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Fiji Time: 8:17 PM on Tuesday 23 September

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Help for illegal Fijians

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FIJIANS living illegally in Tonga should contact with the Department of Immigration in Fiji if they want to be assisted.

Director Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa made the comment in response to concerns by the Fijian community in Tonga that about 250 members were without proper travel documents.

Mr Vuniwaqa said the Department of Immigration Fiji was willing to send an immigration official to Tonga.

But he added the number of Fijians who needed assistance would have to be established first.

"There are several ways to go about this. One is to get a contact point and their passport renewals is sent across to us. Secondly, an officer can go to Tonga and receive applications from there but a valid contact point and numbers are to be verified," Mr Vuniwaqa said.

"As long as we have a confirmed number of personnel who need our services, we will start planning on the assistance program."

Tonga Fijian Community member and former interim president of the community Iliesa Tora said many Fijians in Tonga wished to take part in the general election but were hindered by the absence of proper documentation.

Mr Tora said many Fijians without passports and travel documents were also concerned about the hefty fines they would pay if they were to leave voluntarily.

"Now if they have to leave, they will have to pay a fee of around $1500. The only other option is for them to get new passports and then have them reapply for visas and so forth and then they can get work here and stay on new visa arrangements."


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