300 Foreigners In Fiji Overstaying Their Visas

Police work to track, deport visa violators

By Litia Cava

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 3, 2016) – There are more than 300 foreigners overstaying in the country after the expiry of their visa, the Immigration Department says.

Department of Immigration acting director Litia Saumaka told the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence yesterday they were working with police in tracking and deporting overstayers.

Mrs Saumaka revealed this when she was questioned by committee member Ratu Suliano Matanitobua on the number of people who had stayed in Fiji longer than permitted by their visa.

Mrs Saumaka could not confirm their nationalities, the reason for their visit and the cost of deportation.

"Our team is working hard with the police unit in locating these people and also their removal from the country as soon as we have them," she said.

Mrs Saumaka said the establishment of a safe-house in Nadi last year was a major achievement for the department because illegal immigrants were usually kept at a hotel in Nadi before being deported.

"The ministry has further enhanced the memorandum of understanding with development partners to address relevant treaties that had been rectified and signed to uplift the level of service delivery of the two identified agencies (police and military) to uplift the security of our borders," Mrs Saumaka said.

Chief operations officer Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu says the force will continue to work with the Immigration Department to ensure the arrests and deportation of illegal immigrants.

"We facilitate the department's request and I cannot confirm how often we receive these requests but as stated earlier that we work together with the department to locate these illegal immigrants,"Mr Tudravu said.

Currently, there are 81 countries which have treaties with Fiji allowing their citizens to enter the country without applying for a visa.

Fiji Times Online.
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