American Samoa

Political Status

American Samoa became a U.S. territory by deed of cession, starting in 1900. The matai (local chiefs) of Tutuila, the largest island in American Samoa, ceded the island to the United States in 1900. Manu'a followed in 1904. Swain Island joined the territory in 1925 by an act of the Congress. Authority over American Samoa was initially placed with the U.S. Navy which oversaw the territory until 1951.

Authority was transferred to the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1956, where it resides.

Even without an organic act or other explicit Congressional directive on governance, the people of American Samoa adopted their own constitution in 1967 and first constitutional elections were in 1977. Unlike citizens of other U.S. territories who are U.S. citizens, American Samoans are U.S. nationals. However, neither citizens nor nationals of U.S. territories vote in Federal elections and pay Federal taxes. American Samoa came under Federal minimum wage rules in 2007 and controls its own immigration and border matters.

Travel Requirements

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not exercise jurisdiction in American Samoa. No one may enter American Samoa unless he or she complies with certain entry requirements of the American Samoa Government. To enter the territory, a U.S. citizen or national must have in his or her possession: (1) a valid U.S. passport or certified birth certificate demonstrating his or her U.S. nationality and (2) a ticket for onward passage out of American Samoa or proof of employment in American Samoa. The requirements for an alien's entry into American Samoa mirror those for a U.S. citizen or national. In addition to a ticket for onward passage out of American Samoa, an alien must have in his or her possession a valid passport containing a photograph or fingerprint of the holder and authorizing him or her (1) to return to the country from where he or she came or (2) to enter some other country. Whether a U.S. citizen or national or an alien, once lawfully admitted, a tourist or business person may stay in American Samoa for up to thirty days beyond the initial thirty-day period, with the approval of the Attorney General of American Samoa.

American Samoa Leadership

Lemanu Peleti Mauga​

Governor of American Samoa

Office of the Governor

Executive Office Building

Third Floor, Utulei

Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

1 (684) 633-4116

1 (684) 633-2269 Fax

Uifa’atali Amata Coleman Radewagen

U.S. Representative

US. House of Representatives

1339 Longworth HOB

Washington, D.C. 20515

Fagatogo Office

Fagatogo Square

Fagatogo, AS 96799

(202) 225-8577

(202) 225-8757 Fax


Former House Representatives

Former Governors


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