ASG restores some visa-free travel for citizens of Samoa

While ASG has offered a seven-day visa-free travel requirements for Samoan residents to the territory, a request to remove the departure tax for American Samoans traveling out of Samoa was unsuccessful.

The ’30-day permit’ requirement does remain for Samoa passport holders wishing to travel to American Samoa, except that they have been exempted from providing medical and police clearances when applying for a 30-day permit, if they have no plans of residing or work during their stay in the territory.

Samoa News reports the change was made effective on 10 April, 2023 and was announced by Attorney General Fainuulelei Falefatu Alailima-Utu at the Atoa o Samoa meeting, held in American Samoa last week. 

However, a request asking the Samoa government to remove the departure tax at Faleolo International Airport for American Samoans was unsuccessful.

Samoa Observer is reporting that Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa clarified that the departure tax applies to every traveler "regardless of their country of origin.” 

PM Fiame explained that the requirements are provided for under the Samoa Airport Authority (fees, charges and levies) Regulations 2012. 

She informed the American Samoa government that the departure tax does not only target people traveling to American Samoa and every traveler departing Samoa has to pay the departure tax.

 Fiame then furthered explained that the departure tax is included in the airline tickets purchased by different travelers, with the respective airlines of their choice.

However, for people traveling to American Samoa, the tax is not included in their airfare, because Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways were not paying the departure taxes to the Samoa Airport Authority, hence the move to remove the departure taxes from the airfares and collecting it at the departure lounge at the Faleolo Airport. 


Photo file credit Samoa News