25 Jul 2011

Micronesian leaders to discuss US visa provision

10:56 am on 25 July 2011

The Micronesian Presidents' Summit gets underway this week in Pohnpei, Palau.

Top of the agenda will be the US call to limit the number of Micronesians and Marshall Islanders eligible to enter America under a visa-free treaty provision.

Since 1986 Palauans, Micronesians and Marshall Islanders have enjoyed free entry into the US under a visa provision in their compacts of free association.

However, U.S. states have complained the cost of providing health services to islanders is not sustainable.

Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says the visa free treaty is the most important provision in the compacts of free assocition for all three countries.

"The Marshall Islands will certainly use this as an opportunity for the three governments to try and come up with a unified approach and address how to most affectively deal with the US concern."