Joint Public Notice - PNGICA & DLIR

The Department of Labour and Industrial Relations (DLIR) and Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) jointly announce the temporary closure of the Foreign Employment Division from DLIR that is responsible for issuance of Work Permit.

The Closure of the office commencing on the 19th of November 2021 would allow for the physical relocation of Staff, Assets and Work Permit system from DLIR to PNG Immigration Headquarters in Waigani.

The Work Permit function will reopen beginning 12 January 2022.

All Work Permit applications shall be lodged at the Immigration Client Service Counters inside Central Government Office (CGO).

This is part of the Government's vision to merger Visa and Work Permit and to create a one-stop-shop and limit unnecessary bureaucratic red-tapes and improves the ease of doing business in the country.

Explore Visa Option

Special Exemption Visa Visa

About This Visa

Individuals are required to apply for this visa if they intend to undertake paid or unpaid activities in Papua New Guinea, which are approved by the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Description of visa

Activities and categories of people who may be considered under for a Special Exemption visa include (non-exhaustive list):

  • to carry out duties as a foreign official of another country;
  • to undertake work in Papua New Guinea as an accredited diplomat; 
  • to visit Papua New Guinea as a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group;
  • person employed by or working on projects funded by overseas aid agencies; 
  • volunteers working with volunteer agencies on community based projects;
  • persons entering PNG to work as missionaries, priests, pastors, and other church workers not engaged in business activities of the church;
  • to undertake educational, medical or scientific research in Papua New Guinea; or 
  • to teach at a Papua New Guinean institution;
  • to provide emergency relief following a natural or national disaster; and
  • to provide domestic support to foreign diplomats residing in Papua New Guinea.

Criteria that must be met

The eligibility requirements for a Special Exemption visa  will vary depending on individual circumstances including the purpose and period of stay.


Validity Of Visa

Validity of a Special Exemption visa is subject to the individual circumstances of the applicant.

For further information regarding the validity of Special Exemption visas, please contact ICA


How to apply

Special Exemption visa applicants should submit their application using the paper form available to downloading at the bottom of this page.


Extension of stay

Depending on the type of visa you have been issued, you may be eligible to extend your stay in Papua New Guinea without leaving the country.

The eligibility requirements for a visa extension will vary depending on your personal circumstances, which include the purpose and the period of time you have already spent in Papua New Guinea, and length of the extension sought.

For further information regarding visa extensions, please contact ICA.


Change of circumstances

If your circumstances change at any time during the visa application process or after your visa is issued, you must inform ICA. A change in circumstances may affect your ongoing eligibility for the visa issued.

If your circumstances have changed, please notify ICA immediately.

A change in circumstances may result in you having to pay a Migration Service Fee. Migration Service Fees are listed here.



To obtain further information regarding the fees associated with lodging an application for a visa, extension or updating your details please refer to the Migration Services Fee Schedule, which can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Migration Services Fees, please contact ICA.