Investment Promotion Authorities

The requirement for foreign investment approval varies throughout the South Pacific.

Approval is required from most entities to establish or purchase an existing business – a foreign investor should not commence business without foreign investment approval.

Other Licences and Permits

Whilst   the various Foreign Investment Boards throughout the Pacific may entitle business to invest, the next step of obtaining licenses, the number of residency permits, work permits etc usually requires investors to make application to  each appropriate authority, for registration and / or issue of   applicable permits / licences and comply with the requirements of other   acts, as applicable, including renewal / filing of returns etc as required eg:

  • Business Licence(s)
  • Other specific licence(s) eg, doctors, lawyers, banks, trust companies, insurance companies, mining
  • VAT (Value Added Tax)
  • Superannuation or contribution fund if employing staff

Residency Permits

  (a)        Persons not engaging in business or employment – self funded

The requirements for Persons who wish to reside in the Paciifc without engaging in business or  employment eg, retirees vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  As a whole  you may qualify, if you have evidence of income to sustain living in the chosen Pacific Country.

   (b)        Business investors

Foreign Investors who have obtained foreign investment approval to conduct  business and if successful. 

   (c)        Employees

Non-citizen   employees may qualify for an interim residence permit. A work permit must also be obtained and usually depending on the jurisdiction are  only available for certain occupations where there are no /  insufficient qualified  Citizens available.

Documentation   required to apply for a Residence Permit include :  original   immigration application form with statutory declaration,  original   police clearance certificate, prescribed medical certificate,  two   passport photographs, certified copies of birth certificate, passport,   marriage/divorce certificate(s) and other documentation as applicable   eg, employment contract (if applicable), utility bills, rent receipts or   bank statements,

A   repatriation bond is usually also required to be held with a local bank, equivalent to a one way airfare to the country of the applicants’ citizenship or its nearest territory.

Work Permits

A one year work permit, temporary or an exemption from the need to hold a work permit is required by most jurisdiction relating to non-citizen employees.

Note:   Various occupations are reserved for citizens for which work permits   will not be approved.  These include: bricklayer, joiner, clerical   supervisor, nurse, painter, typist and waiter/waitress/bar tender,   unskilled labour.

Any   one year position is to be advertised locally for at least two weeks   and reasons given why any application by a citizen has been refused or   there are no available / qualified citizens. Generally a permit will   only be granted where it is necessary to hold qualifications and / or   have specific relevant experience, which is not readily available in the Pacific Country.

An   application for a work permit must state what type of counterpart   training that will be undertaken and in addition to the completion of a   work permit Application Form, the various Departments of Labour require the following: two passport sized photographs, copies of trade or professional qualifications, CV and reference(s, copy of the job advertisement, description and contract of service, copies of passport, police clearance and flight itinerary (plus copy of employer’s foreign investment certificate and  training plan).

Please contact us at or book an online conference with one of our consultants through the website to discuss your options or email on