Following a “Key Ceremony” at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal Canada, Ghana’s National Identity Card (the GhanaCard) will now be duly recognised globally as a valid e-passport/ID card.
Ghana officially became the 79th member of the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD) community in October 2019.
According to ICAO, with Wednesday’s Key Ceremony in Montreal, the Ghanacard becomes internationally acceptable for travel, and border control authorities can confirm in less than 10 seconds that the Ghanacard/e-passport was issued by the right authority, has not been altered, and is not a copied or cloned document.
In practical terms, this means that it will now be faster and more effective for border control authorities to verify the identity of holders of the Ghanacard.
Furthermore, the holder of a Ghanacard will be allowed to board a flight to Ghana from any airport, just as with the normal biometric passport, without the need for a visa.
Also, Diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghanacard will not require a visa to travel to Ghana.
Within ECOWAS the Ghanacard can be used to travel to any country.
Traveling outside ECOWAS, however, will require that you use your normal biometric passport which will contain visas.
In the not too distant future, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said the government expects that electronic visas will be issued under ICAO 2.0 protocols.
“When this starts, electronic visas could be issued on the Ghanacard under bilateral arrangements with other countries,” he stated.