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Permanent residence selection in Samoa modernised

The selection of non-Samoan citizens who are residing in the country under temporary arrangements but have expressed interest to become permanent residence as Samoan citizens entered a new era this week.

For the first time, the selection process for permanent residents is computerised with inaugural on online selection draw, executed by officials to pick the 15 lucky future citizens.

“The online selection draw replaces the manual drawing system which was affordable but had room for doubt and probable cause for concern,” noted Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo, Chief executive with the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“With the computerised selection, it lifts the transparency and accountability of the selection process and it’s fair for all.

“Management has also taken into the consideration the remarkable increase in the number of non-Samoa residents who have expressed interest for citizenship and residence over the years.”

For this year 73 non-Samoa residents have expressed interest.

And from that pool, the online draw has picked15 non Samoan citizens who are now a step away from becoming a permanent resident and citizen as long as they meet the remaining criteria. A reserve list of five has also been randomly selected in case one of the lucky 15 applicants fails to comply. And a fee of WST$3,000 (US$1,188) is mandatory.

“Prior to the computerized selection process, non-Samoa citizens who applied were considered on a first come first serve basis,” says Immigration Chief Siaopo.

“But we now have a legitimate selection process,” he continued. “And even if awarded Samoan citizenship and residency in the country there are provisions.

“For instance, if the new resident leaves and does not return in a one year period his or her Samoan citizenship status will be automatically cancelled.”

The 20 non-Samoa residents selected which include the Reserve List will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration as a lead up to the official swearing in ceremony in the coming weeks.


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