28 Jun 2007

Clampdown on foreigners working on business visas in Fiji

8:59 am on 28 June 2007

Fiji's Immigration Department is to clampdown on foreign nationals who come into the country for full fledged employment using 14-day business visas.

The Fiji Times reports that the measure follows the detention and deportation this week of the Australia-based lawyer, Dr John Cameron, who arrived to argue a case in the Appeal Court.

The newspaper quotes the director of immigration,. Commander Viliame Naupoto, as saying the Cameron case was just the tip of the iceberg.

He says this has been happening for years and they are stopping it now.

He says under the Immigration Act employment in all professions, whether for reward or not, is not allowed and requires a work permit.

Commander Naupoto says he has been receiving phone calls thanking the department for the stand it has taken.

The acting president of the Fiji Chamber of Commerce, Swani Maharaj, says nobody should be allowed to come into the country without a permit if they are going to be practising their professions, including religious groups.

Mr Maharaj says it is time Immigration put its foot down.