The government of the United States of America has stripped protocol visa allocation to top Ghanaian government officials including former Presidents and Members of Parliament on non-official visits.
The directive means that all former presidents including John Dramani Mahama, and John Agyekum Kufuor will have to book an appointment or join a queue like other Ghanaians seeking a visa to visit the United States.
This was made known by the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson when he met the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament.
“As for the protocol, normally if you are applying for official travel there is no personal appearance required so there is no reason for your parliamentary protocol officer to come to the Embassy whatever.
“The normal channel will be for him to pass the visas and passport to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and their protocol people will be permitted to come to the Embassy, and we will do everything we can to process those visas within 48 hours of receipt.
“If you are travelling for tourism or business that is not related to government business, you will be required to make a personal appearance even with former Presidents. There are no exceptions.”
The move by the US comes after a similar decision was taken by the UK High Commission on the issuance of visas for personal visits after some four Members of Parliament were alleged to have engaged in visa fraud.