Attorney General Fainuulelei explains ASG entry permits
By: Tosimaeʻa Tupua
Attorney General Fainuulelei Falefatu Alailima Utu has told the Atoa o Samoa meeting that in January next year, Samoa citizens visiting American Samoa and not intending to reside or work in American Samoa will be exempted from providing a medical clearance and police clearance, as was the case before the Covid 19 pandemic.
Fainulelei started his presentation by saying that American Samoa will fully open its borders in November. He also told the meeting that the Talofa pass for travels to American Samoa would cease. Fainuulelei informed delegates about the three types of entry permits for American Samoa and further welcomed the relaxation of some of the entry permits requirements including police and health clearance for applicants from Samoa. According to Fainuulelei commencing January 2023, Samoa citizens visiting American Samoa and not intending to reside or work in American Samoa will be exempted from providing a medical clearance and police clearance, as was the case before the Covid 19 pandemic.
For the Guest worker permit, Fainuulelei told the meeting that as of July 2022, there were 780 Starkist guest workers issued immigration Ids since 2021. Fainuulelei went on to say the objective is to promote growth of the Starkist Samoa and American Samoa economy. Provide jobs for Samoa citizens and remittances for Samoa. As of October 2022, Starkist Samoa is working with the Samoa Government and districts to recruit 500 Starkist employees under the GWP. Samoa citizen workers who wish to immigrate and work in American Samoa private construction companies should have sponsors go through the Immigration Board.
Fainuulelei also said that the 14 day travel permit will be implemented again starting January 2023. He said ASG is reviewing the feasibility of a travel permit for tourists for a shorter number of days with fewer requirements.
On entry permits to Samoa, Fainuulelei asked the government of Samoa to waive the entry permits for all US Nationals as well as the 65 dollars departure tax that only travelers to American Samoa pay before departing Faleolo. The assistance and reconsideration of these arrangements were put forward for consideration of the Samoa government and subsequent to noting Samoa’s general entry requirement.
Fainuuelei acknowledged the assistance of the Samoan government in the relocation of Samoa citizen deportees/returnees. In 2021, 26 Samoan citizens were deported to Apia.