“Issuing work permits is the sole responsibility of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR).”
This is the comment from Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Rimbink Pato, following a news story quoting the Minister for Commerce and Industry, Wera Mori as referring to both DLIR and Department of Foreign Affairs in connection with work permits.
Minister Pato said it is important to clarify to the people of PNG the system of issuing work permits to non-citizens for employment and doing business in the country.
“I am sure that Minister Mori was intending to refer to the Foreign Employment Division of the DLIR, not the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“The Foreign Employment Division processes any application for work permits,” Pato said.
Minister Pato made it clear that the “Department of Foreign Affairs is not involved”. He said decisions on work permits are made by the Office of the DLIR Secretary in accordance wit the relevant legislation and regulations.
“Both Minister Mori and myself, and the whole Cabinet, are strong supporters of a work permit system that operates for the benefit of all people in Papua New Guinea, and for that system to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.”
He further added the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Services Authority (PNGICSA), a separate entity from the Department of Foreign Affairs and DLIR, is responsible for visa and passport processing, and issues visas for foreign workers only after work permit applications have been approved.