U.S. visa-free reports a hoax

By Ilia L Likou 16 November 2016, 12:00AM

The Embassy of the United States of America in Samoa has rejected reports circulated on social media yesterday that Samoans no longer need visas to enter America.

One of the websites which promoted the report was www.usaradio.com

The story said the United States Department of State had announced the new development, saying that Samoans had free access to the United States and any of its territories.

It quoted US Secretary of State, John Kerry, as saying the idea is to facilitate business trade between the two countries. The news received instant coverage across the world.  On social media, the page was quickly share hundreds of times with it attracting thousands of likes.

But the excitement did not last long. Late yesterday afternoon, the U.S Embassy issued a statement dismissing the reports. 

“Please be advised there have been no changes to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program concerning Samoan Citizens,” the statement reads.  “Any Samoan Citizen planning to travel to the United States will need a U.S. visa.”

It turns out, Samoa was not the only country affected. The people behind the hoax also said the same thing about many other countries – including neighbouring Tonga.

By Ilia L Likou 16 November 2016, 12:00AM

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