Proof of assets needed for Australian visa

Picture: SBS

PORT MORESBY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2018(THE NATIONAL) – A Papua New Guinean seeking to obtain an Australian visa has to show evidence of an asset such as ownership of a property to prove as an incentive to return home.

This is just one of the many requirements that Papua New Guineans are faced with when applying for an Australian visa.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs told The National last week that Australia had a universal visa system which was non-discriminatory, saying it cooperated with PNG on a broad range of issues “in the interest of regional security and prosperity”.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had earlier urged the Australian Government to seriously review visa requirements and make requirements fairer, stating:

“The difficulties Papua New Guineans have in obtaining visas to visit Australia discriminate against our people and totally disregards the historical relationship we share,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill termed as “excellent” the record of Papua New Guineans complying with visa requirements in Australia.

“We have to wonder what some officials in the Australian bureaucracy are worried about,” he said

A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Home Affairs told The National that Australia and PNG “have a long history of close cooperation on a broad range of issues in the interest of regional security and prosperity”.

“The Australian government will continue to seek opportunities to strengthen these ties,” the spokesperson said.

Another requirement for a visa application is evidence of access to funds to support the stay in Australia which would mean PNG applicants would have to disclose his or her personal bank details. The Australian government recently updated its visa application policy, requiring PNG citizens to show proof of polio vaccination in their Australian visa application forms.

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Home Affairs said that this approach was consistent with World Health Organisation advice for countries affected by polio.