FIJIANS LIVING ABROAD RETURN UNDER DUAL CITIZENSHIP

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Many drawn by investment opportunities in Fiji

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, February 10, 2009) – Former Fiji citizens based in Australia make up majority of the people who have applied for dual residency and returned to Fiji to share their wealth and invest here.

Of the 82 applications received since the implementation of the Permanent Residence Permit (PR) policy on January 3, 2008, 45 are from Australia, confirms Immigration Director, Commander Viliame Naupoto.

Naupto told Fijilive that New Zealand applicants followed with 24, United States (12) and Canada (1).

The PR status entitles former Fiji citizens, their spouses and immediate descendants permanent residency status at a cost of $3,000 per person.

The PR status gives them almost all the rights and privileges of Fiji citizens, including the right to invest and work, but not to vote.

"You can come back into the country start up your business just like any other Fijian and you can also work in the field that you are an expert on so it is almost like a Fiji citizen except you do not have the right to vote," Naupoto explains.

He said that the initial policy was to put a timeline to the PR Permit, however dual residency holders can now stay in Fiji indefinitely if they do not break any laws during their stay.

Of the applications already approved, Naupoto said they had come to invest "across the spectrum", including educational institutes, property development, internet café, hardware electrical, wholesale, restaurants, kitchenware, manufacturing and rental car business.

"And we have some of them who are already in the country with their businesses already set up," he said. "This includes agriculture, pharmacy, prawn farming, even a musical centre and accounting."

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