24 Nov 2008

Interim Fiji regime unveils plan to attract back expatriates

8:11 pm on 24 November 2008

Former Fiji citizens living abroad will be entitled to permanent residency status in Fiji from next year.

The interim government made the announcement while delivering its budget last Friday, saying it'll grant automatic residency to its former citizens at a cost of 1860 US dollars from January year.

It's also setting up a foreign currency accounts scheme to make it easier for former citizens to send money home.

The assistant director for immigration, Joshua Nalewabau, says that means they will have the right to reside and invest in Fiji.

"They will virtually have the same rights as any other Fiji citizens except to vote. Primarily it's for investment purposes. The benchmark put by the Fiji Investment Bureau is 50 000 [Fiji dollars] for you to be able to own and run your own business. We're not giving this to people to work here, but to start a business."

Joshua Nalewabau says they will also be required to pay taxes.