Australia’says it welcomesthe increasing number of visa applications from Papua New Guinea
More Papua New Guineas will now be able to travel into Australia, with Australia’s plan to introduce online application. However, existing visa policies still apply.
Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Beb Carr said recently that Australia plans to simplify and speed up application processes comethe middle ofthe year to make online visa application possible.
Withthe introduction of online application,the increasing trend is expected to continue.
However, Mr Carr made clear that Australia doesn’t provide ‘point of arrival visas’ as screening applicants prior to arrival in Australia is inthe interest of both countries.
PNG has faced difficulty obtaining Australian visas due tothe long and strict processes involved. This has slowed business and trade relations betweenthe two nations. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill raised this issue while on business in Sydney late last year.
Currently, Australia is giving Papua New Guineas multiple entry visas that last longer than 12 months.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has appointed William Dihm as Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, revokingthe appointment of Ambassador Lucy Begari.
The government recalled Mr Dihm from his current post as High Commissioner to New Zealand. A handover takeover will be administered bythe Chief Secretary tothe Government.