Association lauds policy change

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Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association Chief Executive Officer Fantasha Lockington. Picture: FILE

The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) has lauded the decision by the Fiji Immigration Department to introduce a new policy change for business visas.

The Business Visa has been re-introduced and now offers a few flexible options of 14, 21 or 30 days for those who qualify.

This change of policy was reportedly adopted in response to urgent requests from priority sectors such as tourism, construction, manufacturing, maritime and agriculture, among others.

The new policy also allows visitors to transition to a short-term work permit while in the country, enabling them to stay longer and participate in work-related activities.

Applicants can enter on the Business/Visitor Visa while they await approval for an already lodged work permit application.

Chief executive officer of the FHTA Fantasha Lockington said: “There is an urgent need to step up work permit processing as employers struggle to replace critical segments of the Fijian workforce that are increasingly enticed to work overseas.

“More flexibility in work permit options can support businesses to step up their own training programs, upskilling processes and replacement of key positions,” she added.

Ms Lockington further stated that the FHTA appreciates the Director of Immigration, Amelia Komaisavai’s, recognition and facilitation of urgent requests from priority sectors, and the department’s commitment to supporting industries.

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