Immigration department responds to changing trends

November 29, 2023 12:28 pm

Fiji is witnessing an unprecedented surge in the issuance of employment permits and passports, highlighting the dynamic challenges faced by our immigration system.

Speaking during the TOPEX Conference, Director of Immigration Amelia Komaisavai says the surge, described as triple-fold in numbers, reflects a complex interplay of factors involving both the demand for foreign workers and the desire of Fijians to seek employment opportunities abroad.

Komaisavai says the landscape of migration in Fiji has evolved across various sectors, challenging the conventional understanding of immigration patterns.

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She adds the surge in demand for foreign workers spans not only traditionally labour-intensive sectors but has also extended to service industries.

“Now service sectors are coming in to get foreign workers. Service sectors like accounting and finance aren’t only in the high-skill bracket; they’re also in the low-skill bracket. So it’s testing and giving us a very challenging time at immigration to really improve our system and processes.”

Komaisavai says they are enrolling 6,000 to 7,000 passports a month.

“So that is just some sort of indication of the mobility of people emigrating out of the country. But coming in are the dire needs of the employers we are facilitating on our end, coming from all the sectors before the sectors that usually do not need foreign workers; they are actually exporting foreign workers.”

Addressing the dual challenge of facilitating incoming foreign workers and managing the outward migration of Fijians, the government is now intensifying efforts to enhance immigration systems and streamline processes.