The United States Ambassador to Ghana has announced that former presidents and members of parliament will soon join the queue like ordinary Ghanaians when applying for US visas for their private visits.
Mr Robert Jackson told the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament on Thursday that the US Embassy has withdrawn courtesies which were before then extended to officials in the country who are embarking on such visits to their country.
He said the Embassy would process visas for officials travelling for government business within 48 hours of receipt of their passports from the Protocol Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He, however, indicated that officials travelling on private business will have to go through the process like any ordinary citizen.
“Now if you are travelling for tourism or business that is not related to government business, you will need to make a personal appearance. I want to reiterate, for official travel, protocol officers pass the passports for visa applications through the foreign ministry and the foreign ministry’s protocol officers bring it to us.
“But for personal travel, every person is required to make a personal appearance, even former presidents of Ghana have to come in for personal appearance,” he stated.
It is unclear what prompted the move but it will be recalled that three sitting Members of Parliament (MP) and a former MP were in April this year cited by the British authorities for allegedly perpetrating visa fraud using their diplomatic passports.