28 Nov 2005

Tuvalu seeks discussion to reduce cost of US visas

7:12 am on 28 November 2005

The Tuvalu High Commissioner to Fiji is seeking talks with US officials to encourage periodic trips to pacific countries to issue visas.

Citizens of Tonga, Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu wanting to travel to the US currently need to travel to Fiji for a face to face interview before a visa is granted.

Tuvalu's High Commissioner to Fiji, Taukalina Finikaso, says travel costs in the thousands make it too expensive for many from Tuvalu to pay for the trip and he wants the US to help

"I want to ask the US to assist us by some of their officers travelling to Tuvalu at some agreed time to do this sort of thing, rather than people traveling from Tuvalu to Suva and knowing that will cost them a lot of money"

Mr Finikaso says he is asking for formal discussions with the United States on how these trips could be structured