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New online process for American Samoa entry permit waiver program

[photo: screen shot]

This screen shot of the ASG Department of Legal Affairs website, shows the webpage, that provides an online link with information for visitors to American Samoa. For example, one of the web-links provides the application and payment process for foreigners from 38 countries that qualify under the American Samoa Entry Permit Waiver Program, or EPWP, to enter the territory.

The EPWP allows citizens of specific countries to visit American Samoa without needing an entry permit for a period of 30 days or less for a $20 fee. Among the countries under the EPWP are New Zealand, Australia, and France.

The EPWP along with other local entry regulations were implemented last September by Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale, following a directive from Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga in August last year. At the time the AG’s Office was working on the online application and payment process to make it easy for visitors to apply online as well as getting more information.

Prior to the new online process, EPWP visitors either paid the $20 for entry in advance or at the airport upon arrival.

Samoa News notes that countries listed under the EPWP, are the same countries under the US government entry permit waiver program.

Applying and paying the fee requires 48 hours before arrival in Pago Pago.

The online link: — also provides details and other information for all travelers, including transit passengers and fishermen to the territory, and is in line with regulations that were set up by Talauega in response to the governor’s directive to set up such regulations to “Combat Illegal Immigration” in American Samoa.

The governor says there is an influx of immigrants entering the territory illegally, bringing with them illegal drugs and other contraband is well documented. (See Samoa News editions of Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 for details of these regulations.)

Samoa News encourages future visitors to the territory to check this link for details, as there have been many off-island inquiries — including from the US — to Samoa News seeking entry information into the territory.

Under local law, the Attorney General oversees the Legal Affairs Department, which includes the AG’s Office and Immigration Office.