Samoa Immigration works towards modernising Immigration Act.
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.