Solomon Islands seeks visa-free travel with Australia, New Zealand

Solomon Islands seeks visa-free travel with Australia, New Zealand

SOLOMON ISLANDS wants to expand its open border arrangement by entering a visa-free travel scheme with Australia and New Zealand.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade said that securing an open border arrangement with its two partners and neighboring countries is its one last wish before the 11th parliament ended last weekend.

This is not the first time the Solomon Islands made the plea for a visa-free travel arrangement with its Pacific neighbors.

The Pacific Island nation has signed reciprocal visa waiver arrangements with other countries such as India, Morocco, China, Indonesia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, and Japan.

The outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs hopes that Solomon Islands will be able to strike the same deal with Australia and New Zealand noting that it will give the Pacific a true meaning of family.

The Henley and Partners Passport Index ranked Solomon Islands passport 38th in the world and its citizens can travel to 134 countries in the world visa-free.

At present, passport holders from Australia and New Zealand enjoy visas on arrival for tourist and business purposes when traveling to the Solomon Islands.

The citizens of Solomon islanders on the other hand must pay big fees when applying for a visa and endure a lengthy application process with no guarantee that the document can be granted to them.


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