The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) today announced the temporary suspension to Visa on Arrival (VoA) as part of enhanced border security measures in the lead up to APEC Leaders Week. The suspension will be in effect from 30 October and remain for the duration of November.
Chief Migration Officer, Mr Solomon Kantha said today that the announcement regarding VoA was a continuation of PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority’s (ICA) activity to prepare for APEC Leaders Week and a necessary step to ensure the highest levels of security are maintained. Mr Kantha detailed that “VoA allows passport holders from a range of low risk countries to travel to PNG and obtain a visa on arrival, and thereby a convenient alternative to applying in person for a visa. However, during APEC, we must ensure that all ICA resources are available to process APEC delegates and maintain the highest levels of security and have decided to temporarily suspend VoA”.
Mr Kantha said, “in the coming weeks, Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Hon. Petrus Thomas, MP will make further announcements regarding ICA’s ever increasing border security measures for APEC and beyond”. Mr Kantha said ICA is currently 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”.
Mr Kantha said the decision to publicise the temporary suspension of VOA was necessary to allow genuine travellers and tourists every opportunity to secure a visa at one of PNG’s many Embassies and foreign missions before they travel to PNG. This will not affect existing reciprocal visa arrangements including organised tourist tour arrangements as travellers are checked and processed in advance. Mr Kantha said “VoA will be reinstated on 1 December and until then, all travellers can still apply and obtain a visa through PNG Embassies and Missions abroad prior to travelling into the country”.