4 Mar 2015

American Samoa limits immigration sponsorship

4:50 pm on 4 March 2015

A bill that would limit the ability of corporations to sponsor foreigners to live and work in American Samoa is now law.

In a letter informing Fono leaders about the bill's signing, Acting Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga said the change to the Immigration Code will require all corporations desiring to sponsor foreigners to first obtain a certification from the Attorney General's Office.

Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Pago Pago, American Samoa. Photo: AFP

Lemanu says this measure will ensure that a corporation is in good standing and meets certain requirements before they are eligible to sponsor such people.

The bill will also prohibit corporations from sponsoring a foreigner who has any control or interest in the company.

Lemanu says the corporate sponsorship provision was intended to foster the investment beyond the capacity of local businesses.

He says it also aimed to support American Samoa-owned businesses in need of human resources not available in the territory.

However Lemanu says over the past few years the territory has witnessed the increase of foreign ownership of small businesses within the capacity of American Samoans to own and operate.