What to Expect When Arriving at Nadi Airport
The airport process is something many of us dread about a holiday – the stern faces of the Immigration Officers making you feel guilty when you’re not, the different rules about what you can bring into the country… Fiji is no different, perhaps except for the happy serenaders that welcome you with a song into Passport Control. So to help you with your international arrival at Nadi International Airport, we’ve put together this step-by-step for arrival at Nadi International Airport.
For more information on the facilities and services of Nadi International Airport, see The Complete Guide to Nadi Airport.
6 Steps to Arriving at Nadi International Airport
The arrival process for international flights at Nadi International Airport may be a little more complex than what you’re used to, so we’ve split the process into six steps of what to expect for an international arrival at Nadi International Airport.
- Complete the Passenger Arrival Card – this will be given to you during your international flight to Nadi
- Land at Nadi International Airport and pass through Passport Control with your passport and Passenger Arrival Card
- Collect your baggage from the Baggage Claim area
- Pass the first stage of Biosecurity – vocally declaring any declarable items and officers will inspect your Passenger Arrival Card
- Put your luggage through the Biosecurity X-rays
- Officially enter Fiji! Move into Nadi International Airport’s Arrivals area.
Step 1: Complete the Fiji Passenger Arrival Card
The first part of the Nadi International Airport arrival process is completing the Passenger Arrival Card for Fiji while you’re on your flight to Nadi. The form is a narrow double-sided card. Each individual arriving at Nadi International Airport must have a completed Fiji Passenger Arrival Card, even children. These forms must also be completed in English. Hold onto your Passenger Arrival Card, as you will need to show it at Immigration and Biosecurity when you arrive at Nadi International Airport.
What Does the Passenger Arrival Card Ask?
The Passenger Arrival Card for Fiji asks for your personal details, such as your name, address, passport number, occupation, flight number, etc. You must also tick what is your main reason for visiting Fiji is from a multiple-selection question. The back of the Arrival Card then asks “yes” or “no” questions about items that you have on your possession or in your baggage concerning health and biosecurity. We’ll go into more detail about Biosecurity in the section below or skip to Arrival Advice: Biosecurity & Customs in Fiji.
See our complete guide to the Fiji Passenger Arrival Card to see what questions are asked on the card, as well as more tips on how to complete it.
Step 2: Go Through Immigration and Passport Control
Upon landing at Nadi International Airport, you’ll see the mountains of the “Sleeping Giant” in the distance, feel the balmy island breeze and are likely to be welcomed by serenaders as you enter the Immigration and Passport Control area. There are bathroom facilities to use and you’ll notice amnesty bins to dispose of any “risk items” that may not pass through Biosecurity – more on that later. For now, queue up to see an Immigration Officer. If you’re not a citizen of Fiji, go to the desk under the sign for “International Passport Holders”.
At the Immigration Desk, hand over your passport, passenger arrival card, and evidence relating to your visa, if applicable. If you’re just visiting Fiji on a holiday or to see friends/family and are from one of the 100+ visa-exempt countries, you do not need a visa to enter Fiji. Find out which are the visa-exempt countries in Do You Need a Visa to Visit Fiji?
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your intended departure date from Fiji. The Immigration Officer will check your passport and Passenger Arrival Card and may ask some questions in regard to the answers you have given on the card. The officer will then either tell you if any further action is required or simply return your passport and Arrival Card for you to move to the Baggage Claim area.
Step 3: Pick Up Your Baggage at Baggage Claim
Walk down a short set of stairs to the Baggage Claim area where there are various carousels to collect baggage. Flight numbers will be displayed on a screen in the middle of each carousel, so find the carousel with your flight number and collect your baggage. The Baggage Claim area also has toilet facilities, a currency exchange and a duty-free store. You can buy some duty-free goods before going through Biosecurity and Customs, but you must not exceed the duty-free allowance for Fiji. Find out more in The Duty-Free Allowances for Fiji.
Step 4: Declare Any “Declarable Items” at Customs & Biosecurity
After you have picked up your baggage, you will need to queue up for Customs and Biosecurity. A Customs and Biosecurity Officer will look at your Passenger Arrival Card and may ask you questions regarding your answers. This is also your last opportunity to verbally declare any “declarable items” that you may have in your possession or in any of your baggage. You will also be given the opportunity to dispose of items that are likely to be considered “risk items” that you won’t be able to bring into Fiji, most commonly fresh food. There are Biosecurity amnesty bins for this.
What are Declarable Items
If you have any of the following items in your possession or packed in any of your baggage, then you must declare them:
- Obscene articles or printed matter
- Cigarettes or alcohol above the duty-free allowance (see here for the duty-free allowances for Fiji)
- Goods for commercial purposes
- Personal goods which exceed FJ$1,000 (excluding personal items that would be reasonably expected in baggage)
- Currency with the combined value of FJ$10,000 or more
- Food of any kind
- Animals, reptiles, aquatic organisms, birds or any kind of animal products
- Biological specimens
- Equipment used with animals, fish or plants
- Soil, rock, earth and any used outdoors equipment like camping gear, sports shoes, etc.
- Any items used in a farm, forest or a place with farm animals, abattoirs or packing premises
- Holy water
- Human remains (ash).
The general rule for passing through Biosecurity is to declare anything you are unsure of or anything that is even remotely related to any item in the list above. As you will find out in Step 5, it’s much better to declare items that don’t need declaring than risking not declaring item that should have been declared. For more information on what to declare, see What to Declare When Arriving in Fiji.
Step 5: Baggage is Scanned in Biosecurity X-rays
You will be asked to place all of your baggage, including purses, laptop bags, suitcase – everything – onto a conveyor belt which takes your luggage into an X-ray for Biosecurity Officers to check your bags. If your bags are clear of any “risk items”, then you will be free to take your bags and move into the Arrivals area.
What Happens if a Risk Item is Found in Your Baggage
If a prohibited item is found that you have declared, then you have the option to either get the item treated at your expense, re-exported to the country of origin under Biosecurity supervision at your expense or destroyed.
If an undeclared risk item is found, whether it’s restricted, prohibited or just considered a declarable item, you may receive an instant FJ$400 fine for not declaring it. You will also liable for persecution with a maximum fine of FJ$20,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment. Not a good start to your holiday – so always declare!
For more information, see Arrival Advice: Biosecurity & Customs in Fiji.
Step 6: Enter the Arrivals Area
This is it! You have officially entered Fiji! At the Arrivals area, there are a few stores, travel agents, currency exchanges, toilet facilities and a cafe. You can pick up a SIM card from the phone network stores – see What are the Fiji Phone Networks? There are also a few travel agent offices where you can book transport, tours and activities. If you have booked an airport transfer, then your driver will be awaiting your arrival with a sign with your name on it. There are more airport transfer options, including taxis and buses, which you will find outside of the Arrivals area. Read more about it in The Cheapest Airport Transfers in Fiji.
Now, transition into “Fiji time” and enjoy your holiday!