Ghana: New Requirements Introduced for Oil and Gas Sector Employees

Key aspects of a new directive implemented for oil and gas sector employees include: • The foreign employee's Police Clearance Certificate cannot be more than one year old; • The foreign employee's Medical Certificate cannot be more than two years old; and • Work Permit applications must be submitted to the Ghana Petroleum Commission instead of the Ghana Immigration Service.

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Sep 27, 2017
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The situation
New directive for oil and gas sector employees seeks to ensure that local workers are considered above foreign nationals and that skills are transferred to local workers.
A closer look
The Ghana Petroleum Commission issued a directive that applies immediately to oil and gas sector employees. The critical aspects of the directive are as follows:

  • The Commission will decide which applicants to invite for an interview and when;
  • The employer must present the resume and interview transcripts of all Ghanaians who responded to the job advertisement if the Commission requests this;
  • The foreign employee's cover letter must provide detailed justification for employing a foreign national;
  • The foreign employee's Police Clearance Certificate cannot be more than one year old;
  • The foreign employee's Medical Certificate cannot be more than two years old;
  • Work Permit applications must be submitted to the Commission for onward transmission to Ghana Immigration Service (GIS). Under no circumstances should applications be made directly to GIS, as was previously done;
  • Employers must collect approved Work Permits from the Commission and not directly from GIS, as was previously done;
  • The Commission must be notified of all vacancies through it dedicated email address (humanresourcecommittee@petrocom.gov.gh);
  • For both new and renewal applications, the names of Ghanaians understudying the foreign worker and the resume of the Ghanaian successor(s) must be provided;
  • Localization forms must be completed and attached to each Work Permit application; 
  • Initial applications must be submitted to the Commission two months prior to the foreign worker's arrival; 
  • Renewal applications must be submitted to the Commission two months prior to expiration of the applicant's Work Permit;
  • Under no circumstance should an applicant engage in any activity in the oil and gas sector without a work permit; and
  • Applications for work permits must be in line with the Annual Local Content Plan (a document detailing, among others things, a plan for the employment and training of locals) to be submitted to the Commission. 

Implications for employers and foreign nationals
Since the Commission will decide which applicants to invite for an interview and when, foreign nationals who are applying from abroad may need to travel to Ghana at the discretion of the Commission to attend an interview.

The enforcement of the new directive may result in the initial processing delays, though this is expected to improve with time.  Further, the Commission is expected to monitor and enforce the directive.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to africainfo@fragomen.com

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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