Visa problems. One way ticket to Ghana
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2013 9:17 AM Last Post By: ag78
Sep 28, 2013 9:37 AM
Visa problems. One way ticket to GhanaHello,
A few months ago I bought a one way flight to Ghana. I leave November 14. I was just looking up how to get a visa there because it's probably around that time now, and I just learned that I need to have a return ticket!! I am going to Ghana with very open plans, do not anticipate flying home from Ghana, but having said that I still don't know where I intend to fly home from. Are there any ways around this? Would it work for me to present them a bus ticket instead of flight? Anyone have any wise words or experience?
Sep 28, 2013 1:20 PM
1For a fallback, you can purchase a fully-refundable air ticket out of Ghana. After you get your visa, cancel the ticket and collect your refund. That is standard procedure for travelers everywhere in such situations.
If anyone more knowledgeable than me answers, go with it. I don't know whether a bus ticket would satisfy them---or whether you can actually purchase an international bus ticket from wherever you are. I might suggest calling the consulate to ask them, but Ghana consulates worldwide don't tend to answer their phones.
Post back here with whatever you learn.
Sep 28, 2013 5:44 PM
Sep 28, 2013 6:03 PM
3We all start out in total ignorance. After that, it's just a question of degrees.
Most important travel skill: using Google. Try search terms like "buying refundable airline tickets" and see what you turn up. Don't neglect to read the fine print before purchasing anything. Ever.
Ghana bureaucracy is stunningly inefficient. You never know which rules apply and which are to be ignored. Don't leave your application until the last minute.
And FWIW, a lot of countries have the same rules about onward tickets. Always be thinking ahead a few steps or you'll sooner or later get stuck. If you'll be returning, always think carefully about multiple entry visas--for Ghana this will last 5 years, and you don't have to mess with ongoing tickets once you've got the visa.
Sep 29, 2013 8:05 AM
4It helps to say where you live. Ghana High Commissions/Embassies/Consulates seem to have different requirements,
dependent on goodness what. For example the five year visa, mentioned above, is not available in the UK. From posts on this site I gather that there are even differences between different consulates in the US.
I have had numerous visas from the UK High Commission in London and they have never asked to see proof of a return ticket (although you are asked to have one) neither have I been asked to show my ticket on entering the country at the airport or at a land crossing when entering Ghana.
If you are not asked to produce a return ticket when applying for your visa you may think it worthwhile not to bother changing your ticket to a return one. In the UK there are significant cost implications if a return ticket is purchased and then the return part is cancelled.
Sep 29, 2013 7:59 PM
5Thankyou so much both of you. I've been googling tons of stuff and just feeling a little bit over my head with it all... in particular, this return flight thing as well as figuring out what to bring and what to wear. (I plan on traveling up the coast, hopefully making it to Senegal). If you guys have any tips, it would be so greatly appreciated!! I feel I should maybe also mention that I am a white female and traveling by myself.
I will definitely look into this return flight thing though, and maybe start applying for my visa without a return flight and see if they ask for proof of one.
Also, I am from British Columbia Canada!
Sep 30, 2013 12:38 AM
6Hopefully a female will answere your question. But it is the same for male or female, travel LI GHT! If possible with no more than you can take in the cabin of the aircraft. Most clothes of cotton and synthetic material will dry overnight in your room. What do people put in those vast backpacks that make them look like an aged tortoise. If you read a lot, take a kindle. Finally if you do forget anything you will probably be able to buy it locally...with the possible exception of any medication you may take.
Sep 30, 2013 8:12 AM
7You''ll be fine as a female travelling in the region, I travel extensively & it's no problem - just remember to bring your own supplies for sanitary needs - a rare find & very expensive if you do find some ...
As for your visa, if you can get another visa for another country prior to getting your Ghanaian one, then you won't need a return ticket, they should accept that!
Have a great trip!
Sep 30, 2013 10:03 AM
8Yes traveling light was absolutely the plan. I've got a 46 L backpack and don't intend to even fill that up.
I've been reading online about what you can wear because of the culture and religion in the area, but I've been reading really mixed things. Some say that you must wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt, and others say that because you are white, the rules "don't apply".
Getting a visa to another country is a great idea!!! I think I'll definitely do that. Kira, where did you go in that area?
What kind of malaria pills did everyone take?
Sep 30, 2013 11:46 AM
9As a female:
1. Cover your knees, generally accepted as being polite in all cultures
2. Cover your shoulders & upper arm (or at least t-shirt arm length)
I've travelled from Morocco to Benin & everywhere in between with the exception of Mali on several occasions.
I take Mephaquin, which is a generic Lariam drug, but before I 'advise' you to follow my lead go & see a specialist tropics doctor; we are all different. I'm currently on it now as I've just returned from Rwanda for work
Take a basic first aid kit; ensure that any small cut is immediately dealt with & covered with at least gauze!
Oct 1, 2013 12:37 AM
10As Kira suggests above, see a doctor who understands malaria prevention. Take this really seriously! Malaria can be a killer and it is very common in W. Africa. I too take Latium, it is cheap and effective with most people who do not have a reaction against it. But for some people there can be nasty side effects. That is why you should see an 'educated' medic before travelling.
Oct 1, 2013 7:52 AM
I'm the one who turns up here on malaria issues. Yes, there is serious risk of malaria in West Africa
There is no single best antimalarial. The best one is the one that is best for you, considering your destination, your age, your gender, your health history, your allergies, and, sometimes, your pocket book. You cannot use someone else's experience to predict how you might respond to a particular antimalarial drug.
Mefloquine (Lariam, Mefliam Mephaquin and many others), doxycycline (Vibramycin, other brands, generic) and atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone, Malanil) are all effective in West Africa. There are pros & cons to each of them.
Although Malarone has few reported side effects, there are two drawbacks for you. It is very expensive compared to others and you will not be able ot get it in West Africa if you run out. For a trip of uncertain length, trying to bring enough Malarone with you could be an issue.
Some women find that an unfortunate side effect of doxycycline is a yeast infection/thrush. There are other possible side effects, including an increased tendency to sunburn and problems with heartburn & upset stomach.
For both Malarone & doxycycline, you take a pill every day at about the same time each day, to keep a steady level in your blood stream. That can sometimes be difficult given the hassles of travel. Mefloquin is taken once a week. No matter what the drug, the longer you travel the more likely you are to get careless about malaria prevention. Malaria can kill. Although less common to occur with a healthy adult, it can be fatal within a few hours of the first symptoms. You don't want to be that careless person.
There are a number of other issues to consider, which is why it's important to consult with your own doctor or, even better, a specialist in travel or tropical medicine. You are going to need proof of immunization against yellow fever before Ghana will give you a visa, and there are a number of other immunizations that are strongly recommended for your own protection. Another reason why you need to see a doctor. Be prepared--you may have to pay out-of-pocket for some travel immunizations.
Look into travel health insurance. If something very serious happens you want to get treatment right away--even if it means being flown to Europe.
Here are some expert web sites for you as a start:
Health Information for Travelers to Ghana from the US CDC.
Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria US CDC
Travel Health from the Public Health Agency of Canada
Ghana from the Public Health Agency of Canada
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in BC. You must go to an official center to get the YF certificate
Well on Your Way - A Canadian's Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad Info on what to look for in travel health insurance, among other things.
Got more questions? Wander over to the Health Branch.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Oct 3, 2013 11:50 AM
12It's so fun to meet people online that has the same kind of travel plans. I am also travelling with a one way ticket to the region in the beginning of december and I am starting off with a couple of months of volunteer work in ghana. Have you found out anything more about the visa/return ticket issue?
Oct 3, 2013 5:02 PM
13Thanks everybody!! I have all my necessary vaccines, malaria pills are the last thing I need... as far as medicine goes at least.
That's cool you'll be in the area too!! Who knows, maybe we will run into eachother. I am now trying to figure out where to even find a visa application form. I can find forms online with ease if I'm from the UK or Ireland - but I'm not! Frustrating.
Where are you from? How long do you anticipate being gone for, and where do you want to go?
Oct 3, 2013 5:07 PM
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