Online visa applications ‘in a number of weeks’: Gillard


BAI logo no textPapua New Guinea citizens will soon find it easier to travel to Australia, after Prime Minister Julia Gillard said PNG would join its online visa scheme and the process for obtaining five-year multiple entry visas would be eased.

Gillard visited Papua New Guinea last week, meeting with PNG’s Government, the Opposition Leader Belden Namah and addressing the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among other activities.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had argued to be included in what is known as the ETA visa scheme, described the current arrangements as ‘unfair and insulting’.

However, Gillard told the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry last Friday that Canberra would ‘simplify’ the visa application process for PNG citizens, ‘in a number of weeks’.

‘The number of visitor visas granted has now increased by 25% in the past year alone, we regularly exceed our ten-day clearing time, and we remain on track to deliver online visa lodgment for PNG tourism and business visitors to Australia by mid-year,’ she said.

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