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Fiji
Official Name:

Republic of Fiji

Last Updated: June 17, 2016

Embassy Messages

Suva

 

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Suva

158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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At least six months after your scheduled departure from Fiji

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp 

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays less than four months

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Currency over F$10,000 or the U.S. dollar equivalent must be declared

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Currency over F$10,000 or the U.S. dollar equivalent 

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Suva

158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands

Telephone: +(679) 331-4466

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049

Fax: +(679) 330-2267

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Fiji for information on U.S. -Fiji relations. 

To enter Fiji, you will need:

  • A passport valid for at least six months after your  scheduled departure date from Fiji
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay in Fiji
  •  Onward or return ticket

You do not need a visa if you are a tourist staying fewer than four months.

If you are traveling to the Lau group of islands by yacht, you will need special permission from your first port of entry into Fiji.

For more information on entry/exit requirements and the most current visa information:

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Fiji.  There are no restrictions to long-term or short-term visits, and no HIV tests are required for a visit shorter than five months. A medical clearance is required for those seeking a work permit in Fiji. Once medical clearance is obtained, the work permit committee will decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to approve the permit.  Please verify this information with the Embassy of Fiji before you travel.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Remain cautious and alert in public places. Although demonstrations are not common in Fiji, you should avoid demonstrations and large crowds, remembering that even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent unexpectedly. Messages regarding demonstrations and strikes, explosive device/suspicious packages, and weather-related events are posted on the embassy’s website.

Crime:  Urban areas experience a higher incidence of crime than do rural areas.  If you are not familiar with an area, ask hotel staff about areas to avoid.

You should always protect your valuables and be aware that theft from hotel rooms, purse snatching, and pick pocketing are the most common crimes against tourists. Be attentive to your personal safety and be cautious about sharing too much personal information about where you are from and where you are staying while traveling.

Reports of sexual assault against female tourists have increased. You should not walk alone after dark and always be sure to avoid isolated and deserted areas.

Since some crime is directed at taxi drivers, do not allow taxis to pick up other passengers while you are en route. Similarly, you should not enter a taxi already carrying other passengers.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (679) 772-8049.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Health-care facilities in Fiji's urban areas are adequate for most routine medical problems. In rural areas, staff training is limited and there are often shortages of supplies and medications. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. Travelers should carry adequate supplies of any needed prescription medicines, along with copies of their prescriptions, the generic name of the drugs, and a supply of preferred over-the-counter medications.

Emergency response is extremely limited. Ambulance availability is minimal, and ambulances are often poorly equipped and not staffed with medical personnel. 

Two major hospitals, the Lautoka Hospital in the western city of Lautoka and the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, provide limited emergency and outpatient services.

A recompression chamber at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva can treat decompression sickness.

Although a private hospital in Suva provides a Western-style medical medical facility, the standards of care are below normal United States care. Persons with medical emergencies may be evacuated to Australia, New Zealand, or the United States, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars and will be considered only if the patient has adequate insurance or pays upfront. In some cases, a medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand can require a medical visa. 

U.S. health care practioners coming to Fiji to volunteer or practice medicine must be certified by the Fiji Ministry of Health.  Please contact the Fiji Ministry of Health prior to your visit for more information at (679) 330-6177.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  

Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas accept only cash payments.   See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation. 

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.  

Dengue fever, carried by infected mosquitoes, occurs throughout the country of Fiji, especially during the rainy season.

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

Criminal Penalties:   You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Respect any cultural sites with security warnings posted against photography.

If you are suspected of being involved in criminal activities, you will be taken in for questioning and asked for identification.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Fiji are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. 

If you are stopped and found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, you will be taken to the police station for further tests.  If the second test is affirmative, you will be detained in a prison cell to sober up, typically overnight, and you will be charged the following morning. 

If you do not have a permanent address in Fiji, the local police will keep you in custody and will arrange for a special court hearing with a Magistrate.  These hearings take place during regular work daysand not on weekends or holidays.  If you have a permanent residence in Fiji, you will be charged and may be released, and then you will be asked to attend court on a set date. 

Arrest Notification:   If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

You should carry a copy of your U.S. passport at all times. If questioned by local authorities, you will need to show proof of identity and U.S. citizenship.

According to Fijian law, a person detained for criminal actions may be held for a maximum of 48 hours before being charged. Police authorities should contact the U.S. Embassy within 24 hours of your detention or arrest..

Water Sports: Many visitors to Fiji participate in water sports, including surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and operating jet-skis. Surfing on Fiji's numerous reef breaks can be highly dangerous.

If you scuba dive or snorkel while in Fiji, you should

  • Check the references, licenses, and equipment of tour operators before agreeing to or paying for a tour.

  • Rent equipment only from trustworthy operators and be sure to receive training before using the equipment. Some rental water sportsequipment may not be properly maintained or inspected.

  • Know that local dive masters may not consider your skill level when they organize a trip. Deaths and serious accidents have occurred in the past because basic safety measures were not taken during diving and snorkeling trips.

  • Remember that safety precautions and emergency responses may not meet U.S. standards.

Fiji has only one decompression chamber to provide medical assistance for dive-related injuries. The chamber is located in Suva, which is far from most resorts. Please note that the chamber is not always fully functioning.

Some travel insurance doesn’t cover “risky” outdoor activities. If planning on diving, it is recommended you look at the Divers Alert Network (DAN) website for diver’s insurance.

Trekking: Terrain in the Fiji islands can be hazardous. You should speak with local guides and/or hotel staff before starting a trek. It is best to hike with a companion and stay on trails that are clearly marked.

Customs: There are strict regulations and customs enforcement for importing and exporting items such as food products,  alcohol and tobacco products, and fire arms of any type in Fiji.  Bringing animals into Fiji is strictly controlled. Pets may be imported only from certain designated, rabies-free areas. If you want to bring a pet into Fiji, contact the Ministry of Agriculture in Suva approximately six months in advance to find out the details. Contact the Embassy of Fiji in Washington, DC, at (202) 466-8320 for specific information regarding customs requirements and see the Customs Information sheet for additional information.

Purchasing Real Estate: Purchasing real estate in Fiji can be risky. Be cautious before you enter into commitments to invest in property. You should gather reliable information and hire experienced Fijian legal counsel regarding any real estate investment. Fijian law and practices concerning real estate differ substantially from those in the United States.

Natural Disasters: Fiji is located in an area of high seismic activity. Although the probability of a major earthquake occurring during your trip is rare, earthquakes can and do occur. Undersea earthquakes in the South Pacific can generate destructive tsunamis. Some cities in Fiji have siren warning systems in place; tsunami warnings are also transmitted through local radio and television stations. Most coastal resorts and hotels have tsunami evacuation plans in place, and guests should carefully follow staff instructions in the event of a tsunami warning. 

Cyclones: The cyclone season is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific Region. General information regarding disaster preparedness is available by visiting the Bureau of Consular Affairs web site and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) home page.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers:  The new constitution provides that sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity and expression are prohibited grounds for discrimination; however, the right to equality and nondiscrimination may be limited for the purpose of adoption, marriage, devolution of property on death and pension, and excluding individuals from holding public office.

The crimes decree does not criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity and recognizes male-on-male rape as a crime. 

Fiji law prohibits discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation; there are no laws specifically prohibiting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons in other areas. 

In general attitudes toward LGBTI individuals have become more accepting, especially among the young, and articles promoting tolerance are regularly found in the media.  For more detailed information about LGBTI rights in Fiji, you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues. All persons are considered equal under the law, and discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, provision of housing and land, or provision of other state services is illegal. Statutes provide for the right of access to places and all modes of transport are open to the public. Public health regulations include penalties for noncompliance; however, there is little or no enforcement of laws protecting persons with disabilities.

Building regulations require new public buildings to be accessible to persons with disabilities, but only a few existing buildings meet this requirement. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, all new office spaces must be accessible to persons with disabilities. The number of disabled-accessible vehicles in the country is small.

There are some special schools for persons with physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities, but cost and location limit access. Opportunities for a secondary school education for those with disabilities are very limited.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety:  Traffic moves on the left in Fiji. While most roads in urban areas are paved, they are poorly maintained. Roads outside the city are usually not paved. In the city, be especially attentive when driving after dark. Outside of the city, it is best to avoid driving after dark except in emergency or exceptional circumstances. Insufficient lighting, stray animals, unwary pedestrians, and potholes make driving dangerous and particularly hazardous at night.

Traffic Laws: Bicycle riders should be cautious as there is no separate lane for cyclists.

Public Transportation: Avoid using mini vans for public transportation, due to safety concerns. 

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.  Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Fiji’s national tourist office  and Land Transport Authority, which is the national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Fiji’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Fiji’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

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