The new MSF fees were approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) last year but the implementation was pending the introduction of the new online payment facility.
Kantha said the new fees provide a standard rate in USD for visa fees charged by ICA domestically and by PNG Diplomatic Missions abroad, allowing clients applying for a visa in any country to pay the same amount regardless of the value of their currency or fluctuations in exchange rate. The new fees will be implemented effective from 01 November 2019.
“This is the first review of visa fees after more than 10 years to ensure it is comparable to fees charged by other countries. Our fees are very low compared to other countries. For instance, we do not charge tourist and visitors visa fees whilst other countries such as Australia charges a tourist visa fee.
“This is a big step forward in generating foreign reserves for the country in a small way and improving revenue collection for the government,” said Kantha.
The new online payment gateway will allow applicants to pay fees online using their Visa Debit Card and lodge their applications with the copy of their payment receipt. Payment of fees will go directly into the government’s revenue account avoiding cumbersome processes of remittance of revenue from Missions collecting fees.
“We have also introduced a 2-day priority processing service fee for visas if clients want an urgent service,” added Kantha.
With this new payment option, clients do not need to stand in queue to pay for visa fees, passport, citizenship or other migration service fees. They can make multiple transactions for the same or different service at the same time as well.
All they need is to visit ICA’s website www.ica.gov.pg and access the online payment portal to make payment. A receipt will be produced electronically to the applicant which they can print and attached with their application. They will no longer worry about losing receipts as they will always have records of their payment online.
Kantha said the new online payment facility makes payment of services more efficient and cuts out opportunities for fraud and other abuse.
ICA as a frontline agency in facilitating travel of visitors into the country is introducing a modern way of doing business and to make their services more accessible and convenient for clients.