Minister for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Rimbink Pato, announced in a media release yesterday that the much awaited dual citizenship applications will be available in March of this year.
The announcement will certainly be welcome news to our fans who have anxiously been waiting for further developments on this since the law was introduced last year that dual citizenship would become a reality.
Much of the delay has been due to the certification of various amendments which was necessary before the administrative tasks would proceed. That certification has now been accomplished later last year.
Minister Pato stated that “With dual citizenship, we are able to attract skilled workers who will be able to stay and build a home in Papua New Guinea, but still be able to return with ease to their place of birth to see family”.
“We know the pride that comes with our citizens being able to present a Papua New Guinea passport when they travel across borders, and we are pleased that more of our people will soon be able to do exactly that”.
Immigration members will be available to assist the public on completing the applications and lodging them. This Minister stated was to make the process more “transparent”.
The current passport system has also been changed to cater for this change in dual citizenship.
The Immigration Minister reiterated that the process of dual citizenship “is not an automatic process”. Applicants will still need to fulfill the eligibility criteria on the respective forms.
There are two categories of people who can complete the dual citizenship forms: 1. PNG citizens wanting to be dual citizens of a prescribed country and retain their PNG citizenship and 2. People who hold a citizenship in a prescribed country and wish to gain dual citizenship with PNG.
The prescribed countries are: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, United Kingdom and United States of America.
The National Government has approved the dual citizenship application fees as follows:
Current PNGcitizen or former citizen seeking dual citizenship with a prescribed country: PGK5,000
Cchildren of mixed parentage turning 18 years old and intend to retain their PNG citizenship: PGK2,000
Citizen of a prescribed country seeking dual citizenship: PGK15,000