Cabinet has approved the extension of visa and permit free entry to persons registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula and the descendants of all communities who have made Fiji their home including Girmitiyas.
After the post cabinet briefing Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says on 12th April, 2023 Cabinet approved the review of the Immigration Act 2003 by the Office of the Attorney General which was to carry out extensive consultations before a Bill is drafted.
Rabuka says cabinet has approved the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2023 which will be tabled in parliament next month.
The Bill has been drafted by the Office of the Attorney General following extensive public consultations.
The Prime Minister says the Bill will reinstate section 8(1)(g) of the Immigration Act which was repealed in 2010.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. He says the public and community consultations on the review of the Act also heard submissions from the public and members of the community for non-citizens who are descendants of communities who have made Fiji their home including the descendants of Girmitiyas, to also be able to enter and/or reside in Fiji without a permit or visa.
Rabuka adds this will include descendants of Rotuman, Chinese, European, Ni-Vanuatu and Solomon Islander communities and other communities including Pacific Island communities who have made Fiji their home and contributed to the development of the nation. He further says Cabinet has approved the exempted categories to be added to the list of non-citizens who may enter and reside in Fiji without permit or visa.
Rabuka says Cabinet has 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. 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.
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