Visas on arrival end March 1

National, Normal

The National, Thursday February 20th, 2014

 AUSTRALIANS will not get visas on arrival in Port Moresby and other major centres from March 31, Immigration chief Mataio Rabura says. 

He said the move was in response to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s decision to maintain the no visa-on-arrival for Papua New Guineans travelling to Australia.

“After the visit by the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, during which the prime minister reiterated PNG’s desire for Australia to reciprocate its visa-on-arrival facility, and the response of maintaining the status quo, the government’s decision to ban the visa-on-arrival facility to Australian passport holders will now be enforced,” Rabura said.

“The decision though taken in December, was not effected due to the government’s desire to give ample time to the government of Australia to reconsider its response given to the PNG ministers at the PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum in Canberra last year, and for Australian citizens who had already confirmed travel arrangements to PNG to undertake confirmed travels.”

He said the March 1 ban meant Australian passport holders would no longer be able to:

  • Obtain visitor (all classes) and business (short term entry and restricted employment facility) visas on arrival at any port of entry in PNG; and,
  • Be granted uplift letters for issuance of the aforementioned visas on arrival at any port of entry in PNG

“Australian passport holders will be required to obtain these visas at the nearest PNG overseas mission/posts abroad where there is no PNG government representation,” he said.

“PNG’s current missions/posts in Australia are located in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.

“Visiting PNG on cruise ships, including flying in to join a cruise ship to catch a flight out of PNG, will not be affected by this ban because they are granted visas electronically without the need for prior application.

“Transiting through PNG for less than eight hours does not require visas, and are to remain within the international transit lounge at the airport.”