PNGICA CLAMPS DOWN ON DISCREPANCIES IN VISA
Papua New Guinea authorities are clamping down on visa discrepancies of foreign nations in a what they call routine spot check operation in the capital.
PNG Immigration and Citizenship’s boss, Stanis Hulahau in a media conference today said they have caught red-handed eight foreigners with visa discrepancy. https://ica.gov.pg/press-releases/2021/ica-calls-on-non-citizens-who-overstayed-their-visa-to-come-forward-immediately
We conducted a routine spot check exercise on Saturday 3, July 2021.
That was to assess compliance in several business houses in the National Capital District.
The locations covered include Vadavada, Two-Mile, Gordons, Rainbow Estate, Five-Mile and Erima.
The exercise revealed eight (8) foreign nationals have discrepancies with their visas.
UPDATE ON TWO-MONTH INTELLIGENCE GATHERING
Giving an update of a two-month intelligence gathering exercise in NCD, Chief Migration Officer, Mr Hulahau said they detected several foreign owned businesses operating in the city were suspected to be conducting disreputable business activities.
In addition, he said these business activities did not conform to regulatory standards including visa and work permit obligations.
Members of the task force inspected their premises and had several foreigner nationals apprehended, he said. https://pngsun.com/2021/07/29/namah-raises-concerns-on-national-security/
Let me make it clear that foreign nationals are always welcome to conduct businesses in the country. But, they must comply to all our laws including having valid visas to remain legally in the country.
The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority (PNGICA) has been issuing visas to all foreign nationals who have applied through the formal process.
The visa issuance, he said, is to encourage foreign investment, stimulate economic growth, create employment, skills transfer and retain skilled foreign employees during this challenging time.
But, I am also mindful of the national security issues concerning the conduct of certain foreign nationals engaging in undesirable businesses in the country.
WHAT HAPPENDED TO 8 FOREIGN NATIONS APPREHENDED?
Out of the eight (8) foreign nationals apprehended, two (2) have been identified to have refugee status and are now placed under the care of International Organization for Migration (IOM) for further investigation. The other 6 are now being detained at the Bomana Immigration Centre (BIC) for further investigation and appropriate actions.
Since taking up Office as the Chief Migration Officer (CMO), I have directed for a mechanism to issue visa in country in light of the COVID19 with a grace period of three (3) months.
Further, he said the main objective of that mechanism was to allow ease of doing business and to assist companies to regularize the status of their foreign employees in order to retain skilled human resources and allow business continuity.
Unfortunately, not all the companies and certain foreign nationals have complied with the grace period. This Spot Check operation revealed the prevalence of certain foreign nationals conducting undesirable businesses in the country. Also certain foreign nationals are working in PNG without appropriate visa.
“Let me remind those foreign nationals working illegally, overstayed or have discrepancies with their visas to come forward and see us so we assist you.
PNGICA will be conducting targeted spot check operation within NCD and around the country in the coming months.
If any foreign national is found to be living illegally or have discrepancies with their visas but failed to alert PNGICA, they will be apprehended, charged and detained at the Bomana Immigration Centre and subsequently deported out of the country.
“I will be working closely with IRC, Customs, Police and IPA to ensure foreigners respect our domestic laws on visas, tax regimes and other areas,” said CMO Hulahau.