26 Oct 2002

American Samoan govt alters passport regulations for visitors from Samoa

9:15 am on 26 October 2002

The American Samoan Government has announced it will no longer confiscate the passports of some visitors arriving from Samoa.

The Chief Immigration Officer Ufuti Faafetai Ieremia says the Attorney General Fiti Sunia has approved the change and it will be put into effect in the next few days.

He says the practice is being stopped because of numerous complaints.

Currentlly the passports are taken from those Samoans on 14 day visitor permits who have not paid their ten dollar permit fee.

The passports are returned when the fee is paid or when they leave.

But Samoans have labelled the practice discriminatory since it only applies to them and not other foreigners arriving in the Territory.

In another change the permit fees will be payable at the airport and at the dock, saving people a trip to the Immigration Office.