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Chapter 05 - Entry and departure

Chapter 05 - Entry and departure

41.0501 Ports of entry.


(a) No person may enter American Samoa from any place outside American Samoa except at a port of entry.

(b) Although the only authorized ports of entry into American Samoa are the port facilities at Fagatogo, and the Pago Pago International Airport, the Board may designate other ports of entry, as necessary, between legislative sessions, provided the ports of entry are submitted for approval at the next session of the Legislature.

41.0502 Entry requirements.


(a) No person may enter American Samoa unless he complies with the following requirements:

(1) A national of the United States shall have a valid passport, travel document, or a certified birth certificate to demonstrate citizenship and have in his possession either:

(A) a round trip ticket to his point of origin or onward passage to a destination beyond American Samoa;

(B) proof of employment and assignment to American Samoa.

(2) Military personnel and their dependents must have valid military identification cards, official military orders or leave authorization form from their respective branch of the United States Military.

(3) A tourist or business person must:

(A) have in his possession a valid passport or other travel document issued by competent authority authorizing him to return to the country from which he came or to enter some other country: the passport or travel document should be valid at the time of entry, and should contain either a photograph or fingerprint of the holder;

(B) have in his possession a round-trip ticket to his point of origin or onward passage to a destination beyond American Samoa;

(C) comply with any current requirements of the public health officer;

(D) a tourist or business person may stay up to 30 days and with approval of the Attorney General or his designee may stay an additional 30 days; however, the filing of an application for an alien registration card pursuant to 41.0303 shall not entitle an alien arriving in American Samoa under subsection (D) to extensions of stay beyond 60 days after original entry into the Territory.

(4) All permanent residents of American Samoa, except members of the armed forces, must present proof of residence at the time of entry in such forms and in such manner as prescribed by the Board. Permanent residents who are members of the U.S. armed forces must have valid military identification documents with a certification by the military authority concerned that American Samoa is the home of record.

(5) All members of a crew of a vessel or aircraft in transit as certified by their employer may remain in American Samoa and must carry sufficient identification, so long as they remain a member of the crew, otherwise they must meet the other requirements of this section as applicable. Alien crew members that have terminated employment with their vessel or aircraft must depart the Territory for their countries of origin or otherwise.

(6) All government employees and their dependents must furnish proof of government employment and assignment to American Samoa.

(7) All other persons must furnish such documents as required by the Board unless otherwise provided herein.

(b) The Board may by regulation create such additional requirements for any of the categories set forth in subsection (a) as it finds necessary for the administration of this chapter.

(c) All persons are required to comply with the requirements of this chapter within 24 hours after arrival.

(d) All aliens must have valid identification with them at all times.

41.0503 List of passengers and bill of health required.


The master or pilot of every vessel or plane arriving in American Samoa from a port outside of American Samoa shall, upon demand of the Attorney General or the public health officer, furnish a list of passengers aboard, together with the bill of health.

41.0504 Advance notice of arrival required.


The agent or owner of any ship other than aircraft due to arrive in American Samoa shall give to the Immigration Office at least 24 hours advance notice of arrival.

41.0505 Payment of government personnel working after hours.


Any vessel or aircraft arriving or departing before or after the normal hours as established by the Attorney General shall pay for the service of all government officers required to clear the vessel or aircraft.

41.0506 Discharge of crewman.


No person, including the owner, agent, charterer, master or commanding officer of any vessel or aircraft, may pay off or discharge any non-American Samoan crewman employed on Board a vessel or aircraft arriving in American Samoa without first having obtained consent of the Attorney General in writing.

41.0507 Inspection of persons seeking entry.


(a) The inspection, other than the physical and mental examination, of persons seeking admission or readmission to or the privilege of passing through American Samoa shall be conducted by the Attorney General or his designee and any immigration officer, except as otherwise provided herein. All persons arriving at ports of American Samoa shall be inspected by one or more immigration officers at the discretion of the Attorney General and under such rules as he may prescribe.

(b) Any person whose right to enter or remain in American Samoa is in question may be required to deposit his passport or travel documents upon the inspecting officer’s request, and the officer may retain the passport or travel documents until the person leaves American Samoa.

(c) Any immigration officer authorized under regulations prescribed by the Attorney General shall have power without warrant to interrogate any person believed on reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts to be an alien as to his right to be or to remain in American Samoa.

41.0508 Temporary removal of persons upon arrival.


(a) Upon the arrival, at a port in American Samoa, of any vessel or aircraft transporting persons, the immigration officers may order a temporary removal of those persons for examination and inspection at a designated time and place to ascertain if those persons belong to any classes excluded by this Title. The temporary removal may not be considered a landing, relieve the owner of the vessel or aircraft from any obligation under this chapter which would bind the owner if the persons remained on Board.

(b) So long as the removal lasts, the owner of the vessel or aircraft shall be relieved from responsibility for the safety of the persons removed. The owner may, however, with the approval of the Attorney General, assume responsibility for the safety and well being of persons removed if he guarantees the removal to a designated place for examination and inspection. When this occurs, the removal need not be made by an immigration officer.

(c) The owner of the vessel, aircraft or transportation line shall pay all expenses of the removal to a designed place for examination and inspection. He shall also pay all expenses arising during any subsequent detention, pending a decision on the person’s eligibility to enter American Samoa and until the person is either allowed to land or to return to the care of the transportation line or to the vessel or aircraft which brought him. The expenses shall include maintenance, medical treatment in a hospital or elsewhere, burial in the event of death, and transfer to a vessel, aircraft or transportation line for deportation.

(d) No expenses incident to detention may be assessed against the owner of the vessel, aircraft or transportation line in the case of any person who arrived in possession of a valid entry permit and who is finally admitted to stay in American Samoa after the detention.

41.0509 Oaths, and taking of evidence, regarding entry.


(a) The Attorney General and any immigration officer may administer oaths and take and consider evidence of or from any person concerning the privilege of any person he believes or suspects to be seeking to enter, pass through or reside in American Samoa, or concerning any matter which is material and relevant to the enforcement of this chapter, and, where action may be necessary, to make a written record of the evidence.

(b) Any person coming into American Samoa may be required to state under oath at any time the purpose or purposes for which he comes, the length of time he intends to remain in American Samoa, whether or not he intends to remain in American Samoa permanently, and any other items of information that will aid in determining whether he is entitled to remain in American Samoa.

41.0510 Arrest without a warrant.


(a) Any immigration officer shall have power without warrant to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien as to his right to be or to remain in American Samoa.

(b) Any immigration officer may arrest without a warrant any alien who in his presence or view is entering or attempting to enter American Samoa in violation of any law or regulation made in pursuance of law regulating the admission, exclusion or expulsion of aliens, and may arrest any alien in American Samoa if he has reason to believe that the alien is in American Samoa in violation of any such law or regulation and is likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained for his arrest.

(c) The person making the arrest without a warrant in accordance with this section shall immediately thereafter make an affidavit and apply to a member of the Board for an order of arrest and commitment, until the Board’s next meeting, of the person under arrest.

41.0511 Boarding and searching of vessels and aircraft without a warrant.


Any immigration officer may, without a warrant, board any vessel within the Territorial waters of American Samoa and search for aliens. He may also, without a warrant, board any aircraft for the same purpose.

41.0512 Search, without a warrant, of persons and their personal effects.


Any officer or inspector of the immigration division authorized and designated under regulations prescribed by the Attorney General may conduct a search, without a warrant, of any person, and of the personal effects in the possession of any person seeking admission to American Samoa if the officer or inspector has reasonable cause to believe that grounds for exclusion under this chapter exist and would be disclosed by the search.

41.0513 Departure clearance.


(a) All persons departing from American Samoa may be required to obtain clearances from the Treasurer of American Samoa and the Chief of Police prior to being allowed to board any aircraft or vessel.

(b) The Treasurer may grant a clearance only after payment of any indebtedness to the Government of that person, his spouse or children, and the Chief of Police may grant a clearance only after he is satisfied that the person is not charged with a crime or awaiting sentencing for conviction of a crime.

(c) If a person attempts to depart from American Samoa without the clearance required by this section, he may be taken into custody by an immigration officer or a police officer.

(d) As used in this section, “departing” does not mean leaving American Samoa temporarily to attend a wedding, funeral or convention, or to take a vacation. The burden of establishing that one of the above is the reason for leaving shall rest on the person leaving.

41.0514 Violation of 41.0503 to 41.0505-Penalty.


Any person violating 41.0503 to 41.0505 shall be sentenced as for an infraction.