MPs angered over Australian visa conditions
29 April 2012
BY FIRMIN NANOL
PAPUA NEW GUINEA'S PARLIAMENT has again raised concerns over Australia's strict visa conditions set on its citizens wanting to visit Australia.
Deputy prime minister Belden Namah accused Australia of setting strict visa conditions on its citizens, while PNG allows Australians to get a visa on arrival.
He says it's unfair for Australia to treat its neighbour like that when both countries enjoy a long standing historical relationship.
"I want to appeal to the Australian government, if we are giving you easy access to Papua New Guinea, why not lift some of those cumbersome processes," he said.
"It is unfair.''
Some MPs also called on the PNG government to reconsider its visa policy with Australia, while others said Papua New Guineans should visit other countries like China or Malaysia instead of Australia.
From Bigpond News, Friday 3 May....
PNG PM seeks Aussie visa overhaul
The Papua New Guinea PM Peter O'Neill wants easier visa access for his people to travel to Australia.
The Papua New Guinea prime minister wants a reduction in the mountain of paperwork his people face when they try to visit Australia.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has flagged easier visa access will be on the agenda when Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits Port Moresby later this month.
'There's unnecessary questions of individuals' ability to look after themselves when they get to Australia,' Mr O'Neill told ABC radio on Friday.
'There's unnecessary questions about individual integrity and personal information.'
He wants Australia to offer the same visa arrangements as it does to New Zealand citizens.
'Papua New Guinea is a former colony of Australia, New Zealand is not but they seem to have better access to Australia than our citizens,' Mr O'Neill said.
'It's grossly unfair.'
He said it's a pity increasing numbers of people from PNG are turning to Asia for their medical and education needs rather than Australia which can be reached within two hours.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 04 May 2013 at 07:30 AM
I don't know what to say about this. I lived in New Zealand before moving to Australia. The New Zealanders can't understand why it's so hard for PNGeans to move freely into Australia, especially with the close relationship.
Its not that extreme for Tongans, Samoans and Fijians to get into NZ.
Posted by: Steven Sorua | 27 June 2012 at 07:27 PM
PNG seems willing to be a bit more flexible than Australia.
From The National this morning -
Foreigners get 30 more days to renew visas
FOREIGNERS living in Papua New Guinea who have overstayed their visas have been given an extra 30-day grace to surrender voluntarily to the Office of Immigration and Citizenship Service so they can leave without any prosecution.
The additional 30 days from the initial deadline of April 17 is to allow those working in rural areas and logging camps who have not heard of the moratorium to come forward.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Ano Pala made the announcement, saying the extension was a result of consultations with business houses and diplomatic missions based in PNG.
Pala reiterated that those who had overstayed their visas or illegal immigrants would not be prosecuted, fined or penalised during the period of the moratorium.
He said foreigners living illegally in the country were a threat to national security as they were employed illegally and denied locals opportunities for employment and could be involved in other illegal activities.
“They must leave the country voluntarily during the grace period under the moratorium or face prosecution and a total ban from entering the country if detected after the expiry of the moratorium,” he said
Posted by: Peter | 02 May 2012 at 09:35 AM
Good point Peter re something seriously wrong at both ends.
Posted by: David Kitchnoge | 30 April 2012 at 09:46 AM
Bernard - Good point. Getting a tourist visa for PNG is simple - just turn up at Jackson's and pay a few kina.
Getting a work visa is however a different matter. References, x-rays, AIDS test, police clearence, certified birth cert, proof of innoculations, doctors clearence, proof that you're not working in a reserved occupation, then endless delays trying to get an application processed etc.
I knew some people for whom this took 6 months. In the meantime they were in PNG on temporary business visas and had to leave the country every 6 weeks.
You have to jump through hoops, unless you were prepared to grease a few palms, which quite a few resorted to out of frustration.
Something's seriously wrong at both ends.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 30 April 2012 at 08:30 AM
Make it fair by applying the same guidelines to Australians applying for a PNG visa.
Posted by: Bernard Sinai | 30 April 2012 at 08:09 AM
Why are PNG politicians crying foul over what type of restrictions on travel Visas Australia is placing on our citizens?
What Australia does in its opinion is in their national interest (ie, PNGeans are not on the same level of decency as the Fijian or other Pacific Islanders).
Because our politicians have gone so low to lick their ar..s we have given them a free rein to move in and out of PNG as they please.
Remember what they did to the Grand Chief some years back. So be it. Reciprocate the same treatment and impose the same visa requirements they are dishing out to us.
Invite the Chinese in, give the Chinese the clearance to build a deep sea port on Manus, get the PLA to train and conduct joint exercises with the PNG Defence Force..and see what Australia will say about it.
We can then simply tell them to piss off, since PNG, after all, is an Independent state..just like Australia. Get PNGeans to visit Jayapura across the border or even China and other Asian countries instead.
Posted by: Moais Gabuar | 29 April 2012 at 11:30 PM
I agree, Peter, there can be no other basis for strict visa requirements then what has been mentioned.
Australia and PNG have ties that are far closer and long-standing than other countries.
Can the Australian government please explain why they are so strict?
Posted by: Bruce K Daosak | 29 April 2012 at 08:08 PM
Namah and others have a valid point.
We've been trying to get a visa for Mum-in-law and Auntie to visit Australia for several months. The last requirement is for me to send copies of my bank statements to relatives to pass on to Immigration.
This is presumably to prove that they can be supported while on holiday in Australia, as I am sponsoring them. This is for a 2 week holiday.
I regard this as an invasion of privacy and a threat to the security of my personal ID. (Why else did some of Rose's 'friends' so insistently ask for her to try and get my bank account number and copies of my signature?)
Australian Immigration seems to be working on the basis of a risk assessment of citizens from various countries posing a threat via absconding or overstaying. PNG is obviously regarded as high risk - hence the extreme visa requirements.
My question is, on what basis does Australia rank PNG citizens as high risk? Do we have publically available statistics on overstayers and absconders which might justify such a policy?
The ABS has some old stats on this available here -
The top 10 offenders are from -
I don't see PNG anywhere on this list. And the numbers are ridiculously low. Malaysia is the worst with 160 people.
So I think people can rightly claim that this is a racist policy unfairly discriminating against PNG citizens, until proven otherwise.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 29 April 2012 at 09:02 AM
The cheek of Belden Namah! After his terrible behaviour at the Sydney Casino, can't he see he is the type of person who has caused this problem in the first place.
Posted by: Mrs Barbara Short | 29 April 2012 at 08:20 AM