Moving to Fiji

Expats moving to Fiji will find a Pacific paradise rich in culture and diversity with pristine beaches and wonderful places to explore. Though the country claims a difficult political situation, living in Fiji can be both exciting and rewarding.  
Fiji is located in the South Pacific Ocean and is comprised of over 330 islands. The largest island in the group is Viti Levu, and it hosts both the east coast-based capital of Suva and the west coast-based Nadi (pronounced “Nandi”), Fiji’s second largest city.  

Since 1987 the political situation in Fiji had been somewhat turbulent with a number of political coups taking place. However, since the democratic elections of 2014, there have been signs of a resurgence of employment opportunities on the islands.Typical areas of expat employment include management, education, tourism and the large NGO sector. It can be difficult for foreigners to obtain a work permit and potential expats should therefore ensure that they have all important documentation ready before relocating to Fiji.
Most expat jobs are based in either Suva or Nadi, and if not there, then in one of the many surrounding island resorts. For those based in Suva or Nadi, it’s easy to escape on the weekend; expats can head  to one of the dozens of resorts sprinkled around the main island of Viti Levu, can explore the remote jungle interior of the island, or can travel to one of the smaller, nearby islands. Many spend their weekends sailing, surfing or diving on the excellent coral reefs that surround Viti Levu. Fiji also sits as a regional hub, and it’s relatively easy to head to the nearby Pacific Island countries of Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati or Vanuatu.
Those moving to Fiji with children will be pleased to know that there are a small number of international schools located in Suva and Nadi. The schools have students from over 40 different countries. Curricula offered include International Baccalaureate, the Australian Capital Territory Year 12 Certificate and the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
While Fiji has both public and private healthcare options, the majority of expats use the small private hospitals in Suva and Nadi. These hospitals offer a good basic standard of healthcare; however, they are limited in terms of their diagnostic, specialist and surgical abilities.  Thus expats should ensure they have health insurance policies that include repatriation to hospitals in Australia and New Zealand if necessary, particularly in the case of a complicated or emergency health situation. 
Expat accommodation in Suva and Nadi is relatively expensive. Because of the limited housing stock it can take time for newly arrived expats to find suitable accommodation. Care should be taken to ensure the potential house has suitable security arrangements, a back-up power generator and air conditioning. Power outages are not uncommon, particularly following tropical storms and the occasional cyclone. Houses need to be able to stand up to tropical storms, which lash the Islands over the summer months.  
Fiji has a number of international banks offering a range of services to expat clients. ATMs, debit and credit facilities are available, and most banks offer electronic and Internet banking services.  Expats will need a residence visa before an account can be opened.

With its rich mix of Pacific Islander and Indo-Fijian cultures, wonderful beaches and tropical lifestyle Fiji is a great destination for resilient expats.

Our Fiji Expert

TonyF's picture
Canberra, Australia
Suva, Fiji
Based in Suva Fiji Tony worked for a Development Aid Program from 2008 to 2011. His work required that he travel widely...

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