Politics, Rights

An $8,000 Gag Visa

The Nauruan parliament has endorsed a 3,900 per cent increase in the visa application fee for journalists — making it prohibitively expensive for the media to report from the Pacific island republic where Australia now detains hundreds of asylum seekers who arrive by boat.

Under the new fee structure, which is expected to come into force this week, it will cost media professionals $8,000 to apply for a single-entry visa valid for up to three months. The money would not be refunded even if the application were rejected.

Presently, journalists can apply for a subclass of business visa for media workers. The Nauru government website says the fee is $200.

Nauru’s Principal Immigration Officer Ernest Stephen told The Global Mail that $200 is the application fee for a single-entry visa for up to three months and that journalists could pay $400 to apply for a one-year multiple-entry visa.

Mr Stephen said the new $8,000 fee had been approved by the Nauruan parliament but would not be implemented until it had been gazetted, which he expected to happen in the next couple of days.

Single-entry three-month tourist visas cost $100 — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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