Preparing for your move to Accra


Before You Leave

Preparing to go abroad includes securing important documents, making copies, and a lot of planning. Ideally, you should make 3 copies of your passport, visas, and other important paperwork. Keep one with you, one in an accessible but safe place (i.e. safe deposit box), and one with a trusted relative or friend that can retrieve the information if something were to happen to you or the other copies.

A checklist of other things to consider:

  1. Passports: Check expiration as they must not expire within 6 months of your arrival.
  2. Secure medical insurance and travel insurance to prevent unmanageable medical bills and enable entry into other countries.
  3. Research and apply for a Visa. Almost all nationalities must organize a visa in advance of arriving in Ghana and this can take a couple of weeks. Give yourself ample time.
  4. Get all vaccinations and medication. Ghana requires proof of Yellow Fever vaccination, and doctors recommend numerous other vaccinations. Visit a travel health clinic no less than 2 months prior to departure, since some vaccinations take a few weeks to become effective.
  5. Save enough money to support your cost of living and lifestyle plus travel costs with enough of a buffer to be prepared for the unexpected.
  6. Bring things to facilitate transition like a universal electric plug adaptor, any medications you take, or anything else to make you comfortable during the transition.


On the home front, make sure all bills are paid or have a means of being paid. If you are retaining a residence while abroad, make sure the rent/mortgage is taken care of and that utilities are being paid while you are away. Insure that important institutions like your bank are able to reach you.

If you are retaining a bank in your home country, ask about fees for overseas transactions. If you have a credit card, find out if there are additional fees or any changes you need to make with your account. Inform banking industries that you will abroad so as to not arouse suspicious activity on your account as anti-theft systems can see this activity and put a most inconvenient hold on your account.


It is best to inform tax offices of any change in residency. Some countries have reciprocal tax agreements, and others may require you to pay some form of taxes both in your home country and aboard. Most National Tax Administrations are an excellent resource for exactly what steps to take when moving away. For more information, refer to our section on taxes.

For example, UK nationals should refer to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for details of managing their taxation payments and National Insurance contributions in the UK while living abroad.


There are a number of vaccinations that are both required and recommended when traveling to Ghana. It is best that you consult with your family doctor a minimum of two months in advance, to ensure that you take all the necessary precautions for your particular health history.

Generally speaking, you should expect to get the following vaccinations/medications:

  • Yellow Fever (required)
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningitis
  • Antimalarial Pills   
  • Rabies (if working in remote locations)
  • All routine vaccinations (measles, mumps and rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot).

Visitors should also be prepared to take the following precautions when in country:

  1. Avoid unclean/unsanitary food: Drink bottled water and be cautious about food preparation and storage methods.
  2. Protect against bug bites: Sleep under a mosquito net, wear long sleeves/pants at night, use insect repellent.
  3. Stay away from stray animals: Do not touch/feed any unknown animals, limit contact between your pets and other local animals
  4. Protect against HIV: Avoid sharing any bodily fluids by using latex condoms and by avoiding any unsanitary needles

For concerns about your health when abroad, the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes International Travel and Health, which is revised annually and is available free online. Another excellent resource is MD Travel Health. It provides free, complete travel-health recommendations for every country and is updated daily.

Update 8/05/2015


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