Applying for an airport transit visa in Ghana

If you live in Ghana and want to apply for an airport transit visa for the Netherlands, find out about the rules and how to apply.

Ghanean nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit for the United States, Canada, Japan or the EER-countries do no longer require an airport transit visa if they do not leave the (NON -Schengen) International airport transit zone while transiting at a Schengen airport. Should you however transit through two Schengen countries before continuing to your final destination, you do require a visa, even when you do not leave the airport.

Due to the coronavirus, the possibilities to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate general are limited. This also applies to applications at an office of an external service provider such as VFS Global. Please check if you can make an appointment via the online appointment system. Are there no dates available? Then it is not yet possible to submit an application.

Corona virus: extension of visa validity is not possible

It is not possible to extend a visa. Not even if, due to circumstances, the visa expired unused. You will have to apply for a new visa.

U.S. travel ban: restriction on airport transit visa applications

Until further notice, we cannot accept applications for an airport transit visa for the Netherlands by applicants having one of the following U.S. visa: B1 (Business), B2 (Pleasure), F1 (Academic Student), H1B (Speciality Occupation), J1 (Exchange Visitor). This restriction does not apply to Dutch Caribbean visa.

What do I need to do?

  • You must submit a passport or other travel document issued within the last 10 years. This must have at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least another 3 months after the date of your transit through the airport in the Netherlands.
  • You must submit a completed and signed Schengen visa application form. In the online form indicate ‘airport transit’ as the main purpose of your journey. Each person travelling with you on your travel document must submit their own visa form. Forms for children under the age of 18 need to be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Bring a photo that meets the Dutch requirements for passport photos.
  • When you submit your application your fingerprints will be taken. These will be held for 59 months. Some applicants, such as children under the age of 12, do not need to have their fingerprints taken.

    Did you provide biometric data (fingerprints and photo) within the last 59 months prior to your current application? Then you can choose to have someone else submit your application for you. You do not have to appear in person.

    Please note: If, during the assessment of your application, it appears that your fingerprints are not in the system, you will have to come and submit them. Also, you can always be invited for an interview if your application gives reason to do so.

    You must also provide a number of documents to ensure that your application is assessed correctly. See the airport transit checklist.

How much does a visa cost?

When you apply for a visa at a Dutch embassy or consulate, you must pay a fee. You can find the fee on the fees page. If you apply through an external service provider, such as a visa agency, you will have to pay an extra fee to the provider.

The visa fee shall be waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:

  • children under 6 years;
  • school pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training;
  • researchers* travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research or participating in a scientific seminar or conference;
  • representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.

*as defined in point (2) of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 1 )

How long does it take?

The earliest you can apply is 6 months before you intend to travel. For seafares this is 9 months. You should apply no later than 15 working days in advance. 

In most cases, you will be informed within 15 calendar days whether your application has been successful. Sometimes it can take up to 30 days if more time is needed, and up to 45 days, for example if extra documents are required.

Your application will be checked in the Schengen Information System (SIS II). In addition, your application details will be checked and saved in the Visa Information System (VIS).

Applying for a visa in this country or region

Visa requirement lifted for airport transit visa in certain cases

Ghanean nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit for the United States, Canada, Japan or the EER-countries do no longer require an airport transit visa if they do not leave the (NON -Schengen) International airport transit zone while transiting at a Schengen airport.

Should you however transit through two Schengen countries before continuing to your final destination, you do require a visa, even when you do not leave the airport. 

An example: Accra-Amsterdam-Madrid-Lima. As one would need to enter the Schengen airport transit zone to transit from Amsterdam to the flight to Madrid, a c-visa is required in this case.

How and where do I make a visa appointment in Ghana?

The Netherlands embassy in Accra uses the services of VFS Global. Make an online appointment via the website of VFS Global.

Representation agreements Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Portugal

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has made representation arrangements for short stay visa applications (thus for a stay of maximum 90 days per 180 days period) with other Schengen countries.

Residents of Ghana travelling to Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland or Portugal can also submit their application via VFS Global.

Those wishing to settle in the aforementioned countries and wishing to apply for a residence permit should however turn to the nearest embassy of the aforementioned countries to start the proper procedure.

Visa for holders of diplomatic and service passports

As of 1 October 2019 holders of diplomatic and service passports have to make an appointment via the online appointment system to submit their application at the Netherlands embassy in Accra.

Processing time

The average processing time is fifteen (15)  calendar days. In case the application is incomplete, needs further investigation or in case the application has to be forwarded to the competent authorities in the Netherlands for further consideration, the assessment may take weeks or even longer. Visa applicants are therefore advised to submit their applications approximately 4 weeks in advance.

Collection of passports of applications submitted directly at the embassy

You do not need to make an appointment to collect your document(s). Collection times are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8:00 - 10:00.

Before you come, please check the days on which the embassy is closed.

If the visa applicant is not able to collect his/her decision and passport, the visa applicant may authorize another person to collect it on his/her behalf. In that case the embassy requires a written, signed authorization letter from the visa applicant, including a copy of the visa applicant’s passport.

Reporting back of visa applicants

If you are requested to report back to the embassy upon return to Ghana, you may come from Monday until Friday between 8:00 – 10:00 without prior appointment.

Before you come, please check the days on which the embassy is closed.

Fraud

The embassy will report the use of false and counterfeit documents to the Ghanaian Police (CID) or GIS (Ghana Immigration Service) depending on the forgery; these documents will not be returned to the applicant.

The embassy often receives e-mails from European citizens who are in contact with someone from this region through the internet. Often these contacts result in scamming whereby the scammer does not reveal his or her true identity and requests to transfer high amounts for various reasons (legalizations, costly visa procedures, medical check-ups and supporting documents not required by Dutch authorities in relation to consular procedures, hospitalization, inheritance, gold ornaments). Beware of this (romance) scamming.

Other than warning for this type of scamming, the embassy cannot be of assistance in taking legal steps once European citizens have become victims of this type of scamming.