People with dual citizenship are now prohibited under latest amendments to the State of Emergency Orders to return to Samoa using their Samoan passport or foreign passport with a visa exemption for a short term trip.
The Head of State his Highness Tuimalealiifano Sualauvi Va’aletoa II endorsed the latest amendments to the SOE orders indicating under section 1 subsection 2 that it is prohibited for a person who holds more than one citizenship to use a foreign passport to travel out of Samoa, and returns to Samoa using his or her Samoan passport or foreign passport with a visa exemption for a short term trip.
Furthermore the SOE orders says that if liable that person is subject to a fine of $2,000.00 in addition to paying quarantine costs.”
Savali reports that samoans with dual citizenship have been a long standing issue for the National Emergency Operation Committee and the Ministry of Health in bids to protect Samoa from COVID19.
Since the S.O.E. went into effect almost two years ago, a number of citations were issued by N.E.O.C. implicating Samoans with dual citizenship travelling under the guise of their two citizenships to travel into and out of Samoa, with local taxpayers picking up the tap for their repatriation and quarantine expenses.
Chairman of the NEOC Agafili Shem Leo on several occasions expressed concerns over the limited capacity of local authorities to prohibit and impose fines and penalties because Samoans with dual citizenship are Samoan citizens as prescribed by the Constitution.