE WEALTH AND PRIVATE CLIENT REVIEW
THE MINING LAW REVIEW
THE...
PUBLISHER
Gideon Roberton
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGERS
Adam Sargent, Nick Barette
ACCOUNT MANAGERS
Katherine Jablonowska,...
i
The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following law firms for their learned
assistance throughout the preparation of...
Acknowledgements
ii
LABORDA ABOGADOS SPA
LAW OFFICES DR F SCHWANK
LCA LEGA COLUCCI E ASSOCIATI
MAGRATH LLP
MALHOTRA & MALH...
iii
Editor’s Preface	 ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������vi...
iv
Contents
Chapter 9	 CYPRUS�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������99
Maria C...
v
Contents
Chapter 20	 LATVIA����������������������������������������������������������������������������������226
Gita Av...
Contents
Chapter 31	 UNITED KINGDOM�����������������������������������������������������������358
Chris Magrath and Ben Sh...
vii
EDITOR’S PREFACE
One of the benefits of being immigration practitioners is that our subject is never out of
the news. ...
Editor’s Preface
viii
to deliver on immigration reform. The tone of debate in Australia has changed markedly
since the ele...
155
Chapter 14
GHANA
Paa Kwesi Hagan1
I	 INTRODUCTION TO THE IMMIGRATION FRAMEWORK
Ghana is located on the west coast of A...
Ghana
156
companies with foreign shareholding, and the Ghana Free Zones Board for companies
registered as free zones compa...
Ghana
157
removals, passport processing, collaboration with other agencies, refugees and asylum
assistance and border patr...
Ghana
158
However, it is not permissible for community citizens to reside illegally or enter
into Ghana illegally. Thus Gh...
Ghana
159
iii	 Significant increase in fees charged by Ghana Immigration Service
The Ghana Immigration Service has increas...
Ghana
160
there are two main types of work permits issued by the Ghana Immigration Service.
These are temporary and long-t...
Ghana
161
Appeals
A person, other than a prohibited immigrant,16
aggrieved by a refusal to grant or renew
their permit, re...
Ghana
162
powers of the High Court of Ghana.27
There is a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal
against a decision of the...
Ghana
163
Local content
An employer engaging the service of a foreign national in Ghana must present evidence
to satisfy t...
Ghana
164
provided in our Labour Act are applicable to sponsored employees working in Ghana.40
These include the right to ...
Ghana
165
i	 Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
The GIPC Act established the GIPC under the Office of the President, and it...
Ghana
166
business in the ECOWAS region.51
With the difficult times during last year, where most
countries did not show go...
411
Appendix 1
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
PAA KWESI HAGAN
Globetrotters Legal
Paa Kwesi Hagan is a  solicitor, immigration expert a...
About the Authors
412
GLOBETROTTERS LEGAL
No. Z 300, Block 20
Fidelity House
Ring Road Central
Accra
Ghana
Mobile: +233 26...
The Corporate Immigration Review - Ghana (chapter 14) by Mr Paa Kwesi Hagan
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This is the corporate immigration review chapter on Ghana authored by Mr Paa Kwesi Hagan, Managing Partner of Globetrotters Legal; being his contribution to the The Corporate Immigration Review 4th Edition by the Law Business Research.

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The Corporate Immigration Review - Ghana (chapter 14) by Mr Paa Kwesi Hagan

  1. 1. 411 Appendix 1 ABOUT THE AUTHORS SAM M BAYAT Bayat Legal Services Sam Bayat is a Quebec (Canada) licensed attorney with a background in international law and specialising in corporate immigration, with over 20 years of experience in business immigration consultancy. He was the former president and vice-president of International Section of the Canadian Bar, in Quebec. He has lectured in international law at the Concordia University in Montreal. He also offers advice to governments regarding their economic citizenship programmes. Mr Bayat migrated from Iran to Canada in 1974 and is the senior resident lawyer at the Bayat Legal Services (BLS) head office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As the pace of immigration to Canada out of the Middle East increased, Sam Bayat set up a small law practice in Dubai in 1993. Today, BLS is an international law firm working with a network of law firms, legal professionals and trade consultants around the world. The group specialises in corporate, commercial, investment and banking, maritime, arbitration, and off-course immigration and second citizenship laws. Mr Bayat is an accomplished author who has published several books, including the following: Canadian Immigration Law: AllYou NeedTo Know about Moving to Canada (2000); Canada after September 11: Immigration and Settlement (2003); and Canada’s Immigrants, Heroes And Countrymen (Volumes I and II). BLS has offices in the UAE, Canada, Malaysia, Iran, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Dominica. The UAE office was chosen as the group’s head office for its strategic location, serving centrally all Middle Eastern countries and the Indian subcontinent. PHILIPPE FORTIN Université du Québec à Montréal Philippe Fortin is an attorney-at-law and a  professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and The Corporate Immigration Review Law Business Research Fourth Edition Editor Chris Magrath
  2. 2. The Corporate Immigration Review The Corporate Immigration Review Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in The Corporate Immigration Review, 4th edition (published in May 2014 – editor Chris Magrath). For further information please email Nick.Barette@lbresearch.com
  3. 3. The Corporate Immigration Review Fourth Edition Editor Chris Magrath Law Business Research Ltd
  4. 4. THE MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS REVIEW THE RESTRUCTURING REVIEW THE PRIVATE COMPETITION ENFORCEMENT REVIEW THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION REVIEW THE EMPLOYMENT LAW REVIEW THE PUBLIC COMPETITION ENFORCEMENT REVIEW THE BANKING REGULATION REVIEW THE INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION REVIEW THE MERGER CONTROL REVIEW THE TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS REVIEW THE INWARD INVESTMENT AND INTERNATIONAL TAXATION REVIEW THE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE REVIEW THE CORPORATE IMMIGRATION REVIEW THE INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS REVIEW THE PROJECTS AND CONSTRUCTION REVIEW THE INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL MARKETS REVIEW THE REAL ESTATE LAW REVIEW THE PRIVATE EQUITY REVIEW THE ENERGY REGULATION AND MARKETS REVIEW THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REVIEW THE LAW REVIEWS
  5. 5. www.TheLawReviews.co.uk THE ASSET MANAGEMENT REVIEW THE PRIVATE WEALTH AND PRIVATE CLIENT REVIEW THE MINING LAW REVIEW THE EXECUTIVE REMUNERATION REVIEW THE ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION REVIEW THE CARTELS AND LENIENCY REVIEW THE TAX DISPUTES AND LITIGATION REVIEW THE LIFE SCIENCES LAW REVIEW THE INSURANCE AND REINSURANCE LAW REVIEW THE GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT REVIEW THE DOMINANCE AND MONOPOLIES REVIEW THE AVIATION LAW REVIEW THE FOREIGN INVESTMENT REGULATION REVIEW THE ASSET TRACING AND RECOVERY REVIEW THE INTERNATIONAL INSOLVENCY REVIEW THE OIL AND GAS LAW REVIEW THE FRANCHISE LAW REVIEW THE PRODUCT REGULATION AND LIABILITY REVIEW
  6. 6. PUBLISHER Gideon Roberton BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGERS Adam Sargent, Nick Barette ACCOUNT MANAGERS Katherine Jablonowska, Thomas Lee, James Spearing, Felicity Bown PUBLISHING ASSISTANT Lucy Brewer MARKETING ASSISTANT Chloe Mclauchlan EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Shani Bans HEAD OF PRODUCTION Adam Myers PRODUCTION EDITOR Robbie Kelly SUBEDITOR Jonathan Allen MANAGING DIRECTOR Richard Davey Published in the United Kingdom by Law Business Research Ltd, London 87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK © 2014 Law Business Research Ltd www.TheLawReviews.co.uk No photocopying: copyright licences do not apply. The information provided in this publication is general and may not apply in a specific situation, nor does it necessarily represent the views of authors’ firms or their clients. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any legal action based on the information provided. The publishers accept no responsibility for any acts or omissions contained herein. Although the information provided is accurate as of May 2014, be advised that this is a developing area. Enquiries concerning reproduction should be sent to Law Business Research, at the address above. Enquiries concerning editorial content should be directed to the Publisher – gideon.roberton@lbresearch.com ISBN 978-1-909830-02-8 Printed in Great Britain by Encompass Print Solutions, Derbyshire Tel: 0844 2480 112
  7. 7. i The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following law firms for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book: ADVOKATFIRMAN ÖBERG & ASSOCIÉS AB ARTON CAPITAL BAYAT LEGAL SERVICES BDO TAX BECH-BRUUN BOEKEL DE NERÉE NV CHOW KING & ASSOCIATES ELVINGER, HOSS & PRUSSEN ENRIQUE ARELLANO RINCÓN ABOGADOS, SC FISCHER & SCHICKENDANTZ GIBNEY, ANTHONY & FLAHERTY LLP GLOBETROTTERS LEGAL IMMIGRATION SOLUTIONS LAWYERS PTY LTD KAN-TOR & ACCO KARL WAHEED AVOCATS KHATTARWONG LLP KING & WOOD MALLESONS KONDWANI C WILLIAMS CHAMBERS/WHITCO INC ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  8. 8. Acknowledgements ii LABORDA ABOGADOS SPA LAW OFFICES DR F SCHWANK LCA LEGA COLUCCI E ASSOCIATI MAGRATH LLP MALHOTRA & MALHOTRA ASSOCIATES MIFSUD & MIFSUD ADVOCATES MITCHAM & BENJAMIN MÜTZE KORSCH RECHTSANWALTS­GESELLSCHAFT MBH NAKAI IMMIGRATION SERVICES TOKYO/OSAKA LPC OT AGBAJOH & CO (TRIUMPH CHAMBERS) ROBERTS & CO, ATTORNEYS AT LAW RODRIGO, ELÍAS & MEDRANO ABOGADOS TASSOS PAPADOPOULOS & ASSOCIATES LLC VWEW ADVOCATEN VOF
  9. 9. iii Editor’s Preface ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������vii Chris Magrath and Ben Sheldrick Chapter 1 ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA����������������������������������������������������1 Clare K Roberts, Andrea Roberts Nicholas and Sam M Bayat  Chapter 2 AUSTRALIA�������������������������������������������������������������������������������6 Anne O’Donoghue and Esther En Jung Shin Chapter 3 AUSTRIA���������������������������������������������������������������������������������24 Sabine Straka, Merran Loewenthal and Silvia Siebenstich Chapter 4 BELGIUM��������������������������������������������������������������������������������37 Henry Hachez Chapter 5 BULGARIA������������������������������������������������������������������������������51 Lora Videva Chapter 6 CANADA���������������������������������������������������������������������������������60 Sam M Bayat, and Philippe Fortin Chapter 7 CHILE��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������73 Cristian Laborda Chapter 8 CHINA�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������85 Jiang Junlu and Jin Shan CONTENTS
  10. 10. iv Contents Chapter 9 CYPRUS�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������99 Maria Clappa and Despina Papaefstathiou Chapter 10 DENMARK����������������������������������������������������������������������������111 Mette Klingsten, Thomas Christian Thune and Sandro Ratkovic Chapter 11 DOMINICA���������������������������������������������������������������������������121 Kondwani C Williams and Sam M Bayat  Chapter 12 FRANCE��������������������������������������������������������������������������������126 Karl Waheed  Chapter 13 GERMANY����������������������������������������������������������������������������139 Gunther Mävers Chapter 14 GHANA����������������������������������������������������������������������������������155 Paa Kwesi Hagan Chapter 15 HONG KONG����������������������������������������������������������������������167 Eugene Chow Chapter 16 INDIA������������������������������������������������������������������������������������180 Ranjit Malhotra and Anil Malhotra Chapter 17 ISRAEL�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������194 Tsvi Kan-Tor, Amit Acco and Yoav Noy Chapter 18 ITALY�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������203 Benedetto Lonato and Alessia Ajelli  Chapter 19 JAPAN������������������������������������������������������������������������������������215 Masahito Nakai
  11. 11. v Contents Chapter 20 LATVIA����������������������������������������������������������������������������������226 Gita Avotina Chapter 21 LUXEMBOURG��������������������������������������������������������������������238 Pierre Elvinger and Laura Favas Chapter 22 MALTA�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������251 Malcolm Mifsud and Joseph Mizzi  Chapter 23 MEXICO��������������������������������������������������������������������������������262 Enrique Arellano Rincón Chapter 24 NETHERLANDS������������������������������������������������������������������274 Sascha Kuit Chapter 25 NIGERIA��������������������������������������������������������������������������������285 Olivia Tagbajumi Oghoke Agbajoh Chapter 26 PERU��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������295 Iván Blume Moore Chapter 27 SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS�������������������������������������������������306 Constance V Mitcham and Sam M Bayat Chapter 28 SINGAPORE�������������������������������������������������������������������������311 Leon Kwong Wing and Elisa Soh Hui Chapter 29 SWEDEN�������������������������������������������������������������������������������324 David Loveday Chapter 30 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES�������������������������������������������������347 Sam M Bayat and Allison Obaro
  12. 12. Contents Chapter 31 UNITED KINGDOM�����������������������������������������������������������358 Chris Magrath and Ben Sheldrick Chapter 32 UNITED STATES�����������������������������������������������������������������383 Stephen J O Maltby and Ellen L Poreda Chapter 33 URUGUAY�����������������������������������������������������������������������������399 Federico Formento Appendix 1 ABOUT THE AUTHORS�����������������������������������������������������411 Appendix 2 CONTRIBUTING LAW FIRMS’ CONTACT DETAILS���431 vi
  13. 13. vii EDITOR’S PREFACE One of the benefits of being immigration practitioners is that our subject is never out of the news. Our discipline has been a hot political topic for over a decade and the current climate provides no exception. Across the globe political parties perceive the immigration debate as a mechanism with which to gain the attention of the voting public. In the UK, with an eye on the 2015 election, all of the political parties wish to stake their ground on immigration policy. The desire to provide a robust response to perceived public concern over migration flows, combined with a fear of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) vote, means that 2014–15 is unlikely to see any relaxation of immigration policy. It appears that the only point on which all the major political parties agree is that unrestricted immigration is a bad thing. As the global economy showed little sign of growth in 2012–13, political leaders persuaded themselves that restricting the flow of overseas labour is, if nothing else, a means of deflecting from their own economic failures. Our present leaders are focused on numbers and they hope to brandish a huge reduction in net migration to the electorate in two years’ time. Their ability to contain migrant flow is constrained by the provisions of international treaties (most importantly theTreatyofRome)andthedevelopmentofhumanrightslawswithassociatedprotections of the family unit. It has, therefore, been the working and business populations that have been most affected by the drive to bring down numbers. The UK points-based system is no longer the clear and transparent attributes assessment that was heralded in 2008: it is a criteria-based system with hundreds of pages of policy guidance. The mechanisms used by the government to quantify the headline figures remain nebulous, with issues such as freedom of entry at port for EU nationals and the lack of exit checks for all travellers being largely ignored. Net migration figures are in truth a ‘best guess’ exercise. The relative easing in the economic crisis globally does not yet appear to have had a favourable impact on immigration policy. It will be some time before politicians are comfortable with a more flexible approach to international labour flows. Throughout the chapters of this book you will see a marked tendency towards increased regulation and constraint. President Obama in particular is unlikely to find the political capital needed
  14. 14. Editor’s Preface viii to deliver on immigration reform. The tone of debate in Australia has changed markedly since the election of Prime Minister Abbott last September. We are again immensely grateful to our contributors from around the world for bringing their insights into the immigration schemes of their respective jurisdictions. We believe that you will find their contributions an invaluable guide to international immigration systems. Chris Magrath and Ben Sheldrick Magrath LLP London May 2014
  15. 15. 155 Chapter 14 GHANA Paa Kwesi Hagan1 I INTRODUCTION TO THE IMMIGRATION FRAMEWORK Ghana is located on the west coast of Africa. It is bounded by Burkina Faso to the north, Ivory Coast to the west, Togo to the east and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea. It has a social, political and economic environment that is most conducive to business, and is no doubt one of Africa’s leading economies. All foreigners who intend to enter, or transit through Ghana’s territory must first obtain a Ghana entry visa from a Ghanaian consulate abroad and must also be in possession of a valid passport or travel documents establishing the identity of the holder before they travel to Ghana. However, citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)2 are exempted from applying for visas but are required to obtain an entry visa stamp on arrival at the international airport in Accra. The Ghana Immigration Service is the key agency responsible for immigration in Ghana. However, Ghana’s immigration landscape accommodates various other actors (i.e., agencies and regulators) who play various roles in the overall immigration processes pertaining to work authorisation for foreign assignees in their respective sectors.3 These include the Petroleum Commission in respect of oil and gas companies, and companies offering services to the petroleum sector, the Minerals Commission for mining companies and mining support companies, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) for 1 Paa Kwesi Hagan is a partner at Globetrotters Legal. 2 ECOWAS is a regional group of 15 West African countries founded on 28 May 1975 with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos. Its mission is to promote economic integration and share development of the West Africa subregion. 3 Section 29 of Act 573 recognises the role of other agencies or enactments in the granting of quotas.
  16. 16. Ghana 156 companies with foreign shareholding, and the Ghana Free Zones Board for companies registered as free zones companies. The involvement of these regulators may take the form of issuing automatic immigrant quotas, or control over the entire work authorisation processes for companies intending to employ foreign nationals. i Legislation and policy Currently, Ghana does not have a  comprehensive policy framework to facilitate the management of migration. However there are some existing policies that are geared towards attracting foreign investment, human resources and the transfer of technology to facilitate socio-economic development and also to prevent transnational crime, illegal immigration, economic exploitation and corruption. The primary legislation governing immigration in Ghana is the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) and the Immigration Regulations, 2001 (LI 1691). This serves as the primary source for all immigration services provided in Ghana. The Ghana Immigration Service is the frontline agency responsible for the entry, residence and employment of foreign nationals in Ghana in accordance with the provision of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573). Other pieces of legislation with a bearing on migration issues include: a the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865) (the GIPC Act); and b the Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 504).4 There are two main types of work permit issued by the Ghana Immigration Service: temporary and long-term work permits. The former is valid for six months and the latter is usually valid for a year. Temporary permits are non-renewable while the long-term work permits may be renewed upon an application to the Director of Immigration. The GIPC Act guarantees issuance of automatic immigrant quotas to companies with foreign participation operating in Ghana. These quotas are issued based on the company’s level of investment or foreign paid-up capital. Irrespective of the above- mentioned immigrant quotas, the Ghana Immigration Service may refuse to grant a visa to an expatriate to whom a quota relates; where GIS has sufficient reason to believe that the expatriate is not a desirable person and should not be permitted to enter the country.5 ii The immigration authorities The main agency responsible for immigration is the Ghana Immigration Service, which falls within the remit of the Ministry of the Interior. The Ghana Immigration Service is tasked with performing the core immigration function of monitoring movement in and out of the country, regulating the activities of foreigners, issuance of permit and visas, and monitoring and investigating breaches of the immigration laws and regulations. It is further tasked with ensuring compliance with the provisions of the GIPC, social security and income tax laws, issuance of permanent residence status and indefinite stay status to deserving applicants, detention, 4 Sections 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35 of Act 504. 5 See Section 23(1)(4) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865).
  17. 17. Ghana 157 removals, passport processing, collaboration with other agencies, refugees and asylum assistance and border patrol. The Ministry of the Interior on the other hand is mandated to ensure internal security, prevent and manage internal conflicts and disputes, manage crime prevention and prosecution of offenders, rehabilitation and reform of prisoners, protection of the country’s frontiers, immigration control and monitoring of the activities of illegal immigrants, the repatriation and deportation of illegal aliens and the extradition of fugitive criminals. iii Exemptions and favoured industries ECOWAS exemptions: Citizens of ECOWAS are offered preferential treatment such as the right to enter Ghana, reside and establish a business during a stay of not more than 90 days. However, citizens must be in possession of a valid travel document and an international health certificate. GIPC Exemptions The GIPC encourages foreign investments in a  number of sectors. These include agriculture and agro-processing, information and communications technology, infrastructure, energy and health care and food processing. Incentives and benefits are provided to these sectors including customs duty exemptions on equipment imported for investment purposes; general free transferability of capital,6 profits and dividends; insurance against non-commercial risks;7 double taxation agreements to rationalise the tax obligations of investors to prevent double taxation; as well as automatic immigrant quotas.8   II INTERNATIONAL TREATY OBLIGATIONS On 28 May 1975, Ghana signed a treaty establishing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Lagos, Nigeria with 14 other member nations. This treaty was created to promote economic trade, national cooperation, and monetary union, for growth and development throughout West Africa.9 Citizens of member nations may freely enter Ghana, have a right to work and undertake commercial activity provided they possess a valid travel document, residence card or permit, and have registered the company. They also have the right to reside in Ghana as long as they have an approved passport and have gained admission through the approved port of entry.10 6 Section 32 of Act 865. 7 Ghana is a  signatory to the World Bank Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) convention. 8 Section 35 of Act 865. 9 Members are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. 10 Article 27(2) of the ECOWAS Treaty.
  18. 18. Ghana 158 However, it is not permissible for community citizens to reside illegally or enter into Ghana illegally. Thus Ghana can refuse entry to any community citizen that falls within the category of inadmissible immigrant under its laws.   III THE YEAR IN REVIEW The requirements regarding immigration status, related types of visas and the engagement of foreign personnel have not been extensively modified over the past year. However, new rules recently made it mandatory for work and residence permit applicants to obtain a non-citizen national identification registration card. This decision was taken to verify the residence of all expatriates living in Ghana. i Non-citizen registration All eligible foreign nationals living and working in Ghana are required to register at the cost of $120 or its cedi equivalent at any of the National Identification Authority certified registration centres in the country.11 Foreign nationals who do not have the non-citizen national identification card may not be able to access vital services such as registration of SIM cards, issuance of a driver’s licence, opening of individual or personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, purchase, transfer and registration of land, application for public or government services, facilities, approvals or permissions, among others.  However, the following categories of people are exempted from obtaining the card: a a  foreign national who is a  diplomat or employed by a  diplomatic or consular mission; b a foreign national employed by the United Nations or any of its agencies; c a foreign national employed by the African Union or any of its agencies, as well as other international or multilateral agencies duly accredited by Ghana; and d a  spouse or dependent of a  foreign national who falls in the categories specified above.12 ii Increased enforcement (illegal migrations and deportations) The Ghana Immigration Service has through its enforcement team been tough on small- scale illegal mining in rural areas, resulting in the arrest and deportation of thousands of foreigners engaging in this activity. Statistics have shown that many of these illegal miners were of Chinese origin, which has had the effect of increasing scrutiny of Chinese applications for work authorisation in Ghana. Investigations into the Chinese illegal migrants finally resulted in the dismissal of two deputy directors of immigration by the Director of Immigration.13 11 For more information see National Identification Authority Act, 2006 (Act 707), National Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) and National Identification Regulations, 2012 (LI 2111). 12 For further information refer to www.niaghana.gov.gh/ghanacard.html. 13 www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=290119 (accessed 6 March 2014).
  19. 19. Ghana 159 iii Significant increase in fees charged by Ghana Immigration Service The Ghana Immigration Service has increased its fees and charges significantly. Specifically, penalties for non-compliance have been increased by 150 per cent and fees for most work permit categories have also increased by 100 per cent.14 iv Introduction of short-term and long-term rotational permits The Ghana Immigration Service, in an attempt to improve efficiency and reduce consideration times for work permits in the oil and gas sectors, has introduced short- and long-term rotator permits for rotational workers in this sector. This new category is akin to the already existing temporary and long-term permits with the short-term rotator permit valid for six months while long-term permits are valid for a year. As no further guidelines have been issued in respect of these categories existing requirements for sector workers still apply. v Expatriates to make social security contributions Another recent development is the issuance of a  notice by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to enforce the payment of social security contributions by expatriate staff. This is coming on the heels of confusion and ambiguity associated with the regulations in the past where expatriates working in Ghana did not consider themselves as falling within the provisions of the Ghana pension scheme. Employees are expected to make a mandatory contribution of 5.5 per cent of their basic salary to the scheme on a monthly basis while the employer makes a compulsory contribution of 13 per cent on a monthly basis. The modalities for the collection are being debated and will be rolled out soon.15 IV EMPLOYER SPONSORSHIP All foreigners who intend to work in Ghana must be sponsored by a host entity in Ghana. An offer letter or a valid contract must exist between the host entity and the assignee to trigger the work authorisation process. Foreigner nationals may only work in Ghana after obtaining a work permit issued to the company by Ghana Immigration Service or an automatic immigrant quota issued by the GIPC. A holder of a work permit or GIPC quota must subsequently apply to the Ghana Immigration Service for a residence permit to be fully authorised to work. i Work permits It is mandatory for all foreign nationals seeking work in Ghana to have the relevant work permit. Corporate bodies and other institutions that wish to employ foreign nationals may obtain work permits for these employees upon application to the Ministry of the Interior through the Director of the Ghana Immigration Service. As mentioned above 14 See Fees and Charges (Amendment) Instrument, 2012 (LI 2191). 15 See Tax Newsletter issued by Deloitte in March 2013.
  20. 20. Ghana 160 there are two main types of work permits issued by the Ghana Immigration Service. These are temporary and long-term work permits. Generally, the requirements for obtaining a work permit are as follows: a from the employer: • business registration documentation; • corporate tax clearance certificate; • application letter; • audited accounts (if available); • letter of support from government agencies (where applicable); • GIPC registration certificate (if applicable); • completion and signing of work permit application form; and • offer or appointment letter, or contract of employment; and b from the employee: • copy of bio data page of passport; • curriculum vitae; • professional and educational certificates; • medical certificate indicating fitness to work; • police clearance certificate from country of origin or current residence; and • evidence of efforts to recruit a Ghanaian for the position (i.e., advertisement of the job vacancy). Residence permits The residence permit allows for multiple entries into Ghana by the holder during the period of validity of the permit. An application for a residence permit may require an assignee to surrender their passport during the consideration of the application. Other conditions must also be met before a residence permit is issued. These include providing a copy of the applicant’s non-citizen identification card and passport-size photographs. Dependants of a holder of a residence permit must demonstrate their connection to be issued with a residence permit. A spouse may be required to submit evidence of marriage, while copies of the relevant birth certificate may be required for a child. No work for remuneration is permitted on dependent permits. Benefits include: a multiple entries into Ghana during period of validity of residence permit; b dependent children may enrol in schools and are entitled to all benefits accorded to Ghanaians; and c access to all services including banking and insurance. Additional requirements of regulators and government agencies Additional requirements may be imposed by government and regulatory agencies who play a part in the work authorisation process. These include the GIPC, the Free Zones Board, the Petroleum Commission and the Minerals Commission. Their level of involvement varies from simply issuing automatic immigrant quotas to complete control of the process. Companies that fall within the above sectors must register with the relevant regulatory agency.
  21. 21. Ghana 161 Appeals A person, other than a prohibited immigrant,16 aggrieved by a refusal to grant or renew their permit, revocation of permit or repatriation may petition the Minister of the Interior for redress within seven days of the action and the Minister may take appropriate action to redress the matter.17 Recourse to the law courts is also available to an aggrieved party in a decision of the immigration authorities. ii Labour market regulations The Constitution of Ghana offers protection to all persons in Ghana.18 Foreign workers therefore have the same rights as Ghanaian workers and cannot be subject to discrimination at work on the basis of their nationality. Labour Act of Ghana Ghana’s labour law19 is applicable to all workers and employers in Ghana. The law defines a worker in broad terms irrespective of nationality.20 The law prescribes the rights and obligations of employers and employees.21 The law provides protection against unlawful termination of employment22 and provides remedies for unlawful termination.23 The law further guarantees employees the freedom to form and join trade unions of their choice24 and generally prohibits unfair labour practices.25 To further protect the rights of both employers and employees the law establishes the National Labour Commission to receive complaints from workers, trade unions, employers and employers’ associations in the settlement of industrial disputes.26 The Commission in settling disputes has the 16 Prohibited immigrants include those with a deportation order in force against them, those whose activities are contrary to the laws of Ghana, and those who have been declared by a medical officer to be medically unfit to enter Ghana. 17 Section 46 of Act 573. However, the petition is not a stay of the action that is the subject of the petition. 18 Article 12(2) states that ‘Every person in Ghana, whatever their race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.’ 19 The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) is a comprehensive law consolidating all the laws relating to labour, employers, trade unions and industrial relations. 20 Section 175 of Act 651. 21 Sections 8, 9, 10 and 11 of Act 651. 22 Sections 15, 17 and 18 of Act 651. 23 Sections 63 and 64 of Act 651. 24 Sections 79 and 80 of Act 651. 25 Sections 127, 128, 129, 130 and 131 of Act 651. 26 Sections 135 and 139 of Act 651.
  22. 22. Ghana 162 powers of the High Court of Ghana.27 There is a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the Labour Commission.28 The National Labour Commission is the main administrative adjudicating body in charge of ensuring a congenial atmosphere for all labour market individuals. The Commission has resolved countless industrial disputes using effective industrial relations mechanisms outlined in the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), the NLC Regulations, 2006 (LI 1822) and the Labour Regulations, 2007 (LI 1833). Its duties include receiving labour-related complaints, facilitating the settlement of industrial disputes, settling industrial disputes and promoting effective cooperation between labour and management. The establishment of the Commission has enhanced cooperation among social partners, which has translated into a  harmonious industrial relations environment in the country. Pension contributions With effect from July 2013 the National Pensions Regulatory Authority has been demanding social security contributions from foreigners working in Ghana. The definition of a  worker under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766)29 covers everyone, including foreign workers, who are therefore required to make the statutory pension contribution. Employees are expected to make a mandatory contribution of 5.5 per cent of their basic salary to the scheme on a monthly basis while the employer makes a compulsory contribution of 13 per cent on a monthly basis. Employees may elect to make additional voluntary contributions. There is also voluntary coverage for self-employed persons and previously insured persons who are unemployed. The Act provides for a sanction regime for non-compliance.30 27 Section 139(2) of Act 651. 28 Section 134 of Act 651. 29 In Section 211 of Act 766 the definition of a worker ‘includes a person who is employed for salary in any kind of work, manual or otherwise, in or in connection with the work of an establishment, and who gets his salary, directly or indirectly from the employer, and any person employed by or through a contractor in or in connection with the normal work of the establishment, who is: a employed in this country but not as a member of the crew of any ship; or b employed as a permanent resident of Ghana: • as a  member of the crew of a  ship, the owners of which  have an office or agents in Ghana; or • outside Ghana but employed by an employer in Ghana’. 30 See Sections 200 and 201 of Act 776.
  23. 23. Ghana 163 Local content An employer engaging the service of a foreign national in Ghana must present evidence to satisfy the Ghana Immigration Service that attempts have first been made to recruit a Ghanaian to the position.31 This evidence may be in the form of a newspaper advertisement or any other mode of advertisement. Oil and gas service companies are also mandated to incorporate the dictates of the ‘local content’ regulations applicable to their sector in recruiting foreign labour to undertake work activities in the sector.32 Companies in the oil and gas sector are required to submit local content plans for approval from the Petroleum Commission prior to registration to undertake petroleum activities.33 It is further required that the local content plan should contain a sub-plan on employment and training of the Ghanaian workforce.34 Preference must also be given to Ghanaian companies in the acquisition of goods and services.35 Resident and non-resident taxpayers An individual who is not a citizen of Ghana is resident for tax purposes in any particular year if he or she resides in Ghana for a period exceeding 183 days in a 12-month period that commences or ends during the year of assessment.36 Non-residents are liable for tax on income earned or derived in Ghana. They are not liable for tax on income brought into Ghana or received from a source outside Ghana. Tax relief would be available where Ghana has a tax treaty with the other country.37 iii Rights and duties of sponsored employees Rights The sponsored employee has a right to work and reside in Ghana, freely going about lawful activity. They are also guaranteed the fundamental freedoms in the Ghanaian Constitution.38 As with many countries, foreign nationals working in Ghana are also accorded certain rights and privileges enjoyed by Ghanaian39 workers, including all rights to redress available to Ghanaians. Specifically, the rights and duties of an employee 31 Priority is to be given to Ghanaians in Regulation 9(1)(a) of the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013 (LI 2204). 32 See also the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013 (LI 2204). 33 Regulation 7 of LI 2204. 34 Regulation 9(3) and 17 of LI 2204. 35 Regulation 11 of LI 2204. 36 Section 160 of Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592). 37 Section 111 of Act 592. 38 Section 12(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana states that ‘Every person in Ghana, whatever their race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.’ 39 See Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), National Labour Commission Regulations, 2006 (LI 1822) and Labour Regulations, 2007 (LI 1833).
  24. 24. Ghana 164 provided in our Labour Act are applicable to sponsored employees working in Ghana.40 These include the right to work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions, receive equal pay for equal work without discrimination of any kind and to receive information relevant to his or her work.41 Duties Sponsored employees have a general duty to comply with the laws of Ghana42 and to comply fully with the conditions of their employment.43 These include: a notifying the Director of Immigration within seven days of commencement of employment or cessation of employment;44 and b an obligation to submit an annual return, not later than 14 January in each year, to the issuing authority with a copy to the Director of Immigration, giving names and addresses of all foreign employees in their employment as at 1 January. Other particulars that may be prescribed will also have to be provided.45 The Labour Act of Ghana further imposes general duties on workers that include the following: a to work conscientiously in the lawfully chosen employment; b enhance productivity; c obey lawful instructions regarding the organisation and execution of his or her work; and d take proper care of the property of the employer entrusted to the worker or under the immediate control of the worker.46 V INVESTORS, SKILLED MIGRANTS AND ENTREPRENEURS As foreign direct investment is an integral part of Ghana’s economic policy the government has created an enabling legal environment, by passing laws that encourage foreign investment.47 Foreign investors intending to invest in Ghana can opt to register a wholly owned limited liability company, a joint venture with a Ghanaian partner or a branch office in Ghana at the Registrar General’s Department under the relevant laws. If approved, the enterprise is issued a Certificate of Incorporation and a Certificate to Commence Business. 40 See the definition of a worker in Section 175 of Act 651. 41 Section 10 of Act 651. 42 Section 8(1)(h)of Act 573. 43 The foreign employee is prohibited from changing their employment. 44 Section 30 of Act 573. 45 Section 31 of Act 573. 46 Section 11 of Act 651. 47 Act 865 is the primary law promoting foreign direct investment into Ghana.
  25. 25. Ghana 165 i Ghana Investment Promotion Centre The GIPC Act established the GIPC under the Office of the President, and it is responsible for promoting investment in all sectors of the economy. Thus entities with foreign participation must register with the GIPC and satisfy the provisions of the Act. Sector-specific laws further regulate banking, non-banking financial institutions, insurance, fishing, securities, telecommunications, energy and real estate. The GIPC Act provides the following in respect of the minimum capital requirement of non-Ghanaians in any enterprise: a in a joint enterprise with a Ghanaian partner, the minimum capital requirement is $200,000 or its equivalent in capital goods; b in a  wholly foreign-owned enterprise, the minimum capital requirement is $500,000 or its equivalent in capital goods; and c in the case of a trading enterprise irrespective of whether it is wholly or partly owned by a non-Ghanaian, the minimum capital requirement is $1 million and the enterprise shall be required to employ at least 20 skilled Ghanaians. Some benefits result for business entities that register with the GIPC. These include immigrant quotas and other investment guarantees.48 Also, Ghana’s investment laws protect investors against expropriation and nationalisation. Thus a  person who owns the capital of an enterprise shall not be compelled by law to surrender that interest in the capital to any other person.49 Moreover, regarding disputes, where the investor and the government fail through discussion to reach an amicable settlement, the aggrieved party has the option to submit the dispute to arbitration.50 ii Skilled migrants Ghana does not have a  skilled migrant policy; however, companies are allowed to recruit skilled migrants with specialised skills not readily available on the Ghanaian market. Skilled migrants are issued work permits, usually valid for three to four years, and these specialised skills are expected to be imparted to the Ghanaian workforce during this period. VI OUTLOOK AND CONCLUSIONS Ghana’s efforts discussed above have paid off tremendously, with Ghana being recognised by the recent World Bank ‘Doing Business 2014’ report as the best place for doing 48 These include full repatriation of dividends and net profit attributable to the investment made in enterprise, payments in respect of loan servicing where a foreign loan has been obtained, fees and charges in respect of technology transfer agreements registered with the centre as well as guarantee from expropriation. 49 Section 31 of Act 865. 50 Section 33 of Act 865.
  26. 26. Ghana 166 business in the ECOWAS region.51 With the difficult times during last year, where most countries did not show good growth levels because of the global economic downturn, Ghana had an impressive economic growth rate of provisionally 7.4 per cent. Ghana is rated as one of the most attractive locations for doing business in Africa. The nation offers many attractions to the foreign investor among which are a stable political environment, a sound macroeconomic policy, a competitive labour force, free trade zones where goods traded with other countries are exempt from customs and laws, and immediate access to all ECOWAS markets. However, if Ghana wants to maintain this enviable outlook, it must place greater emphasis on, and heighten scrutiny of, its immigration compliance practices. Currently, the country lacks a  comprehensive immigration policy to facilitate the management of migration. As a  result, migration issues are still marginalised. For example, the country cannot boast of a border management system to control the influx of illegal immigrants. These illegal immigrants enter or leave the country through unauthorised routes thereby making it difficult to obtain any information on them. Moreover, some nationals of ECOWAS member states enter the country as short-term immigrants but often stay beyond the mandatory 90 days because the measures in place to monitor them are not that stringent.52 In addition existing data on immigrants is not updated or easily accessible. In instances where such data is available, it does not permit a meaningful analysis simply because the characteristics of immigrants are not provided. Ghana therefore needs a strong and effective immigration service to secure our borders and frontiers, and so ensure that immigrants comply with our residence and employment laws. Despite these shortcomings the government in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service recognises that adopting the best practices in immigration control seeninotheradvancedjurisdictionsisessentialifwearetoprotectbordersandregulateand monitor the activities of foreigners in relation to employment and residency. As a result, the Ghana Immigration Service has recently initiated the development of a centralised electronic visa and border control system to promote and improve intelligence sharing between officials of the Service and other security agencies. Immigration authorities will therefore be able to supervise automated passport inspection and track border-crossing events using data captured by the system. This means there will be an improvement in visa and permit processing times, improved but faster registration of border crossing from border residents, and an overall improvement to Ghana’s external and internal security through a secure visa-issuing process. This will ultimately meet the current and future needs of the Ghana Immigration Service, as well as improving the quality of service they offer to the public.53 51 http://doingbusiness.org/rankings (accessed 6 March 2014). 52 Opinions of PRO of Ghana Immigration Service; see http:www.ghanaweb.com/ GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=301620 (accessed 6 March 2014). 53 www.futuretravelexperience.com/2013/04/ghana-airports-adopt-biometric-border- management-system-in-eghana-project/ (accessed 6 March 2014).
  27. 27. 411 Appendix 1 ABOUT THE AUTHORS PAA KWESI HAGAN Globetrotters Legal Paa Kwesi Hagan is a  solicitor, immigration expert and head of Globetrotters Legal (specialising in providing immigration solutions for global corporations operating in Ghana). Paa Kwesi has a wealth of experience in advising clients on Ghanaian immigration and compliance matters and also in liaising with regulatory bodies in Ghana. He has advised several high-net-worth companies and multinationals on immigration and compliance issues. He has also performed immigration audits for key companies in Ghana. In addition, he has represented clients at immigration hearings before regulatory bodies and continually engages positively with government institutions to influence immigration policy. Paa Kwesi has been recognised in Who’s Who Legal: Ghana 2014 as one of the leading experts in the field of labour and employment law. Furthermore, he has recently authored a  ‘Corporate Immigration Manual’ as a  guide to navigating the corporate immigration landscape in Ghana. Paa Kwesi is a member of the Ghana Bar Association and is admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana. He was educated at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana and Mfantsipim School. He is also a member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and an International Associate of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
  28. 28. About the Authors 412 GLOBETROTTERS LEGAL No. Z 300, Block 20 Fidelity House Ring Road Central Accra Ghana Mobile: +233 267 719 169 Tel: +233 302 245 254 paakwesi@globetrotterslegal.com www.globetrotterslegal.com

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