The Ghana Immigration Service started as the Immigration and Passport Unit of the Gold Coast Colonial Police Force under the command of Mr. Nevile C. Hill.
On attainment of independence in 1957, the rapid expansion of the economy coupled with Ghana’s role as a trailblazer in the African liberation struggle led to the country being swamped with foreign businessmen, tourists and African aliens. To control this influx, a Cabinet decision in 1960 transferred the Immigration Unit to the Ministry of the Interior as a separate department, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took over the issuing of passports. These measures were taken to enhance service delivery. Three (3) years later, the aliens Act 1963, Act 160 was enacted to give legal backing to immigration operations.
In November 1989, by PNDC Law 226, the Immigration Department was converted into a Paramilitary Service.
Established under PNDC Law 226 in 1989, the Ghana Immigration Service remains the sole institution with the statutory mandate to regulate and monitor the entry, residence, employment and the exit of foreigners in the country. The passage of Immigration Act 2000, Act 573 expanded the functions and roles of the Service. Prominent among these are the Indefinite Residence and Right of Abode facilities.