Ghana continues to rank among the countries with the highest United States Visa application denial rates, according to the U.S. State Department.

When it comes to B Visas, which deal with tourism or business, Ghana ranked 7th with 65.7% of such visa applications denied in the 2016 fiscal year, according to figures from the US Department of State.

The US Department of State notes that, 4,848 immigrant issues were issued from the American embassy in Accra, whilst 10,158 non-migrant visas were issued.

In the 2015 fiscal year, Ghana was among the 13 countries with a denial rate of over 60 percent.

The highest rates in 2015 were found to be in African and Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Somalia, whilst Cuba and Laos also had high denial rates.

Like in 2015, Cuba had the highest rate of U.S. visa refusal of any country worldwide, with 81.9 percent of all Cuban applications turned down in 2016.

Afghanistan came second for visa denials with 73.8 percent of all applications refused.

Elsewhere, the highest rates of refusal were recorded across Africa with Mauritania and Liberia both having rates higher than 70 percent.

The conventional visa application process begins with the submission of the non-immigrant visa application online followed by the payment of the application fee at a designated bank to sign up for an interview.

The applicant has to have documents that indicate a stable life and the unlikelihood of a visa overstay.

This is followed by an interview with a Foreign Service officer which can take up to four months to secure in some countries.

The applicant’s information is checked against American and foreign databases with officers from various U.S. agencies also conducting interviews and further research into one’s background.

The Visa is then issued if everything is deemed satisfactory, though a successful applicant may undergo an additional round of behind-the-scenes screening by American customs officers at the airport.

1.7 million Ghanaians applied for US visa lottery in 2015

It emerged that about 1.7 million Ghanaians sought to leave Ghana for the US in 2015 through the US visa lottery.

The number, which is the highest from a single country represented 12% of the total 14 million people who applied within that year.