Fiji plans Dual Citizenship seminars in March

The Fiji Government is organising seminars early next year to explain the salient features of its Dual Citizenship Scheme to attract former Fiji nationals who have become New Zealand citizens.

The seminars will be held in Auckland and Wellington towards the end of March 2012 but the actual dates will be announced later.

Wellington based Acting Head of Fiji Mission Mere Tora said the move was a part of her Government’s strategy to encourage former Fiji nationals in New Zealand to take up dual citizenship and benefit from investment opportunities in Fiji.

“These seminars will enable former nationals to understand the rules and regulations governing dual citizenship and obtain information relating to Fiji’s tax regime and investment incentives and repatriation of funds from Fiji.

“This knowledge would be useful in the decision to take up Fijian citizenship and invest in business or retire in Fiji,” she said.

Officials of the Department of Fiji Immigration, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority and Investment Fiji will speak at the Seminars.

While the seminars are free of charge, entry would be restricted to those expressing their interest on or before November 30, 2011 in the prescribed Expressions of Interest (EOI) form, which can be downloaded from the Fiji High Commission website (www.fiji.org.nz).

Completed forms must be emailed to viti@paradise.net.nz

As published in our Special Report on Fiji (Indian Newslink, September 1, 2009), the Dual Citizenship Scheme is among the initiative of the Fiji Government to woo its former citizens back to its fold.

Prime Minister Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama told Indian Newslink at his office in Suva on August 17, 2009 that the State Cabinet had decided to reinstate the scheme, which had been withdrawn by the Laisenia Qarase Government almost 12 years ago.

“We have lost hundreds of thousands of people (mostly Indo-Fijians) to other countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US where they have made progress as individuals and businesses. I would like to invite the sons and daughters of our soil to return to Fiji and assist in our rebuilding efforts,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said the brain drain has had its toll since over the years, dearth of talent was visible in many fields.

“I am sure the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and others realise the significant contributions that our people have made to the economic and social progress of their respective countries. It is time to welcome them back to their homeland,” he said.

He said the Dual Citizenship scheme is simple, quick and effective and would enable former citizens to get back their Fijian passports for a one-off payment.

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