23 Aug 2016

Bill doubling foreign intake passes American Samoa Senate

7:51 pm on 23 August 2016

The Senate in American Samoa has approved a bill which would double the number of foreigners to be granted permanent residency each year.

 Ofu and Olosega in the Manu'as in American Samoa.

Ofu and Olosega in the Manu'as in American Samoa. Photo: American Samoa Tourism

The bill which has yet to be reviewed by the House of Representatives would allow 100 people a year permanent residency.

They must have lived in the territory legally for 20 consecutive years.

The bill was proposed by the Governor Lolo Moliga.

During a hearing on the amendment, some senators called for the cap on permanent residents to be raised to 600.

Senator Nuanualefeagaiga Saoluaga Nua, who suggested a cap of 200, said 100 permanent residents a year was not enough.

He said there were many people who had lived in American Samoa for the required time, paying taxes and contributing to the local economy.

Senator Gaea Failautusi proposed raising the quota to 300, pointing out that federal funding for American Samoa was based on its population.