More and more Savai’i residents are taking advantage of the services from Immigration Division’s branch located on the second floor of the Salelologa Market.
That’s an affirmative, says Immigration Principal Officer, Pese Ulalei Tuigamala, in charge for the division’s Salelologa-based Branch.
Since it was established two years ago, an average of 20 plus on a daily basis have received assistance, which reflects a hundred per cent increase, says Pese.
“It’s mostly for new passports and renewals,” added the public servant who spent the last 30 years with the Ministry of Health before his appointment last November to become the permanent Immigration officer for Savai’i.
“We have also received a number of applications from foreigners requesting permits to remain in Samoa from time to time,” he added.
Presently, new passports requests are referred to Apia for final processing after documentation in Salelologa with Mondays and Wednesdays assigned for the passports to be uplifted once it’s cleared from the Apia Office.
For urgent cases, Pese says that applicants are advised to travel to Apia.
But overall, the Principal Officer notes that many of the Savaiians are receptive to process their request from Salelologa to save the trouble of travelling to Apia.
Pese and his assistant Iakopo Letoa who is the cashier and general clerk are also tasked with distributing the monthly Samoan Savali newspaper containing new matai registrations and court cases as well as the weekly bi-lingual Savali.
“The Samoan Savali newspaper is very popular among the matais and they flood our office at the beginning of every month to pick up a copy,” added Pese.
He is encouraging Savaii residents to contact the Salelologa Office for any immigration inquiries. Pese can be reached at Office 51-049 or his Cell Phone 774-9092.