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How long will it take to get a visa? Ghana?

I am going to Ghana in July for five weeks… I have never traveled off the continent so I do not have a visa or passport or anything and know NOTHING about how to get one. I have looked up information online but its all unclear to me. If anyone wants to spare any details at all I would be eternally grateful! And is 7 months enough time? I am stressing out big time… How much do both cost? anyway THANKS in advance any information would be so appreciated!
Oh wow great thank you!!! I thought it was like a 6 month process
and I am coming from the US

To apply for a US passport you go to the post office. It takes about 6 weeks from the date you apply for the passport for it to arrive in the mail. You should request a passport card at the same time you apply for a regular (booklet) passport. The cards are only valid for ground/sea travel within North America but they make great secondary ID when traveling.

http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

You need a round-trip airline ticket, and best is to use a real travel agency or go through an airline’s website. Note that Delta flies non-stop between New York/JFK and Accra (though not daily).

http://www.delta.com/

Many people traveling to Africa from the USA fly via Europe and spend at least one night (three nights is better) in the European transit city. It allows you to recover from the trans-Atlantic flight (jet lag) in a tourist-friendly place before going to Africa. US citizens do not need a visa for countries in western Europe.

You apply for a visa through the Ghana Embassy in Washington. You have to mail your passport booklet to them, along with your round-trip airline ticket, a variety of documents, and the fee ($50 or $80 in the form of a money order):

http://www.ghanaembassy.org/corp_div_details_embassy.cfm?EmpID=151&BrandsID=45

To enter Ghana, required is an International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow book) certifying you
are vaccinated against Yellow Fever. Check with your County Health Department first – they are usually the least expensive source of vaccinations. Also get the other vaccinations recommended for Ghana:

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/ghana.aspx

Check with your home Health Insurance to find out if it will cover you in Ghana AND pay emergency medical evacuation costs. If yes then take proof of coverage with you. If no or not sure then get Travel Medical Insurance, which is cheap and sold by airlines & travel agents.

Notify the US Department of State you are traveling to Ghana. Do that shortly before you leave the USA (you may not have good Internet access in Ghana):

http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_1186.html
https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/

Ghana is not a tourist-friendly destination. If you are traveling with a group or organization then follow their instructions. If you are traveling as an individual then at least make reservations at an American or European owned/operated hotel in Accra and arrange for the hotel to send a car & driver to collect you from the airport. Do not just go outside the airport, get in a taxi, and say “take me to a hotel”. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Good luck!

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