By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
The minister said the delay in the legislative amendments being certified at the end of 2016 had now been completed and this would now enable administrative steps to press ahead.
Pato said there are a number of considerations that were taken into account when processing applications for dual citizenship.
"It has to be stressed that dual citizenship is not an automatic process, but one that needs an applicant to demonstrate that he or she is eligible to be considered for the grant of dual citizenship under the relevant laws.
He said there are two categories of people who can seek PNG dual citizenship.
"One category is that of PNG citizens who want to hold citizenship of a prescribed country and to turn in their PNG citizenship.
"The other category is that of people who hold citizenship of a prescribed country and wish to gain dual citizenship with PNG," Mr Pato said.
The prescribed countries under this arrangement are Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, United Kingdom and United States of America.
"Dual citizenship is distinguishable from the single citizenship by naturalisation which is still available should one wish to renounce their foreign citizenship and retain only PNG citizenship," he said
The National Government has approved new application fees for those who are applying for dual citizenship:
Current PNG citizen or former citizen seeking dual citizenship with a prescribed country the fee is K5000.
Children of mix parentage turning 18 years old and intend to retain their PNG citizenship the fee is K2000.
Citizen of a prescribed country seeking dual citizenship the fee is K15,000.
He said dual citizenship is a new concept and creates great opportunities for people at home and around the world.
"Through dual citizenship, our best and brightest can retain their connection with their homeland and not be hampered by bureaucracy.
"With dual citizenship we are better able to attract skilled workers who will be able to stay and build a home in Papua New Guinea, but still be able to return with ease to their place of birth to see family," he said.
Mr Pato said after Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in December 2016, a series of administrative measures needed to be implemented and these are now in place including checks and balance and transparency in the system and to prevent misrepresentation.
He said the application forms for different categories of applicants such as investors and sports persons are also being reviewed and finalized. Post Courier/PNG Today