Whether a person born abroad to a Ghanaian mother and an non-Ghanaian father, and who held Ghanaian citizenship from birth but lost it under Section 8(1) of the 1971 Nationality Act, could reacquire Ghanaian citizenship under current laws and regulations, and whether this would be a simple formality [GHA40145.E]

The information that follows was provided by a consular officer at the High Commission of Ghana in Ottawa during a 2 October 2002 telephone interview, and adds to the information provided in GHA37707.E of 19 October 2001, GHA29191.E of 15 May 1998, and other documents available through Regional Documentation Centres.

Under current laws and regulations, a person who had Ghanaian citizenship through birth and subsequently lost it as a result of holding or acquiring citizenship of another country is entitled to recover Ghanaian citizenship. If the person is residing abroad, he or she must complete a form that can be purchased at embassies and high commissions, complete it and submit it to the diplomatic or consular representation. The completed form must be accompanied by passport-sized pictures and evidence of former Ghanaian citizenship; a Ghanaian passport or a Ghanaian birth certificate should be included, if the person has one; proof that one or both of the person's parents held Ghanaian citizenship should also be included, if possible.

A former Ghanaian who lost his or her citizenship under earlier laws, due to the acquisition or the holding of another citizenship, is in principle entitled to recover their Ghanaian citizenship. However, the Ghanaian High Commission cannot determine with certainty whether a person would in fact be entitled to recover Ghanaian citizenship: the diplomatic mission is only responsible for receiving the completed form and any additional documentation, and for submitting these to the Ministry of the Interior in Ghana. The ministry would then assess the specific application, and make the final decision.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


High Commission for the Republic of Ghana, Ottawa. 2 October 2002. Telephone interview with consular officer.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Research Bulletin [London]. 2000-2002.

Country Reports 2000-2001. 2001-2002.

European Bulletin on Nationality [Strasbourg].

IRB Databases.

Internet sites and search engines, including:

African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania.


International Organization for Migration.

United States Defense Personnel Security Research Center (DPSRC), San Francisco.

UNHCR Refworld.

World News Connection (WNC).