Australia and Papua New Guinea have further strengthened their relationship with the introduction of a special electronic visa arrangement.
The announcement of the agreement was made yesterday in Port Moresby by the representatives of the two countries.
This now means PNG travellers going for business and tourist trips in Australia will lodge their visas through the Internet instead of joining long ques.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration said; “those who have the access to internet can go to selected travel agents throughout the country. At the time of purchasing their ticket, the travel agent will also make the application for the Australian visa. This is a complete change to what has happened in the past in terms of travelling to Australia.”
Richard Marles from the Australian Government Representative said; “we operate under a universal system for all travellers to Australia but within that universal system, this is really a very special arrangement which honours the relation we have with PNG who is our very close friend and neighbour.”
“We are two countries which are bound together by history, and experiencing and expanding degree of travel between each other for business and tourists. That’s 80-per-cent of those who seek to travel from PNG to Australia. This is going to make an enormous difference.”
Both governments agreed to establish a joint traveller facilitation taskforce to identify legal and administrative requirements.
The service is expected to be introduced in the New Year.