27 Jul 2002

One hundred thousand Fijians seek a new life in the United States

8:29 am on 27 July 2002

More than one hundred thousand Fiji citizens have applied to migrate to the United States through the Green Card lottery.

The figure has been confirmed by an official of the US embassy in Suva, Chris Hodges.

He says there have been an extremely high number of applicants since the May 2000 coup up to now, but only a fraction of these get a Green Card which enables people to live and work in the United States.

The labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, has expressed concern about the brain drain and appealed to people not to leave the country.

But the Daily post says Mr Zinck has admitted that unless there is good governance and stability, the brain drain will continue.

The recent Fiji Update 2002 seminar revealed that more than 160 thousand Indo-Fijians have left the country since independence.