Fiji Embassy DCFiji Embassy DC
consular
Fiji Business Gateway

Working in Fiji

To work in Fiji, you may need to apply for a Work Visa or Permit. This section will provide you with information about how to apply.

Work Permits

Permits to enter and reside or to enter reside and work in Fiji may be issued on application made to the Director of Immigration, Government Buildings, Suva, Fiji. The application form, which costs $5.00 each, is available at the Immigration Office in Suva, Nadi and Lautoka.

Such Permits are issued to:

• Ordained Priests and Ministers of Religion or recognized religious bodies only;
• Teachers, Lecturers, Professors with written contract of employments with local institutions upon the recommendation of the Permanent Secretary for Education;
• Nurses and Doctors, the need for whom is determined by the Permanent Secretary for Health;
• Persons under written contracts of employment with local employers and for whose services there is a reasonable demand, which cannot be met satisfactorily within Fiji. All these positions are first advertised in Fiji and work permits are only considered in the absence of local expertise. Usually, these permits carry a training condition whereby a local counterpart is required to be trained within the specified time.

Conditions

  • Permit to enter and reside or to enter, reside and work in Fiji for a period of three years at a time;
  • Applications for work permit shall be made jointly by the employer and the proposed employee to the Director of Immigration; 
  • A security deposit to cover the return airfare of the employee shall be given by the employer; 
  • The employee shall work only for the employer except as authorized by the Director of Immigration; 
  • Fourteen (14) days notice of expiration of contract shall be given by the employer to the Director of Immigration and in case of premature determination, immediate notice in writing shall be given; 
  • Where the Director of Immigration considers appropriate, the employer shall train a citizen of Fiji to replace the expatriate employee; 
  • The work permit shall become void immediately upon any conditions being breached.

The employee concerned must file applications with reasons given. This should be accompanied by a certificate from the Ministry of Employment and Industrial Relations that the skill is not available in Fiji including the name of the local understudy or counterpart.

A police clearance certificate from the applicant’s country of origin is also required.

Policy on Work Permit

The policy on work permit is as set out below:

  • the Immigration Department will consider applications for work permit on merit on a case by case basis;
  • the "key posts" usually reserved for the investor's choice are not required to be advertised – (see Investors Permit); 
  • the "time posts" or specialist positions are not required to be advertised when an investor is establishing his/her business but they must be advertised before the work permit renewal can be considered; 
  • work permits to small scale farmers will not be granted; 
  • work permits to straight machinists in garment factories will not be granted; 
  • applications for work permit from garment factories for the employment of specialist machinists (e.g. loom machinists) will be assessed carefully and approved only in exceptional cases, and where approval is granted, the ratio is to be 1:10, i.e. for every expatriate specialist machinist granted a work permit, the company/factory concerned is to employ at least ten (10) local specialist machinists; 
  • temporary, short or long term work permit will not be granted to a person who is already in Fiji on a visitor's permit. Anyone who is already in Fiji on a visitor's permit and intends to apply for any kind of work permit should leave the country before the application can be accepted; 
  • anyone intending to apply for a temporary, short or long term work permit should do so from outside Fiji; 
  • where there are multiple shareholders in a project approved by the Fiji Trade and Investment Bureau (FTIB), the number of work permits granted to the foreign shareholders to allow them to manage their investments in the Fiji Islands will be based on the following formula:

Amount invested by the foreign shareholders
-------------------
$50,000=* Number of "key post" work permits granted to the foreign shareholders* This number should not exceed the number of shareholders in a project.

  • where there is a single investor, the minimum foreign investment for the investor to qualify for a "key post" work permit is $50,000.00;
  • employers are required to provide either cash or bank bond as security for each employee before any work permit is issued; 
  • the amount of cash or bank bond will be equivalent to one way economy class airfare to the permit holder's country of residence plus $500.00 to allow for increases in airfares and to meet other associated costs, e.g. departure tax and the cost of local transportation. The rates for each country are available from the Immigration Department. 
  • Applications for work permit must be accompanied by the following documents:
    -where applicable, a clipping of the advertisement in the local newspapers;
    -the name (s) of the local understudy/counterpart and details of a training programme for the training of a citizen(s) of the Fiji Islands in the work for which the application for a work permit is made;
    -police reports in respect of the applicant and his/her spouse from their countries of citizenship and/or residence where they have lived for twelve (12) months or more in the last ten (10) years;
    -medical reports which are less than 3 months old in respect of the applicant, his/her spouse and children;
  • a certificate from a competent authority or documentary evidence acceptable to the Director of Immigration that the applicant has adequate knowledge of the English language; and 
  • The present application fee is $412.50. Further Information:

For further information on Investment opportunities, please visit the Fiji Trade and Investment Bureau website on www.ftib.org.fj or the Fiji Trade Commission in Los Angeles.

Research Permit

Research permit is usually issued to individuals planning to undertake approved research activities in Fiji. Research permit is issued based on the recommendation of the Research Committee. These permits are issued for three period of six months each and eighteen months in total.

Research Committee
C/- Permanent Secretary for Education, Youth and Sports
Marela House
Thurston Street
Suva – Fiji

Conditions:

  • Permits to enter and reside or to reside for a period not exceeding six months at a time may be granted by the Director of Immigration to persons entering Fiji for the purpose of bonafide research studies or projects;
  • The Director of Immigration must be satisfied that the research workers have an adequate assured income from sources outside Fiji; 
  • That while in Fiji he/she will not engage in any form of political or missionary activities or any activity which in the opinion of the Director of Immigration interfere with the internal administration of peace, order and good government of Fiji. 
  • That he/she will pay or return such hospitality as may be extended to him/her by Fiji citizens (where the applicant finds this condition difficult and/or embarrassing, he/she should seek advice through the Director of Immigration in Suva); 
  • That he/she will provide the Director of Immigration (without undue delay) with three copies of any thesis resulting from the work and ten copies of any seminar papers or journal articles, and (on need being shown in the form of a list of specified recipients) with a further nine copies of a thesis at cost, and a further twenty four copies of papers; 
  • That he/she will provide the Director of Immigration (without undue delay) with six copies of shortened, non-technical version of his/her findings in the English language, and will agreed to the translation of this shortened version into such local languages as the Fiji authorities may determine.