FIJI'S Department of Immigration has confirmed that there are people who are seeking asylum and refuge in Fiji because they fear for their lives in their home country.
Director Immigration Major Nemani Vuniwaqa, in an interview, said for the past six months, there were seven asylum seekers and 10 refugees now staying in Fiji.
He said the seven seeking asylum were from Afghanistan. He said the asylum seekers lodged their application for a protection visa at the Fiji mission in India.
"Fear for their lives is one of the elements to be considered as a refugee is to claim protection outside country for domicile," he said.
Major Vuniwaqa said those seeking asylum had rented around the Suva area. He said they would go back to their countries when their Refugee Status Determination process had been fulfilled or until a decision was made on their application for refugee status.
Major Vuniwaqa said no arrangements were made with the asylum seekers' countries of origin.