PNG Govt to push for VISA on arrival in Australia
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says his government will be working towards getting visa on arrival in Australia as part of his government’s priority agenda before the 2022 election. Mr Marape said the visa issue had been a matter that deeply trampling on the part of Papua New Guinea visitors to Australia for a long time.
But he admitted that it would not be easy because he had tasked Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas to look into the issue.
Mr Marape said this on his arrival from Australia yesterday where he held wide-ranging discussions with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on the economy, trade, aid, defence and Manus.
“I did not hide from raising those issues. One of the fundamental issues to be met by our technical officials is the data system or platform in which visas are issued as well as our border security is policed and managed.
“Australia has a fair and legitimate concern as to the level of security system and the level of data system that we have. “Our system must be compatible to their system, at the moment, New Zealand and Australia they interface quite well so they know who is who on both sides.
“Our data and population registry on our side is not updated so I took back with me the need for us to safeguard our own visa system and make it compatible with their and upon which we reach a stage that we impress to them our system is compatible with their (Australian) system,” he said.
Mr Marape said it would be a challenge for the Government to have in place all the systems to meet the strict requirements and standard required by Australia.
“For the data and that system in place we will know who is coming into Papua New Guinea and who is coming into your (Australia) borders and that time we can apply visa on arrival and that we will work towards.
“I hope we can bring that issue to conclusion before the 2022 election that is something I need to give to the people at election time.
“So it’s a matter that my government will be pursuing as our priority and on our side if we need to make some concessions to get our system compatible with their system I have the Immigration who will be tasked to do that,” Mr Marape said.