17 Dec 2008

Samoa tightens rules for foreigners entering from American Samoa

2:37 pm on 17 December 2008

Samoan Immigration officials say foreign residents of American Samoa who cross to Samoa for less than a day to show they have left the territory, may now not be allowed to return.

Officials say Samoa Immigration will not grant entry permits to travellers who do not have an onward ticket to another destination, other than Samoa.

An immigration officer in Apia says they have been given instructions not to allow travellers from Pago Pago who are there just for a few hours without any onward tickets.

Local airlines say there has been no announcement from the Samoa Government about the new policy.

It is a common practice for immigration sponsors in American Samoa to send people they sponsor to Apia, where they spend a few hours and then return.