PNG to suspend visas on arrival during APEC month

7:32 am on 16 October 2018

Papua New Guinea is suspending visa-on-arrival arrangements for the month of November.

The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority said the temporary suspension is part of enhanced border security measures around the APEC Leaders Summit in the middle of next month.

Port Moresby in PNG

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

Visas on arrival, or VOA, are usually granted to passport holders from a range of what are deemed "low risk countries" to travel to PNG

PNG's Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, said suspending this class of visa is a necessary step to ensure the highest levels of security are maintained for APEC.

He said publicising the suspension can allow genuine travellers and tourists opportunity to secure a visa at one of PNG's many embassies and foreign missions before they travel to Papua New Guinea.

APEC Port Moresby, PNG

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

According to Mr Kantha, this won't affect existing reciprocal visa arrangements including organised tourist tour arrangements as travellers are checked and processed in advance.

Visas On Arrival will be reinstated on 1 December.

Mr Kantha said that in the coming weeks, PNG's Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, would make further announcements regarding border security measures for APEC.

Furthermore, he said the Authority was finalising the implementation of technology-based solutions that will see PNG access the latest measures to facilitate genuine travellers.

"For the benefit of PNG and our community, it is crucial that our border security capability maintains pace with new technology. In this regard, the Minister has challenged ICA to implement solutions that work effectively and efficiently to deliver border security and traveller facilitation," Solomon Kantha said.

Port Moresby in PNG at night

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

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