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Entry permit center of Atoa o Samoa Executive meeting

Issues concerning entry permits between Samoa and American Samoa were again at the center of the Atoa o Samoa meeting in Apia this week. Attorney General Fainuulelelei said that American Samoa will be trialing a 7-day permit waiver, which Samoa will reciprocate.

There was a lengthy debate during the Atoa o Samoa Executive meeting when requirements for the entry permit were discussed.

Chief Executive Officer of the Prime Minister's Office in Samoa and Chief Immigration Officer Agafili Shem Leoʻs said that Samoa welcomes inputs from their counterparts on ways to move forward together without having to go through an arduous process of obtaining police reports and medical clearances in addition to a village Mayor's signature, to get an entry permit.

According to Agafili, the American Samoa Government should consider waiving specific requirements such as Police reports and Medical clearance.

In response, Fainuulelei explained on April 10 this year, Samoa citizens traveling to AS intending not to reside or work in the territory would be exempted from providing medical clearance.

However, the Police clearance will be valid for one year for every 30-day entry permit trip per year. American Samoa is trialing a 7-day permit waiver, which Samoa will reciprocate, said Fainuulelei.

When Samoa's delegation was given the time for questions, Agafili again queried if American Samoa would consider issuing visas on arrival for those coming to the territory for faʻalavelave (family obligations). But, he received a stern "no" from Fainu'ulelei without going into much explanation.

Regarding the 7-day waiver permit, Samoa citizens can travel to AS without obtaining entry permits. The max for Samoa citizens to be approved monthly is 400.

A valid passport or identity document and a confirmed roundtrip ticket are required. A written confirmation that the traveler will be staying at a hotel or private host, with the permit fee of $40.

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