14 Aug 2006

American Samoa plans to ease entry conditions for Samoa visitors

10:26 am on 14 August 2006

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono is proposing an easing of immigration restrictions for travelers from Samoa who just want to do business , shop or make short visits to the territory.

Speaking ahead of the Samoa talks which the territory is hosting this Friday, the Governor said he intends to discuss ways to make it easier for travelers from Samoa to come and go as they please.

Togiola said that current permit requirements should only apply to those who enter American Samoa with the intention of seeking a job and living there.

Currently all visitors from Samoa need an American Samoan permit to enter the territory.

Samoa which had been allowing American Samoans into Samoa without any visas, last year began a permit system for American Samoan travelers.

Airline and immigration officials in both American Samoa and Samoa say that visitor numbers in both countries have dropped dramatically since then.