BY GORETHY KENNETH, Post Courier
EIGHT countries have been allowed dual citizenship in Papua New Guinea, a historical moment announced by Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato yesterday.
People of these prescribed countries Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, United Kingdom, Germany and United States of America can now apply for appropriate dual citizenship options.
Others eligible for dual citizenship and allowed to apply include investors, by marriage, long-term resident, sportsperson and by descent.
Mr Pato made the announcement in Port Moresby flanked by the chairman of the Citizenship Advisory Council Solan Mirisim and PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority acting chief migration officer Solomon Kantha.
“Following my statement made in February 2017 on implementation of Dual Citizenship, I am pleased to announce that all legal and administrative requirements are now in order for the implementation of dual citizenship,” he said.
“This is a historic moment for PNG as PNG will for the first time enable foreigners to hold dual citizenship with PNG and PNG citizens to hold dual citizenship with another country.
PNG is part of the globalised world and after 41 years there are many reasons why we must be on par with the changes taking place in the world,” Pato said.
“Many citizens have either married, lived or are working abroad and want to maintain their connection with the country.
“Similarly, foreigners who are married to Papua New Guineans and those working, investing and actively contributing to the development of the country want to be part of this country without losing the connection to their country of origin,” he said.
“As mentioned in my last statement, there are two categories of people who can apply for dual citizenship.
“The first category covers people from the eight prescribed countries to apply for dual citizenship with PNG.
“The second category is for PNG citizens opting to hold citizenship of another prescribed country while still maintain their PNG citizenship,” Mr Pato said.