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She wasn’t familiar with our requirements

The Ghana Consulate in New York City has responded to one Yaa Taby who accused the Consulate of unprofessionalism when she went to pick up a passport on behalf of an applicant.

The Consulate said the lady’s frustration was borne out of her not familiarising herself with the requirements before she arrived at the Consulate.

Yaa Taby, in a series of viral posts on X, described her experience at the consulate as horrific and deliberately delaying.

Part of the many accusations she posted included that an embassy staff member named Mimi told her there was no printer to print out a consent letter she was asked to send via email.

But the Consulate, in a statement dated March 28, 2024, and signed by Frederick Ameyaw, the Head of Information, indicated that it is not the practice that it prints out letters or documents for persons that visit for transactional purposes.

It further explained that the delays Yaa Taby experienced at the Consulate were “borne out of her not familiarising herself with the requirements before her arrival at the Consulate.”

Below is the Consulate’s full response.

GHANA CONSULATE, NEW YORK

PRESS RELEASE

28th March 2024

During the course of the day, it came to the attention of the Consulate General of Ghana in New York that a social media post on X by one Yaa Tabby was being given wide prominence in the media as a result of what she describes as an unpleasant experience at the Consulate General on 27th March 2024.

Consistent with the practice of the Consulate, this publicly made feedback of its services has been internally reviewed to establish what transpired during the visit of the lady and to gauge how performance on that day aligned with agreed standards.

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Ordinarily, while the Consulate General would have addressed its response to the complainant in private, it is constrained to do so publicly because the issues the complainant has put out in the public domain, if left unaddressed impugns the hard-won reputation of the Consulate General of Ghana in New York.

The facts of the matter are that:

(i) On 27th March, Ms. Tabby came to the Consulate General of Ghana in New York to pick up the passport of an applicant whose visa had been issued several weeks ago and had been called by the Consulate to either pick up the passport or send in a self-addressed envelope with stamps for the passport to be mailed back since contrary to the application procedures the applicant had omitted to add a self-addressed stamped envelope.

(ii) When Ms. Tabby arrived at the Consulate and registered her presence for consular service, she wrote her name rather than the applicant’s name, leading to understandable delays as the officers sought to identify the passport using her provided name as the reference.

(iii) Subsequently, when the matter of the name of the applicant was resolved, it was realised that she had no authority note from the applicant to pick the passport. It is important to underscore that by the regulations that govern the Consulate, the passport of an applicant cannot be given out to a third party unless they submit an authority note signed by the applicant, authorizing them to pick the passports on their behalf.

(iv) Ms. Tabby showed in due course an electronic version of an authority note and was advised to print it out to enable the note to be attached to the physical records of the visa application. This requirement is standard practice for all persons picking applications on behalf of applicants and was not an arbitrary rule targeted at Ms. Tabby. Ms. Tabby questioned why she had to print the authority note after she had shown it to the officer. Ultimately, an officer of the Consulate printed the authority note and handed the applicant’s passport to her, contrary to the requirement for officers of the Consulate not to interface in the process of getting authority notes submitted.

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(v) What Ms. Tabby witnessed as people picking up passports on behalf of other applicants were none other than officials of recognized travel and tour agencies in the U.S. that submit visa applications on behalf of visa applicants. Taking into account the initial delay and the demands for compliance with the rules for pick-up of passports by third parties on behalf of applicants, the Consulate General can understand the frustration of Ms. Tabby and the behaviour she exhibited at the premises of the Consulate including what she herself has publicly recounted.

Her frustration was borne out of her not familiarising herself with the requirements before her arrival at the Consulate.

The Consulate General of Ghana in New York takes this opportunity to indicate that it remains committed to providing the highest standards of consular services to both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian clients in a customer-friendly manner as is possible. Indeed, over the years we continue to receive positive feedback from several satisfied client and we hope that Ms. Tabby’s next experience would be a positive one for her. We also take this opportunity to encourage all users of the Consulates services to familiarise themselves with the requirements on our website at www.newyork.mfa.gov.gh


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