Employers And Businesses To Adhere To Change In Short Term Work Permits Policy
Positions that expariates or any non-Fiji National person apply for locally should advertised because it’s mandatory.
This was higlighted by the Director Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa to businesses and employers present during the Information Session to clarify the changes with regards to the work permits; short term and long term visas and to address the processing time of work permits.
The Fiji Professional and Financial Services Council hosted this session at the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation boardroom yesterday.
Mr Vuniwaqa said, however if it is a family business and the applicant for a position in the business is a family member who is deemed as the best candidate for the position then the Immigration Department will deal with it separately.
“All positions are required to be advertised.
“The reason being we don’t want to nullify any opportunity for a local to take up the position.”
He said locals have to be considered for all the positions unless the employer deems that the local applicants do not meet their criteria or no locals applied for the position.
As of January 16, this year, the Fiji Immigration Department no longer accepted the following applications:
Short term work permit application – a 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.
The change in Fiji Immigration policy is as follows:
Prior to the recent policy change, any non-Fiji National person who intended to work in Fiji 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 (STWP).
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.
The STWP was granted for between three to six months for those seeking to undertake short-term work in Fiji.
For those who required a Long Term Work Permit (LTWP) the practice was to apply for a work permit prior to entering Fiji and this can be granted for up to 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.
Fiji Immigration’s new policy no longer permits further extensions to the 14 days business visa 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 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.