Ghana is among the countries with the highest United States visa application denial rates, according to the U.S. State Department.
Ghana was among the 13 countries with a denial rate of over 60 percent according to figures from the 2015 fiscal year.
The highest rates were found to be in African and Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Somalia, whilst Cuba and Laos also had high denial rates.
The Visa acquisition process
Despite the Donald Trump administration’s attempted travel bans, the application process for a US visa can take up to 12 months, and they mostly end up in denials, per the figures.
The typical process begins with the submission of the non-immigrant visa application online followed by the payment of the application fee at a designated bank to sign up for an interview.
The applicant has to have documents to indicate a stable life and the unlikelihood of a visa overstay.
This is followed by an interview with a Foreign Service officer which can take up to four months to secure in some countries.
The applicant’s information is checked against American and foreign databases with officers from various U.S. agencies also conducting interviews and further research into one’s background.
The Visa is then issued if everything is deemed satisfactory, though a successful applicant may undergo an additional round of behind-the-scenes screening by American customs officers at the airport. Upon arrival, one may be questioned by customs officers and may be screened again.
Visa Waiver programme
Visitors from the 38 countries that are members of the visa-waiver programme don’t follow all the steps above.
But they still have to provide personal information to the American government before they can travel to the United States.
There are however no African countries on this programme.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana with files from nytimes.com