8 Sep 2008

US to offer limited consular services in Tonga soon

3:22 pm on 8 September 2008

The United States is moving ahead with plans to offer periodic non-immigrant visa services in Tonga from November.

The Matangi Tonga website reports the Deputy Secretary of Tonga's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tevita Kolokihakaufisi as saying a team from the US Embassy in Fiji is planning to inspect a building in Nukualofa that could be used for part time consular services.

The move follows a meeting between the Tonga Prime Minister Dr. Feleti Sevele and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in May.

Mr Kolokihakaufisi says that US Embassy's Nuku'alofa office would be temporary because it is not possible for the United States to open a full-time consular office in Tonga.

The frequency of the visits of US Embassy staff to Tonga, would depend on the volume of applications submitted in Nuku'alofa.