A bill to establish an entry visa requirement was introduced during the 13th Regular Session of Senate this January 2020.

The bill seeks to “promote border security” through establishment of entry visa requirement as well as increasing the “qualifying purchase price under the Elite Resident Visa Program.”

In addition to preventing undesirable individuals from entering Palau, the bill seeks to control migration of people seeking refugee status for which Palau does not have capacity to handle.

Citing the recent online gaming incidents where people easily came in on tourist’s visa, overstaying and engaging in short term work without work permit as some of the reasons for enacting such law.

The bill exempts passport holders of United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Japan, Republic of Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan).

It further allows the Minister through regulations to establish exemptions for transiting passengers, crew members, persons with valid work permits, diplomats and other special classes.

In addition, the bill amends current Elite Resident Visa Program raising the investment value to $1 million from $250,000.

The Senate bill 10-170 was introduced Senators Akitaya, Chin, Inabo, Kyota, Senior and Whipps. (L.N. Reklai)