Misuse of Apec travel card can mean prosecution

National

ACTING Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha has issued a warning to users of the Apec Business Travel Card (ABTC) who misuse it. They can be prosecuted for violating the immigration and labour laws.
“The Business Travel Card is one of the great advantages that we have from being a member of Apec. By using the ABTC, legitimate business travellers can cross borders in Apec economies without having to apply for a visa, and use of express lanes at airports.
“Using the ABTC makes business easier for Papua New Guineans traveling around the Apec region, and for businesspeople to conduct business and investment in Papua New Guinea.”
“This is a business visa. People abuse it by avoid applying for a work permit and working resident visa, but engaged in gainful employment traveling in and out of the country.”
Kantha said cases of misuse of the ABTC have been discovered by the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority.
“The conditions that come with the use of the ABTC must be respected by Papua New Guineans and foreigners. a
“There are clear rules for the use of the ABTC and transgression could see card users being in violation of immigration laws both in Papua New Guinea and other countries.
“The Apec Business Travel card is not a work visa, so if visitors come to PNG using their ABTC and engage in employment activities, they are breaking immigration and labour laws.
“The same goes for Papua New Guineans who travel using an ABTC for entry into other Apec economies.
“It is important that our travellers are always aware of visa laws in other countries. The bottom line is, if you are using the ABTC, the onus is on you not to violate the conditions that come with being given the card.
“If a card holder is unsure they should consult the ABTC website, and the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority, and check further with the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations and Department of Personnel Management.

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