The National, Friday July 19th, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
PARLIAMENT on Tuesday passed the amended Employment of Non-Citizen Act of 2013, an act that will grant restricted employment visas for non-citizens.
Industrial Relations Minister Mark Maipaikai said the amended act would replace the Employment of Non-Citizen Act of 2007.
“It will allow non-citizens here on urgent contractual obligations access to faster short-term employment visas.”
Maipakai said the amended act would pave the way for the granting of short-term employment visas for non-citizens, particularly those with specialised skills who were required to enter PNG on short notice but now faced the hassles of prolonged visas requirements.
The minister said visas requirement for short employments for specialised jobs had been a problem in the past as industries and businesses had to wait for a long time to arrange visas for specialists to come and fix parts that no one in the country could fix.
He said a result business in the country had suffered through increased costs and loss of businesses but with the passing of the bill, the granting of a new visa amendment would reduce cost and therefore it was healthy for the industries such as the PNG LNG project and other industries operating in the country.
He said with the economic boom, it was timely that the government looked at relaxing the visas laws for those specialised jobs to enter the country.
“This has been a long overdue law. Through wider consultation the act has been developed in need of the industries in the country,” he said.
He said it was a simple amendment but it played an important part in the operation of the businesses.
Mapakai said the amendment would not create any issues, although it might affect the visa fees but generally the immigration would still benefit through fees paid upon arrival of the non citizens.
He said the focus of the amendment was the business, generally the industries, but it was healthy for the growth and development of the country in terms of investor assurance and increase business opportunities.