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No more extension of visitor's permit for expatriates: Vuniwaqa

March 13, 2018 1:39 am

A directive has been issued to all businesses and companies who are bringing in expatriates that there will be no more extension of visitor’s permits for those foreign workers who come and work in Fiji.

Director Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa says there are instances where expatriates do come in for a 14 day visit and companies are extending their stay by applying for extensions which they have accommodated.

Vuniwaqa says this practice will not be allowed anymore because of continual abuse by employers opting to extend visitor permits as opposed to applying for a work permit.

“From now onwards there will be no extension of this permits, they will have to leave after their consultancy period in the country because previously they will stay here as a consultant and after that the company thinks that they have to stay longer, so they have requested and we have accommodated it we have said yes but now we are going back to square one whereby there is no extension, they will have to stay here for that particular period and they will have to leave.”

Vuniwaqa says companies will now have to apply for work permits for these expatriates once they are out of the country.

In an effort to ensure that all procedures are strictly followed, the Department of Immigration has made changes to certain laws that will disallow this practice.

The law states that the Immigration Department allows non-citizens to be engaged in business or investment, volunteer, research, religious activities and consultancy works while on a visitors permit for a maximum period of twelve weeks from the date of arrival.