1 Jul 2004

Tokelau looks for flexibility in new Samoan immigration laws

3:51 pm on 1 July 2004

Tokelau's Immigration department fears people trying to travel to Apia will be stuck in Tokelau because of Samoa's strict new immigration measures.

Tokelau's deputy Director for Immigration Maka Iaone says his department is seeking flexibility to respond to Samoan immigration laws that people travelling from Tokelau to Apia cannot set foot in Samoa if they don't have a current passport.

Mr Iaone says the measures, which came into effect in May, won't so much affect Tokelauans as they can still travel under identification certificates.

But he says the problem would be that other people in Tokelau, such as Samoans and Tuvaluans, will not be able to leave to process their passports overseas.

"We are trying our best to work with them, Samoa Immigration, to at least give us three months to get everything in order, so everyone will be able to process their passports and travel documents accordingly. It will at least give us this period to sort our side of things out."

Maka Iaone.