Members of PIDC


Samoa Immigration works towards modernising Immigration Act, February 2018

The Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet (MPMC) working in collaboration with the Pacific Immigration Directors Conference (PIDC) undertook a review of Samoa’s Immigration Act 2004. The review team consisting of representatives from the department of Immigration, Attorney General’s Office, Samoa Law Reform Commission and PIDC Secretariat undertook the weeklong consultation programme from 19-23 February 2018.

The MPMC Chief Executive Officer, Agafili Shem in briefing government and public-sector stakeholder officials highlighted the need to review Samoa's Immigration Act after 13 years. Agafili said that the aim of the review was to strengthen the Act to respond to evolving migration trends and patterns in the Pacific and beyond to ensure the security of the country's national borders.

The review also provided an opportunity to assess and align immigration entry requirements to Governments drive for a ‘one stop shop” Immigration and labour process . “One key outcome of the review process is having clear provisions in the Act to support Governments one stop shop concept that the MPMC and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour are working collaboratively to implement ” said Agafili Shem.

The PIDC in supporting Samoa’s immigration review process recognised the importance of immigration agencies developing modern and streamlined national policies and legal frameworks aligned to international standards and best practices that should support immigration' s effectiveness in executing its core business.   

Twenty three government agencies and private sector representatives took part in the weeklong consultations identifying concerns and highlighting strengths, gaps and weaknesses in the existing immigration law framework. Stakeholders openly expressed the challenges created under the current immigration entry requirement framework and opportunities that the department could consider to improve efficiency in service delivery. The Samoan Transnational Crime Unit highlighted the increasing threat of transnational crime in the region and expressed support for the role Immigration played in collectively combating this threat. The consultations highlighted the evolving migration landscape and the need to modernise and streamline immigration policies and frameworks without compromising national security.  

PIDC Information Sharing Working Group Meets in Honiara, November 2017

The PIDC Information Sharing Working Group (ISWG) held its third meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands from 20-21 November 2017. Working Group members including Australia, NZ, Tuvalu (SIS), Palau (Micronesia), French Polynesia (Polynesia), Vanuatu (Melanesia) and Solomon Islands (Host) participated in the meeting.

The ISWG was established to lead and support coordination of PIDCs’ information sharing work programme. The third meeting sought to advance proposed activities and timelines to developing a regional PIDC MoU for information sharing, discuss the establishment of a regional network of accredited contact points, options of hosting a regional workshop to enhance PIDC Members’ capacity to use readily available platforms to collect, store and analyse information sharing, and develop standardised regional Immigration data types that would facilitate seamless information sharing between agencies.

In addition, participants discussed possible avenues for improved collaboration with the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre in order to support future PIDC activities. Participants acknowledged the work undertaken by the Secretariat to advance these key areas through secured channels of communication that would allow PIDC Members to freely and securely share information. Intelligence information sharing framework was identified as specialist areas of work that was to be addressed at the national levels. Committee members expressed their satisfaction with the clarity of work undertaken and noted that a significant amount of work undertaken had advanced the activities agreed to by Members at the 2017 RAM.  

PIDC Holds Seminar for Development of Regional Model Standard Operating Procedures, November 2017

The PIDC Secretariat hosted a Seminar to develop Regional Model Standard Operating Procedures in Port Vila, Vanuatu from 13 - 17 November 2017.  Fourteen PIDC Members    (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) including the Directors of Immigration for French Polynesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu participated in this seminar. The Seminar allowed PIDC Members to strengthen regional efforts to secure borders and better facilitate legitimate travel by collaboratively developing a robust, modern and streamlined set of model SOPs. With the support of regional immigration specialists, the Seminar developed a PIDC guiding resource aligned to international and regional standards and best practices for Members to adapt taking into account national circumstances when developing national immigration SOPs.

The Seminar identified a number of best practices to provide additional and innovative approaches to immigration activities with participants developing the basis of model SOPs for issuing passports and visas, passenger processing at airports and seaports, immigration investigations and deportations, and managing cruise liners, criminal deportees and outlaw motorcycle gangs. In their discussions, participants acknowledged the importance of maintaining flexible and updated SOPs utilising innovation and technology to future proof immigration processes and interventions.   Participants strongly encouraged members that had yet to develop national SOPs to adapt the Regional Model SOPs as appropriate with national circumstances, and requested the Secretariat to engage with larger PIDC administrations and partner law enforcement organisations to provide technical assistance and support for the adaptation of SOPs where required.

PIDC Hosts Labour Mobility Workshop for Immigration Officers, October 2017

The Pacific Immigration Directors' Conference (PIDC) in recognising the importance of labour mobility in the Pacific Islands and in seeking to determine how to best contribute as an organisation to regional efforts strengthening the links between labour mobility and economic growth hosted a regional workshop with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) in Fiji from 2-4 October 2017. The workshop specifically targeting immigration officers was attended by twenty-three participants from the PIDC Membership *(Australia , Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) including partner organisations from Immigration New Zealand’s Seasonal Workers Scheme Section and the Australian governments Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Participants included senior public officials such as the Director of Immigration for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Director of Immigration for the Federated States of Micronesia and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Director of Policy. The forum provided PIDC Members an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the national and regional importance of Labour Mobility and its role in sustainable development for Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). More importantly the forum discussed immigrations role in labour mobility and how it continues to support labour mobility policies and schemes.     

In support of these activities and in recognition of vulnerabilities faced by Smaller Island States (SIS), the Immigration officials also held a side event meeting chaired by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to advance the regional agenda set by SIS Leaders in September 2017.

The Workshop acknowledged immigration’s important role in facilitating effective labour mobility schemes as the national agency responsible for managing cross border migration. In addition, participants developed a number of recommendations that would be used as a basis to guide future PIDC interventions at the national and regional levels.  

A key part of discussions was a review of a draft PIDC publication on Labour Mobility in the Pacific Region which: (a) provided an overview of labour mobility schemes that PICTs are presently participating in; (b) examined the roles that PIDC immigrat ion agencies currently play in labour mobility schemes; (c) assessed how these agencies may be impacted by future expansion of regional labour mobility opportunities.   As a result of these discussions, participants then developed recommendations on how PIDC can best support its Members to facilitate their engagement in offshore labour mobility.

Some key recommendations for future work included keeping PIDC Members engaged and supporting national labour mobility schemes, develop an online presence to support international information sharing and sought to actively develop national immigration labour mobility expertise to support national policy development.   Participants also encouraged the PIDC Secretariat to implement further consultative forums for immigration officers.



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