Editorial content

Visas and Work Permits
Updated on: June 7, 2022, 5:36 a.m.
Published on: October 18, 2021, 11:58 p.m.

Visas and Work Permits

Anyone travelling to PNG for whatever purpose must have a valid entry permit or visa to enter. The Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) is responsible for administering visas in coordination with Papua New Guinea Embassies globally.

You can visit the PNG ICA’s website for the latest visa requirements and a list of diplomatic missions globally: www.ica.gov.pg.

For expatriates moving to PNG for work, employers typically manage the process of securing a work permit and visa for new overseas employees and any family travelling with them. Generally speaking:

  • Employees will complete the application forms, keep copies, and send them along with the required documents to the employer, who will submit the applications themselves with the relevant authorities.
  • The employee must be outside of PNG during this process.
  • The employee will then submit a valid passport and copies of the application form to the closest High Commission, Embassy or Mission, who will issue the visa to the traveller.

There are six types of visas available in PNG 

Visitor Visa 

This visa is for those holidaying in PNG, or visiting friends and family, and is available on a single or multiple entry basis; it does not allow the entrant to work in PNG. Applicants must prove they are genuine tourists or visitors and may be required to produce evidence to support this.

PNG allows citizens from some countries to apply for a visa on arrival; however, the list of countries is limited. For example, Australian residents must obtain a visa before arriving in the country or risk being refused entry. Visit the ICA website to confirm the list of countries eligible for visas on arrival: https://ica.gov.pg/visa-information/visa-on-arrival

Business Visa

Allows the entrant to conduct business for a short time in Papua New Guinea. Business activities include buying or selling goods, carrying out a trade mission, supporting a major infrastructure project, or carrying out any business with an authorised representative of an overseas company or person. Applicants may need to provide proof to support their application. 

PNG offers options for single or multiple entry business visas. Business visas on arrival are only available to eligible foreign nationals and under specific circumstances. Australians are not presently eligible for a visa on arrival. Visit the ICA website to confirm the list of countries eligible.

Image Source: Loop PNG

Working Resident Visa

There are many different classes of visa associated with a working visa in PNG, such as employment, journalism, and restricted employment.

Eligibility for a general employment visa will depend on the duration of the stay and specific circumstances of the application (for example, if you are the relevant employee or the spouse of an employee).

Study Visa

Eligible for those enrolled in courses or otherwise studying in PNG. Applicants must prove they are studying and may be required to produce evidence to support this.

Special Exemption Visa

This visa is for those undertaking specific activities within PNG, such as a foreign official, an accredited diplomat, or volunteers working with a volunteer agency. Eligibility criteria will depend on the individual circumstances and the length of stay.

Permanent Resident Visa

Application for a permanent resident visa will depend on the applicant’s circumstances, their ties to PNG, and the duration of visas previously held.

How to Apply for a Visa for PNG

Paper Applications

Paper-based applications can be submitted by visiting the ICA website and downloading the relevant form. The form can be submitted to the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Services Authority (PNGICSA) or the nearest PNG Diplomatic Mission together with supporting documents.

PNG eVisa Application

The ICA website has a new online application process via the ICA website (www.ica.gov.pg) or by visiting: https://evisa.ica.gov.pg/evisa/account/Apply

Image Source: ICA eVisa


Note, the eVisa process is not applicable for Working Residents.

Cost of PNG visas

Every individual applying for an entry permit or visa must pay the relevant application fee. If applying from outside PNG, you should contact your nearest PNG Diplomatic Mission to obtain prices in your local currency.

PNG Work Permits

Types of PNG Work Permits

Non-citizens who wish to work in PNG will require a Work Permit from the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations. As with the visa, the employee will complete the application form and send it to the employer who will make the application. It is a prerequisite to obtaining a visa.

There are three main types of work permits:

  1. General Work Permit: The most common type, where there is a commercial relationship between the employer and the employee.
  2. Volunteer Work Permit: Is where the employment contract between the employer and employee is voluntary.
  3. Bridging Work Permit: Is a permit granted for 60 days and allows non-citizens to remain in PNG while the new application for a work permit is processed.

How to Apply for a PNG Work Permit

Visit www.workspermits.gov.pg to find downloadable application forms. 

The Application Form, Passport, Medical Documentation and Police Certificate should be lodged at the relevant PNG Diplomatic Mission, along with the accompanying visa. Supporting documentation should be lodged by the sponsor at PNGICSA for approval.


Dependants of the employed person, specifically the spouse, unmarried children under the age of 18, and elderly parents will need to complete a separate application for an entry permit.

In exceptional cases, visitor entry permits may be granted to children over the age of 18 who are still dependent on their parents; this refers to a child who has a severe disability or is continuing their education in PNG.