It is time Ghana Immigration Service [G.I.S], do a total review of the country’s immigration system and improve on the system or duplicate the Israeli system to make visitors, tourist holiday makers’ “stress free” whenever they are visiting the country.
We cannot continue to invite investors to do business in Ghana, tourist to explore the country’s beautiful eco-systems and holiday makers to enjoy the country side whiles we keep our outmoded immigration system.
“Which country in this modern world allow single visa applicant 30 days to visit its country to explore business opportunities, to tour the whole country and learn different cultures and religion, or visit family members and have fun?
Again which modern day country issues a visa stump in a passport to issue one the entry permit?
That is now being considered outmoded with revised and improved systems in place which is working excellently and it is time Ghana change too from old manual to digital system.
Improved immigration system, stress free security checks at any border points from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and back and the hospitable spirit of the citizens in Israel will let me visit again and again.
I found the improved immigration system in Israel so amazing when tourists, holiday makers, investors and I a Jerusalem Pilgrim [J.P] entered the country recently.
The stress free immigration system at the Ben Gurion International Airport at Tel Aviv, saw everyone going through security check without fear no favour which made some of us thought that unique immigration system will never be duplicated.
That is the way it should be.
Israel’s improved immigration system starts right from the plane carrying passengers from foreign destinations into the country for tourism, religious, business, political and educational purposes which make one happy instead of scared.
Once any passenger plane or better still any aircraft enters its air space, all passengers must remain in their seats and fasten their seat belts till the aircraft comes to a complete stop and gates open.
It is a law which all must comply therefore it became a constant thing as pilots kept on reminding passengers to remain in their seats immediately the plane entered the country’s airspace.
Thirty minutes before landing, all cabin crew and pilots checked and double checked passengers were seated and their seat belts fastened when I recently visited the Holy Land, Israel.
That fully complied I believed it was monitored by the airport security before landing, passengers went through security checks without much heckle or answering difficult questions as there were no suspicious characters among us.
As some people were wondering as to how to pass immigration and enter the country and begin their pilgrimage that thinking defused into thin air when they spent not more than five minutes at the check point.
Formerly, passports should be stumped before one could enter and tour the country side. Not knowing that has changed, some of us thought we would go through the same hassle and began to shake.
But that fear vanished immediately we submitted our passports, only to be scanned and permit chit was printed that allowed us to stay in the country for the stipulated period of three months. Whew.
Meaning whether one needs a visa to enter the country or not, once you appear before the immigration check point and officers are satisfied you are not posing any threat to the country, a permit chit is printed that allows you to stay in the country and when leaving, exit permit chit is also issued to you.
Easy and simple as it may sound, the system allows the country’s security forces to monitor each and everyone who enters the country and exit the country my understanding holds.
Again, it also helps the security forces, to know of hand the number of people who enter and leave the country every single day.
Another difficult task was how to cross the Palestinian border at Gilo check point into Bethlehem. Wow, you no more need a passport to cross the border to Bethlehem from Jerusalem. Surely, you will need your passport and your permit chit to re-enter Israel from Palestine, failure to submit, you are denied entry.
In Ghana what do we see? Immigration officers in booths flipping passports and asking sometimes unnecessary questions as to how did “I get my Canadian passport, When did I travel to Canada and why did I travel to Canada” before stumping my passports.
In many cases you stretch your neck from the queue to see officers finding it difficult to issue an entry stump because the leaflets were full of printed stumps and not knowing what do.
In situations like this, what do you expect the officer to do? Many instances, stretching his hand under the plain glass to pick passports with foreign currencies stashed in it to allow the visitor go right?
It would be great if the country immigration service change the outmoded system by replacing the stumps with scanners and entry and exit permit chip instead of “pan, pan, pan” issuing stumps sounds at the airport.
Israel has improved its immigration system and people are happy going to spend their dollars there. We can also do same to rake in foreign currencies wai.
From: Stephen A.Quaye, Toronto-Canada.