Visa And Passport Services On Hold
Visa and passport services by freelance agents have been suspended pending finalisation of a policy to regulate them.
This was announced by the Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas who said that the deferment comes at a time when several changes will be made over the next few weeks to improve detection of fraud and abuse in migration services.
It will also put in place a system to improve revenue collection for the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority.
“I have directed acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha to immediately suspend the services of all freelance agents dealing with visa and passports and put in a place a policy to regulate agents. This is to deal with fraudulent applications being facilitated by freelance agents,” Mr Thomas said.
“We are also putting a payment system for collection of migration service fees for the Authority to start directly collecting fees by January 1, 2018. This is to improve revenue collection, client service in creating a one stop shop process and counter fraudulent receipts that are provided to us.”
A directive has also been given to review all APEC Business Travel Card holders to deal with abuses of the card by foreigners that use this privilege of the APEC card to gain employment in the country the minister said.
Also in progress is a submission that will go to Cabinet to review the taskforce dealing with unlawful foreigners, they will be working with other law enforcement agencies to conduct spot checks around the country and take appropriate actions against unlawful foreign nationals.
Mr Thomas said that the SME moratorium that came into place last month has also assisted in identifying key positions for foreign workers in the SME businesses for visas to be issued.
“The consultation process with relevant agencies is ongoing and we will also work with other key agencies to establish a Foreign Review Committee to vet investors that are coming into PNG to do business and invest in reserved activities,” he said.