5 Feb 2003

PNG to reconsider visa policies

6:15 pm on 5 February 2003

Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, has foreshadowed major changes to the immigration law to give long-term residents, foreign investors and business executives, five-year residency visas.

The Post Courier reports that Sir Michael was asked at a Business Council meeting whether the current system of short-term visas was in conflict with the policy of encouraging foreign investment.

Sir Michael said he has had discussions with the foreign minister about granting long-term visas for business people.

He says the government is looking at amending the Immigration Act.

Sir Michael says people who were born and brought up in PNG and who still hold foreign citizenship would also be given 5-year visas.

Currently these people get one-year or six-month visas.