The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has clarified that the Ghana Card cannot be used as a sole document for the purposes of international travelling yet.
This means the passport and travel certificate remain the official documents for travelling outside the country.
Sector Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, gave this clarification, in response to questions in Parliament on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
“The Ghana Card is not a replacement for the current biometric passport. The Ghana card serves as an optional travel document to be used in tandem with our biometric passport. It must be underscored that the passport together with the traffic certificates are the only approved travel documents that are internationally recognized”, she said.
The rollout of the Ghana Card sparked conversations after the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said the card has fully met the requirements for an E-passport, despite a rejection by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Government had said the Ghana Card has been certified by ICAO, and thus qualifies to be used as an identity card for international travel in place of a passport.
The Vice President had earlier suggested the Ghana card would be recognised as an electronic passport in 197 countries by 2022.
But Shirley Ayorkor Botchway on the floor of Parliament said processes for the acceptance of the Ghana card as a source document for international travel have not been finalised yet.
“At the moment, the Ghana Card cannot be used for travelling to other countries, either within or outside of ECOWAS. That will require bilateral agreements with countries for their authorities to accept the card as a travel document. The Ministry is in active discussions with ECOWAS member states and our bilateral partners to achieve this”, she explained.
For the time being, though, the Ghana Card will be accepted for nationals and dual nationals returning to the country by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).