Fiji became independent in 1970, after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987, caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji, led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. There was a further military coup in 2006, led by Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama.
Tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation. Tropical cyclonic storms (The South Pacific version of Hurricanes) can occur from November to April. Temperature sensitive visitors may wish to visit during the Southern Hemisphere winter.
Time & Date: GMT +12
The Fijian dollar has been the currency of Fiji since 1969 and was also the currency between 1867 and 1873. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively FJ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.
Fiji has three official languages under the 1997 constitution (and not revoked by the 2013 Constitution): English, Fijian and Hindi. Fijian is spoken either as a first or second language by indigenous Fijians who make up around 54% of the population. Fijians of Indian descent make up a further 37%, mainly speaking a local variant of Hindi, known as Fiji Hindi. English, a remnant of British colonial rule over the islands, was the sole official language until 1997 and is widely used in government, business, and education as a lingua franca; considerable business is also done in Fijian, especially away from larger town centre.
A small number of other indigenous East Fijian and West Fijian regional languages are spoken on the islands, standard Fijian belonging to the East Fijian group. Rotuman and Chinese are also spoken by immigrant populations.
When buying your travel insurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.
Nationals of the following countries are NOT required to obtain visa before entering Fiji as visitors however, they need to ensure that the following conditions are met:
A passport that is valid for at least 6 months from date of entry into Fiji.
Return or Outbound tickets;
Confirmation of accommodation for duration of your visit
Copy of latest bank statement
Re-entry/entry visa to a country other than their own (for example: permanent residents of Australia must produce a valid re-entry visa for Australia). Please click here to view the list.
Nationals of the above visa-exempt countries are granted a visitor permit valid for up to (4) months on arrival. Extensions to the permit may be granted on application/payment of fees for a maximum of two (2) more months, provided applications are made before the expiry of the initial permit.
Nationals NOT from the visa exempted countries listed above MUST apply for a visitor’s visa before entering Fiji
All visitors from non-exempted visa countries require a visa to enter Fiji. All visa applications are considered on an individual basis and may be granted for holiday, business, joining a vessel as a crew or passenger purposes and representatives of foreign governments.
Neither possession of a visa or meeting the basic requirements from exempt visa countries guarantees admission into Fiji. Immigration officials make the final determination upon entry into Fiji.
1. Transit Visa
If transit period is 3 hours or less, no visa is required however if transit period is longer than 3 hours then normal visa requirements will apply.
2. Single Entry Visa (SEV)
This visa is valid for a single journey to Fiji only for the period of 3 months from the date of issue and the visit not to exceed 4 months stay.
3. Multiple Entry Visa (MEV)
This visa is valid for multiple journeys to Fiji for the period of 12 months from the date of issue and visit not to exceed 4 months on each visit.
Nadi International Airport
Currency: Fijian Dollar
Official languages: English, Fijian Fijan Hindi