​Minister directs policy changes for immigration

A number of changes will take place in the next few weeks to improve the detection of fraud and abuse in migration services.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas, recently made the announcement that a system will be put in place to improve revenue collection for the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority. 

"I have directed acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha to immediately suspend the services of all freelance agents dealing with visa and passports and put in place a policy to regulate agents. This is to deal with fraudulent applications being facilitated by freelance agents,” said Minister Thomas.

"We are also putting in place a payment receipting system for collection of migration service fees for the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority. They will start directly collecting fees by 1 January 2018.

“This is to improve revenue collection, improve client service in creating a one-stop-shop process and counter fraudulent receipts that are provided to us,” added Minister Thomas. 

"I have also directed for a review of all APEC Business Travel Card holders to deal with abuses of the card by foreigners that use this privilege of the APEC card for gainful employment in the country.”

The Minister says PNG Immigration is also preparing a submission that will go to Cabinet to revive the Taskforce dealing with unlawful foreigners.

“They will be working closely with other law enforcement agencies to conduct spot checks around the country and take appropriate actions against unlawful foreign nationals.

"The SME moratorium that came into place last month has helped in identifying key positions for foreign workers in SME businesses for visas to be issued.

“The consultation process with relevant agencies is ongoing and we will also work with other key agencies to establish a Foreign Investor Review Committee to vet investors that are coming into PNG to do business and invest in reserved activities,” said Minister Thomas. 

(Minister Petrus Thomas)

Press release