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
(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.
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.
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).