9 May 2007

American Samoa to review passport retention policy

1:29 pm on 9 May 2007

The policy of confiscating passports of foreign nationals upon arrival in American Samoa is being reviewed by the Attorney General, Fepuleai Afa Ripley.

Fepuleai says the computer system in operation at the airport and port is working well and he is looking at whether it's necessary for the Immigration office to continue enforcing this policy.

However, he says they are working out a few problems and will wait before making a decision.

The computer system scans the passport and copy of the visitor permit which has the expiration date and name and address of the visitor's sponsor.

Except for New Zealand and Australia passports, all other foreign passports are taken by the Immigration office upon arrival and are only returned to their owners when they leave the territory.

There have been occasions when people leaving have been held up because their passports were not at the airport.