27 Apr 2005

American Samoa senator concerned about entry permits

10:11 am on 27 April 2005

American Samoa's attorney general Sialega Togafau and ranking Immigration officials may soon appear before a Senate commiittee hearing to testify on travel and entry permit policies.

Senator Alo Dr. Paul Stevenson says there are still questions regarding the entry policies for American Samoa that require more answers.

Alo says the media is now reporting that the government is planning to institute a $50 permit for travelers from Hawaii and the US mainland transiting through American Samoa.

The territory's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, said on a recent radio programme that this entry policy applies to travelers that remain in the Territory for more than 24 hours before heading on to another country.

Togiola said the $50 fee was comparable to the 30-day permit fee of $60 for other nationalities entering the Territory from the region.

Alo says American Samoa is now working on tourism development, but this new entry policy goes against the goal of promoting the industry.

The Senate president Lolo Moliga says the Senate will soon holding a hearing on the matter.