As of 16 January 2018, the Fiji Immigration Department will no longer accept the following applications:
- Short term work permit application – a type of permit given to an applicant for a term up to six months where the employer can show that the applicant’s expertise and knowledge is required urgently in Fiji; and
- Extension of 14-day business visa – an extension of up to three (3) months granted by operation of Section 9 (2) (c) of the Immigration Act 2003.
We briefly update on this change in Fiji Immigration policy.
Prior to the recent policy change, any person who intended to work in Fiji who did not have the right to work could seek, and would generally be granted, a 14-day business visa upon arrival into Fiji.
That person then had those 14 days to either apply for an extension to that business visa (also known as an authority to work) or a short term work permit. The requirement to apply for an extension was supported by a letter from the employer and evidence of a return ticket either on or before the expiry of the term of the applicable permit.
Generally speaking this process suited those who required a short term work permit between 3-6 months and therefore particularly worked for those seeking to undertake short-term voluntary work in Fiji for a reputable volunteer organisation. It also provided an option for humanitarian aid workers in the wake of a natural disaster such as Cyclone Winston in 2016.
For those who required a longer term work permit the more suitable route was to apply for a work permit prior to entering Fiji and this can be granted for up a term of up to three years before it must be renewed. This route and process to apply for a work permit of up to three years still applies.
However, due to Fiji Immigration's new policy no further extensions to the 14 days business visa will be permitted and at present the only viable option for those who intend to come to Fiji for work is to apply for a work permit before entering Fiji.
For those applicants wishing to work in Fiji for terms up to or less than one year, the same requirements as for the time post permit will apply except there will be no need to advertise the position or pay a bond. However, the applicant must produce a return ticket and we understand that the processing time for a permit with a term of up to one year will be ten working days. Upon the expiry of the term, it may be possible for the applicant to apply for an extension and the applicant may not be required to leave Fiji before making this extension application.
For work permit terms longer than a year, the same requirements apply and the processing time-frame of 21 days applies.
For more information on Fiji immigration matters, and to find out how our firm can assist, please contact: Ronlyn@sas.com.fj
Please note: This is a commercial law update provided for general information purposes only and is not legal advice nor do we speak on behalf of the Fiji Immigration Department