4 Feb 2008

American Samoa's Congressman in NZ to discuss US visa programme and language preservation

6:25 am on 4 February 2008

American Samoa's Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin is in New Zealand to discuss with U.S. officials the status of the visa programme for Samoa citizens wishing to travel to the United States.

Faleomavaega says he will visit the U.S. Consulate Office in Auckland for an update on the visa pilot programme, which was launched in 2006.

Under the programme, a U.S. official from New Zealand travels to Apia every three months to interview applicants for the non-immigrant visas which are limited to student, short term business and tourist visas.

Faleomavaega also plans to meet other New Zealand officials including the Maori Language Commission.

He wants to replicate some of their work as part of the effort to preserve the Samoan language in the Territory.