With its swaying palm trees, endless reefs and friendly locals, Fiji is a fantastic destination for a tropical escape. Here’s what you need to know about Fiji visa requirements and entry regulations to help plan your trip.
Fiji is one of the happiest, most relaxed countries in the world. But, like most other countries, they also care very much about preserving their way of life. This, combined with the lack of easily accessible online information, can make it a challenge to know what exactly you need to do in order to make your entry into the country go smoothly for both you and the immigration officers you encounter when you arrive.
In this guide I’ve compiled the information you need to figure out if you have to apply for a visa in advance and how to do it. I’ll also provide information on what you need to prepare if you qualify for a visa exemption, as well as some information for transiting and cruise ship passengers, extending a Fiji tourist visa, what to consider if you plan to bring your pet and which visa restrictions you need to be aware of as a tourist.
What is a travel visa?
A travel visa is the official authorization that allows a traveler to legally enter a country. Depending on your passport and the country you plan to travel to, you may need to apply for a travel visa in advance in order to be accepted entry to your desired destination.
The type of visa that you apply for may also depend on the type to travel you plan to do. For instance, if you plan to work in a country, you will need to apply for a work visa before you go. The kind of work visa you apply for may depend on the kind of work you plan to do. Please note that the information in this post, unless otherwise stated, applies only to tourist visas for those who do not plan on working or volunteering during their stay in Fiji.
Visa requirements for entering Fiji
All travelers to Fiji must prepare the following things in advance and be prepared to show them upon entering the country:
1. A passport that is still valid for 6 months after the date you leave Fiji
If your passport does not have 6 months validity at the time of your arrival, you will not be allowed entry into the country. Most (possibly all) airlines will not even let you onto the flight if you do not meet this requirement.
If you have less than 6 months validity on your passport before your trip to Fiji and it’s not possible for you to renew it, you may be eligible for a passport validity waiver. This requires you to mail in a Waiver Request Form, as well as an application fee and proof of the circumstances that prevent you from being able to meet the validity requirements. This should be done at least 2 weeks in advance, though I recommend submitting it earlier if you plan to go this route. More information for Australian citizens can be found here; those from other countries can check the Fiji Immigration Department website for current forms and fee information.
2. An airplane ticket out of Fiji
You will be asked to show this when you check in for your flight to Fiji, and possibly again when you go through immigration after arriving in Fiji. I have visited the country several times and have been asked to show proof of a ticket out every time.
If you don’t yet know what date you will be leaving the country, I suggest booking a refundable or changeable airline ticket that you can change once you confirm your travel plans. Some sources state that your return ticket has to be to your home country, but I’ve never had a problem with tickets to Australia and New Zealand. Having said that, I can’t confirm that this will always be accepted, so use caution. If your next destination is not your home country you may need to show proof that you hold a valid visa to go there.
There are companies that allow you to book a fake airline ticket for super cheap instead of buying a legitimate full-fare ticket, but I can’t recommend going this route. This is partly because I’ve never tried it and have no idea if it works when entering Fiji, but mostly because it seems unethical and is probably illegal.
3. A completed arrival card
These are usually handed out on the flight, and they’re available at the airport if the crew runs out of them. Keep in mind that Fiji, like Australia and New Zealand, is very strict about what is and is not allowed into the country. Make sure you declare all food items, and anything else specified on the form, or discard the items before you enter the country.
4. The address you will be staying in Fiji
This is required on your arrival card, but you may also be asked by the customs officer when you arrive in Fiji. It’s a good idea to have the address of your accommodation handy so you can refer to it if you need to. You may also be asked to show a copy of a recent bank statement showing that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the country. I personally have never been asked to show this, but it’s a good idea to have it prepared, just in case.
Do I need a visa to enter Fiji?
Not everyone needs to apply for a tourist visa – Fiji offers a visa exemption for those that hold passports from certain countries. Citizens of the countries on the exemption list do not need to apply for a visa in order to visit Fiji as a tourist, and can stay in the country for 4 months as long as they don’t do any paid or volunteer work.
It is important to understand that even if your country is on the visa exemption list, you are not guaranteed entry into Fiji. Make sure you are aware of all the entry requirements before your visit. The current list of visa exempted countries can be found on the Fiji Immigration Department website.
If your transit period is less than 3 hours, you do not need to apply for a visa. Travelers who are stopping in Fiji for more than 3 hours up to a maximum of 72 hours before continuing to another destination (and do not qualify for a visa exemption) are required to apply for a Transit Visa, which needs to be approved before you enter the country. To apply you will need to complete the Visitor’s Visa application form and provide a certified copy of your passport ID page, plus two passport-sized photos. You will also need to show a copy of the airline ticket to your next destination, as well as your permit or visa for that country.
Traveling to Fiji by boat
Cruise ship passengers
If you’re taking a cruise that stops at a port in Fiji, it is best to contact your cruise ship company or travel agent to confirm what information you’ll need to provide if you take an excursion off the boat. If your country is not listed on the visa exemption list, you will likely need to apply in advance for a tourist visa. All travellers must present a passport with at least 6 months validity.
Yacht or fishing boat crew
The information you need to provide depends on the purpose of your visit. This isn’t an area I have much knowledge about, but you can refer to the Denarau Marina website, which has some great information regarding entry requirements for yachts and small boats.
All visitors, whether crew or tourists, will have to show a ticket out of Fiji, however you can contact the Department of Immigration to ask for special permission to enter on a one-way ticket in exceptional circumstances.
Information for those who need a visa
Whether your country is listed on the visa exemption list or not, I encourage you to confirm via your embassy’s website that the status of your country hasn’t changed. There isn’t an option yet to apply online for a tourist visa to Fiji, which means that all visa applications need to be mailed, faxed or submitted in person at a Fiji Embassy office. The response, whether approved or rejected, is given in writing.
If you do need a visa for Fiji, you will need to apply for it at least one month in advance of your trip. I personally suggest applying a couple of months in advance if you can because things take a lot longer to happen in Fiji. Like, a LOT longer. We know people who have waited up to 6 months for work visas to be processed after getting a job offer. Fiji is an amazing country, but the waiting time for anything here is the slowest I’ve experienced anywhere in the world.
Single entry visas vs multiple entry visas
There are two types of tourist visas for those visiting Fiji. The first type is a single-entry visa which allows you to enter the country once for a maximum stay of 3 months. The second type is a multiple-entry visa allowing you to travel in and out of Fiji for up to 4 months at a time over a period of 12 months.
The two different types of visa have different application fees and the same application form; I’m unable to find any info about how to specify which one you’re applying for so I can only assume that they’ll assign you one based on your passport or the amount you’re paying. I recommend confirming with the embassy how this works before you apply.
Items to prepare
To apply for a Fiji visitor visa, you must prepare a few things. Again, I suggest confirming with the embassy that the information provided here is still correct, and make sure you have all of the required documents to avoid any extra delays. Here are the things you will need to provide:
- A completed visa application form (which can be found here).
- The application fee, which is $91 FJD for a single-entry visa or $180 FJD for a multiple-entry visa.
- A certified copy of your passport ID page.
- Three passport-sized photographs, taken recently.
- Confirmation of accommodation – this can be either confirmed hotel booking or a sponsor letter if you plan to stay in the home of someone you know.
- A copy of your airline tickets in and out of the country, as well as your travel itinerary. This includes a copy of an approved visa for the next country you’ll be traveling to, if it’s not your home country.
- A copy of a recent bank or credit card statement to prove you have sufficient funds to cover your trip.
- You may also need to provide a letter of consent from a parent or guardian if you’re under the age of 19, or from your spouse if you’re married and will be traveling unaccompanied.
Extending a tourist visa
Visitors to Fiji holding a multiple-entry tourist visa (and those with visa exemption status) are allowed to stay in the country for up to 4 months at a time. If you need to stay for longer, you can apply for an extra 2-month extension. To do this, you will need to submit a Visitors Permit Extension application, which can be found on the Immigration Fiji website. You will also need to provide a copy of your passport ID page as well as the page showing your entry stamp into the country, and a copy of a recent bank statement proving that you have enough funds to cover your visit.
If you’re staying with friends or family, they will need to act as your ‘sponsor’, and you must send with your application a copy of their ID along with a letter from them stating that they will be accommodating you for the duration of your stay. If you’re staying at a hotel, you must send a copy of your booking or proof of payment from all the accommodation your will be staying at through your trip. The fee for a tourist visa extension is $91 FJD.
There are always limitations to tourist visas that you should be aware of, and it’s important to respect them to avoid penalties, which could include fines and even imprisonment or deportation. As mentioned above, a tourist visa for Fiji generally allows a visitor to stay for a maximum of 4 months, with a possible 2 month extension. It’s important that you don’t overstay, and that all the information you include with your visa application is truthful.
Travellers holding a tourist visa in Fiji are not allowed to study or do paid or volunteer work during their time in the country. If you would like to change your tourist visa to a student permit or work permit, you need to leave the country and submit the proper paperwork for the new visa. You are also not allowed to actively look for work while currently in the country.
Information for all travellers
You should always be aware of what you’re allowed to bring into the country you’re traveling to. I recommend checking the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service website to find out about the current passenger allowances to avoid dealing with fines or problems when you arrive. Make sure you also read your arrival card thoroughly – if you’re unsure whether something is allowed, it’s best to either declare it or leave it behind, just to be safe.
There are no mandatory vaccines required for travellers visiting Fiji , though it is recommended that you are up-to-date on your routine vaccinations, as well as Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. You may need to show proof that you’ve had a Yellow Fever vaccination if you’ve recently traveled in or through a country where it’s present. It is also strongly recommended that all travelers to Fiji are vaccinated against Measles, as there is a current outbreak within the country.
Bringing your pet into Fiji
For the preservation of the natural wildlife, as well as the safety of your own animal, I recommend considering not bringing your pet with you when you visit. Fiji has put strict biosecurity laws into place in an attempt to protect and preserve the natural plant and animal life that is unique to the country.
Despite the laws, there is a huge problem with stray animals in Fiji, due to a combination of things, including a lack of spaying and neutering pets, residents letting their animals roam free and and a common habit of leaving pets behind when people move overseas. This has also caused an unfortunate amount of animal cruelty within the country, including poisonings and intentional hit-and-runs. The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji can provide more information about bringing your pet into Fiji, and you can also refer to this straightforward guide.
- Visitors to Fiji do not need to apply for a visa if their country is listed on the visa exemption list.
- Anyone from a country not on the list will need to apply in advance for a single-entry or multiple-entry tourist visa.
- All applications should be filed as far in advance as possible, as waiting times in Fiji can be long.
- All travelers need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, as well as an onward ticket out of Fiji.
- Most tourist visas allow visitors to stay for a maximum of 4 months, with an extension of 2 extra months.
- Tourists in Fiji are not allowed to work, study or volunteer, and must leave the country to change their visa.
Are you ready for your Fiji trip?
Make sure to check out my guide on what to pack for Fiji, which details what you will want to have in your luggage for the climate and activities like village visits. I also give tips on the things you don’t need to bring with you and suggestions about the unique souvenirs you might want to bring back home with you.
You can also check out my Fijian language guide, which will help you learn some of the common Fijian words and phrases so you can connect with the locals. It gives a bit of insight into Fiji’s 3 main languages, and helps you learn the basics of pronouncing iTaukei words.
I’ve also created a printable travel planner that will help make trip planning a breeze. This 7-page PDF has spots to fill in hotel and flight details, emergency info, must-do activities and more. It is available as an instant digital download in the Onwards + Upwards shop.
*Please note that this article was written prior to the Covid-19 pandemic so some information may have changed.