23 Jan 2018

Samoa says minimal impact to US immigration change

7:01 am on 23 January 2018

The Samoa government is moving to assure people their travel plans to the United States should not be affected by recent immigration changes.

The Department of Homeland Security has removed Samoa from the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for temporary work changes in the United States.

The chief immigration officer, Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo, said Samoa had been categorised as being at risk of not cooperating when it came to accepting nationals who had been removed from the US.

Agafili said the government was committed to working closely with the United States in facilitating the return of Samoans who had served prison terms for serious criminal offences.

However, he said many of them had been in the US since they were infants, and had few family links.

Agafili said the categorisation was reviewed annually, and no other visas to the United States were affected.