What is the change?  Under recently implemented regulations, the Ghanaian Petroleum Commission has introduced a new additional administration fee for initial work permit applications, as well as work permit renewals and appeals. Additionally, the commission has introduced a new information gathering sheet, which needs to be completed and included with all such applications.

What does the change mean? Applicants in the oil and gas sector must pay an additional fee and ensure that their applications for work permits, renewals or appeals include a completed information gathering sheet.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected:Work permits, work permit renewals and work permit appeals  in the oil and gas sector.
  • Who is affected:Foreign nationals applying for work permits in the oil and gas sector.
  • Business impact:The new information gathering sheet should improve processing, but the additional administration fee will increase the costs of applying for work permits in the oil and gas sector.

Background: In furtherance of the recent implementation of the Petroleum Commission (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2015 Act, the Ghanaian Petroleum Commission has introduced the following two new requirements for work permit, work permit renewal and work permit appeal applications:

  1. A new administration fee of US$100. Work permit applications will continue to be submitted to the Localisation Unit of the Petroleum Commission for initial review in the normal way. Once the Localisation Unit has confirmed that the application is complete and correct, an additional administration fee of US$100 must be paid to the commission’s Finance Department via banker’s draft in Ghanaian currency and with a company cover letter confirming the details of the work permit application under consideration at the Petroleum Commission. The US dollar to Ghanaian cedi exchange rate to be used for the new administration fee will be published by the commission on a weekly basis.
  2. A new information gathering sheet. The commission has also introduced a new work permit application information gathering sheet to be submitted with each application. The new document, which must summarize the personal data of the applicant and information about the job and succession plan, is intended to reduce delays in the work permit application process. The commission has confirmed that it is currently working on an electronic version of the sheet for future introduction.

BAL Analysis: The introduction of the new information gathering sheet is expected to result in quicker turnaround times for work permit applications in the oil and gas sector. Employers and individuals should factor the additional government fees into their budgets for foreign national employees.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Ghana. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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