The Embassy of the United States Ghana has said that the notification on visa allocations to government officials, including MPs and former Presidents visiting the US unofficially is in accordance with already existing US law.
According to the embassy in a statement released of Saturday, under US law, when a diplomat or official applies for a new visa for personal travel, that applicant must appear in person for an interview, adding that exception to the visa interview may be granted for officials travelling on official government business.
The statement from the embassy is coming on the heels of insinuations that the action of the US was predicated on the Supreme Court ruling on the continued stay of the Gitmo 2 in Ghana.
The statement, signed by the Press Attache, Sara Veldhuizen Stealy, reads in full: “Under U.S. law, travelers seeking a nonimmigrant visa for travel to the United States must generally appear in person for an interview with a consular officer.
“U.S. law also designates limited exceptions under which the visa interview may be waived, such as for diplomats and officials traveling on official government business. However, under U.S. law, when a diplomat or official applies for a new visa for personal travel, that applicant must appear in person for an interview.
“This is not a new policy. In such limited and special circumstances as having a former president come in, we have procedures established to ensure the appropriate courtesies are extended. When a diplomat or official applies for a visa for personal travel, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for the applicant to be accompanied to the interview by protocol assistants.
“As a general policy, only visa applicants are allowed in the waiting room. Our communication to the Government of Ghana was meant to clarify this policy. We will continue to work with the government to facilitate legitimate personal and official travel.”