3 Sep 2004

US might ease tough visa requirements for Samoans

1:20 pm on 3 September 2004

The US State Department is planning to recommend to the Department of Homeland Security that Samoans be given an extended visa when entering the US.

Under tough new visa requirements, Samoans are required to travel to the American consulate in Auckland or the embassy in Suva.

The American Samoan Congressman Faleomavaega Eni had asked that the interviews be held at the US Embassy in Apia due to the costs involved in travelling to New Zealand or Suva.

However, new security measures introduced by American authorities after the September 11th attack are not available in Apia.

The State Department though has recommended an extension of the validity period for visas for Samoans from 5 years to ten years.