Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, who is on an official visit to PNG, says the best way forward for Papua New Guineans to get their visas quickly, is through online Visa Application.
Bishop revealed this during a business breakfast this morning at Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.
She said Australia is offering the opportunity of online visa application for Papua New Guineans, so they can apply for a visa to Australia, online, before they leave the country, as visas on arrival in Australia can be a long wait.
Minister Bishop’s comments come after a recent decision by the PNG government to ban Australians from getting visas on arrival easily in Papua New Guinea, to reciprocate for Papua New Guineans standing on queues and waiting in Australia to have their visas processed.
The move has raised concerns as it may affect PNG’s tourism industry.
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, explained last week at the launching of the National Working Group, the frustrations that Papua New Guineans’ go through in applying for visas and the pressure it has produced on the Government to put the ban on Australia.
Bishop, on her fourth visit to PNG, said applying for an Australian visa online will ease the situation for Papua New Guineans, rather than trying to get visas on arrival.
Bishop, who was formerly the shadow Foreign Affairs Minister in Australia’s Opposition, highlighted the importance of PNG-Australia bilateral relations, urging for stronger economic partnership.