Nauru Government Raises Visa Fee For Journalists

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Increase from $200 to $8,000 receives criticism

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 9, 2014) – An Australian journalist says media outlets will no longer be able to travel to Nauru if the Government raises its visa application fee for journalists by almost 4000 percent.

Nick Olle, who works for the Global Mail in Sydney, says the organisation's director of photograpy recently received an email from a Nauru Government representative, which stated the fee would be 8,000 dollars.

That compares to the current application fee of 200 dollars.

Mr Olle says he and his colleague thought there had been a mistake and a decimal point was in the wrong place.

"Not only is it an extraordinary fee but it is non-refundable. So you can apply for eight-thousand dollars for a single-entry visa to Nauru which will last up to three months, and if they reject it, you do not get your eight thousand dollars back. So, it is a very expensive gamble."

Nick Olle says he has been told the fee is expected to come into force this week after it has been gazetted.

[PIR editor’s note: Nauru's government has said the hike is for revenue purposes.]

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