November 7, 2019
BY CLAUDIA TALLY UPNG Journalism Student
PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) has made a massive K91,000 in five days following the introduction of ICA’s online payment gateway for migration service fees.According to Chief Immigration Officer Solomon Kantha the new online payment system is beneficial to both domestic and international clients and will cut down significantly on paperwork as well as red tape.Mr Kantha stated that, “As of five days ago, 135 people have signed up for our MICA account for the online visa payment and they’ve placed 35 orders and we’ve made K91,000 in five days.”Mr Kantha elaborated stating that this is money coming into government revenue without going through businesses as well as agents as it used to.“Evisa product is one of our success stories and have been able to generate significant amount of revenue for the government through the visa platform” he said.This visa online payment gateway system comes after the ICA had a review of its visa fees which have not been reviewed for more than 10 years thus making it incomparable to other countries in the region.Currently the ICA has placed the visa fees against the US standard rate which ensures that Papua New Guinea can still generate revenue despite any fluctuations in other currencies.“If there are fluctuations in exchange rates, if there are depreciation in certain currency we still make money,” Mr Kantha said.Through the online payment gateway system ICA is trialing short term visa products such as visas for volunteers. There are 10 different visa products featured online which clients have the option of choosing from.As a security measure the ICA online payment system is linked with Interpol. Applications are scanned through Interpol as well as other local alert agencies system and if cleared are then processed.One of the benefits of the eVisa online system is that it has significantly cut out all the workload in overseas missions. Not only that but also applicants can make multiple payments for different visa products at the same time.According to ICA through the online system applicants can get their visa within minutes and also save their receipts online for future reference.However, clients who do not have the necessary requirements to pay online can also be assisted by ICA agents.