Foreigners who want to go to the island country for travel or with more long-term plans must ensure that their paperwork is in order and that they have the correct visa or work permit for Fiji.
Expats must find out which permit is right for their situation and apply accordingly, as it's nearly impossible to change between visas after arriving in Fiji. In most cases, expats who want to change the type of visa they are holding will have to apply from outside the country.
Apart from visitor's visas which are available at the border for some nationalities, most visas for Fiji should be applied for well in advance.
Visitors visa for Fiji
A visitor's visa allows the holder to enter Fiji for a holiday, for transit or for business purposes. There is a single-entry visa (valid for three months) as well as a multiple-entry visa (valid for four months).
Nationals of countries including Australia, Canada, South Africa, the UK and the US are exempt from needing a visitor's visa for Fiji. These visitors are issued a visa upon arrival and will only need an onward ticket, proof of sufficient funds and a passport that's valid for at least six months from the date they intend to leave the island. Citizens of other countries should apply for their visa through the Fijian embassy or consulate in their home country.
Work permits for Fiji
The Fijian Department of Immigration grants work permits for Fiji on a case-by-case basis.
There are different types of work permits, ranging from those for expats wanting to start a business in Fiji and invest in the local economy (Investor Permit for Non-Citizen Investors), to work permits for expats who are taking up a position that cannot be adequately filled by a Fijian citizen (Work Permit for Non-Citizen Skilled Contracted Workers).
Residence permits for Fiji
Those looking to settle down in Fiji but don't intend to work or set up a business would need to apply for the Residence Permit on Assured Income. This permit is for those who have assets outside of Fiji that can be used for their upkeep. Most expats who fall into this category are retirees.
Expats applying for this permit will need to submit proof of funds, such as an offshore bank account statement or a retirement scheme statement. Other requirements include medical and police reports.