AUSTRALIA is responding to our government’s call for visa waiver for Solomon Islands citizens by speeding up visa processing and providing 3000 permanent migration visa for its Pacific family each year.
Speaking to the media today (9th August 2022) visiting Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Minister for Defence Industry Honourable Pat Conroy said he had already delivered this message to the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
A message which the Minister said the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had also delivered when he visited the Pacific Islands Forum meeting last month.
“We need to deal with the back log of visas that we’ve inherited from the last Government,” Mr Conroy said.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Honourable Jeremiah Manele in June this year called on Australia and New Zealand to consider providing reciprocal visa waiver for Solomon Islands passport holders.
Minister Manele made the call when he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand Honourable Nanaia Mahutu and Minister Conroy at the margins of the CHOGM in Kigali, Rwanda.
Mr Conroy said Australia is offering Pacific Engagement Visa for the Pacific.
“For the first time in the history of Australia we will have a permanent migration visa purely for one region – the Pacific – where 3,000 permanent migration spots will be allocated to people in the Pacific each year to build our peopletopeople links, and that’s something that’s an important initiative that I’ll be working with the Minister for Immigration, Andrew Giles, on,” Mr Conroy said.