13 Oct 2005

Kiribati immigration authorities say circus troupe hadn't applied for permits properly

2:18 pm on 13 October 2005

Immigration authorities in Kiribati say a circus troupe which cancelled its performances in the country failed to properly apply for a work permit.

The Magic Circus of Samoa has skipped its Kiribati leg after Immigration authorities issued each of them with fines of 5,000 Australian dollars, or over 3,600 US dollars, to enter.

The circus owner, Bruno Loyale, says it's the first time in eighteen years of travelling throughout the Pacific that a country hasn't welcomed them.

But Kiribati Permit officer Burabura Kaririki says the system has recently changed and they don't allow people to apply for basic work permits upon arrival in Kiribati.

"They have to arrange in advance. They should wait for approval. Once they get approval for their work permits, they can travel to Kiribati. The normal fee is one-hundred and fifty. Because he doesn't have the work permit issued before you enter the country, that's why you are being charged to pay another 5,000 dollars."

Meanwhile, the circus performers have travelled on to Fiji and American Samoa while their equipment is in transit in the Marshall Islands.