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Cabinet approves extension of visa, permits free entry

Cabinet has approved the extension of visa and permit free entry to persons registered in the Vola Ni Kawa Bula and descendants of all other communities who have made Fiji their home.

In a statement, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said on April 2023 already approved the review of the Immigration Act 2003 by the Office of the Attorney General.

Rabuka said an extensive public consultation was done on the proposed Bill that was drafted.

He said the Immigration (Amendment) Bill of 2023 will be tabled next month, when Parliament reconvenes.

“The Bill has been drafted by the Office of the Attorney General following extensive public consultations. The Bill will reinstate section 8(1) (g) of the Immigration Act, which was repealed in 2010.”

“Section 8(1)(g) provides that a non-citizen whose name appears in the Vola Ni Kawa Bula (VKB) be allowed entry to Fiji without a permit or visa, under the Immigration Act 2003,” the Prime Minister said.

Rabuka said wide-ranged consultations were done to get submissions from the public who have made Fiji their home, including descendants of Girmitiyas to also be able to enter and/or reside in Fiji without permit or visa.

The Prime Minister said the proposed bill will include Rotuman, Chinese, and European, Ni-Vanuatu and Solomon Islander communities and Pacific Island communities who have made Fiji their home.

“Cabinet approved the exempted categories to be added to the list of non-citizens who may enter and reside in Fiji without permit or visa. Cabinet authorised the Minister for Home Affairs, National Security & Immigration to issue Regulation under section 8(3) of the Immigration Act 2003 to add the exempted categories to the list of persons who may enter or reside in Fiji without a visa or permit.”

Rabuka added that the intent is to facilitate the return of non-citizens who are descendants of communities who have made Fiji their home to visit and/or reside in Fiji.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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