Guide to Passing Through Immigration, Customs and Biosecurity in Fiji
A getaway to the gorgeous islands of Fiji is super exciting. However, one thing that many of us dread is the passing through Immigration, Customs and Biosecurity. With pristine nature and a fragile ecosystem in Fiji, there are strict biosecurity rules in place which determine what you can and can’t bring into the country. On top of that, you’re going to want to make sure that your passport is all up-to-date for the Immigration laws, and make sure that you don’t pack anything that you might have to give up once you arrive at the airport in Fiji. With all that in mind, we’ve put together this guide to everything you need to know about arriving in Fiji.
Passport and Visas for Fiji
The first thing you will need to organise for a trip to Fiji is your passport and visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your intended departure date from Fiji, so make sure your passport is up to date.
For visiting Fiji for a holiday, travel or visiting friends and family, you will be automatically issued a Visitor Visa on arrival, if you are a citizen of one of the 100+ countries on Fiji’s visa-exempt countries. For a list of all the countries, check out our guide to Do You Need a Visa to Visit Fiji? If you are not from one of the visa-exempt countries, then you will need to apply for a Pre-Arranged Visitor Visa. For visas to work or stay longer in Fiji, there are other options available. Check out What Visas Are Available to Travel to Fiji? for details.
Packing for Fiji
Before you depart for Fiji, it’s a good idea to check what items are restricted or prohibited in Fiji so that you don’t risk the item being confiscated at Biosecurity on arrival. On top of that, you will need to check that any outdoor gear or equipment that you pack is clean.
What You Can’t Bring into Fiji
- Certain foods, such as meat, vegetables, fruit, honey, seeds, nuts, herbs and more
- Certain plant products, such as flowers, untreated wood and more
- Some animal products, such as animal skins, fish/seafood products
- Dirty camping and sports equipment
- Certain biological items, such as blood, culture, vaccines, soil and more
- Dangerous drugs and utensils to prepare drugs, such as opium, Indian hemp, cocaine, methamphetamines, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), synthetic drugs and more
- Weapons and firearms
- Alcohol and tobacco over the duty-free allowance
- Other dutiable goods over the duty-free allowance.
If you do want to bring some of these items, then make sure you declare them. More on that in the “Biosecurity” section below.
Cleaning Your Gear for Arrival in Fiji
While you are allowed to bring sports and camping gear into Fiji, they must be free from dirt and soil in order to pass through Biosecurity. Otherwise, you may either be requested to clean them at the airport or have the item sent for treatment at your expense. So be sure to clean equipment, such as:
- Used sporting shoes/boots and tracking shoes/boots/gear
- Camping equipment
- Golf clubs
- Fishing equipment, such as rods, reels and nets, etc.
More Packing Advice for Fiji
The Passenger Arrival Card
The next part of the process comes during your flight or cruise to Fiji. You will be given a Passenger Arrival Card which is a form used to gather personal details and to make any declarations about items that you are bringing into Fiji. The Passenger Arrival Card must be completed for each person arriving in Fiji, including children.
The front of the Passenger Arrival Card asks for your personal details, such as your name, address, passport number, occupation, flight number/name of the ship, etc. You must also tick from a multiple-selection question on what is your main reason for visiting Fiji. On the back of the card, there is a series of “yes” or “no” questions about items that you have in your possession or in any of your luggage concerning health and biosecurity. If you are unsure about a question, just tick “yes”. You will only get a fine on items you do not declare, so it’s best to declare anything that you have a doubt about.
See what questions are asked on the card, as well as advice on how to complete it, in The Passenger Arrival Card for Fiji.
Once you’ve landed in Fiji, you won’t be transitioning into “Fiji time” just yet. First up, you’ll need to pass through Immigration, otherwise known as Passport Control.
Declaring Items on the Passenger Arrival Card
At the Immigration Desk, an Immigration Officer will ask to see your passport, Passenger Arrival Card and visa if applicable. The officer may ask you questions regarding the answers you have given on the Passenger Arrival Card, most commonly if you have answered “yes” to any of the Customs and Biosecurity questions. The officer will then tell you if any action is required. Otherwise, your passport and Passenger Arrival Card will be returned to you and you will be asked to move to the Baggage Claim area.
Fiji Customs and Biosecurity
After picking up your baggage from Baggage Claim, you’ll finally go through Customs and Biosecurity. For a full guide on this section of the process, see Arrival Advice: Biosecurity & Customs in Fiji. Otherwise, here’s an overview.
What to Declare
This is your last chance to declare a “risk good” that you might have in your possession or packed in your luggage. Signs at Biosecurity provide a reminder of what items to declare, as well as bins to dispose of prohibited items, such as food. While not all “risk items” are prohibited, you still need to declare them so that the Biosecurity officer can check the item. Items that you need to declare include:
- 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 luggage)
- 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).
For more information on each item, see What to Declare When Arriving in Fiji.
After your declaration, you will be asked to put all of your baggage through an x-ray machine.
What Happens if a Risk Good 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, destroyed or re-exported to the country of origin under Biosecurity supervision at your expense.
If an undeclared risk item is found, whether it’s restricted, prohibited or considered a declarable item, you may receive an instant FJ$400 fine. You will also be liable for prosecution with a maximum fine of FJ$20,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.
For more information, see Arrival Advice: Biosecurity & Customs in Fiji.
Leaving the Airport
You’ve made it into Fiji! In the Arrival area, you have the opportunity to visit the various travel agents, pick up a SIM card, exchange currency, use the luggage storage and even pick up a coffee from Cuppabula. From the airport, you have a few transport options, including buses, taxis or pre-booked airport transfers where your driver will be awaiting your arrival. Check out some of the budget-friendly options in The Cheapest Airport Transfers in Fiji.
How to Get Around Fiji
There are several ways to get to the various destinations around Fiji. Check out the articles below for all the ways to get to your chosen Fiji destination.
- 6 Ways to Get to Nadi (& Get Around Nadi)
- 5 Ways to Get to Denarau Island
- 5 Ways to Get to the Coral Coast
- 7 Ways to Get to the Pacific Harbour & Beqa
- 5 Ways to Get to the Suncoast
- 6 Ways to Get to Suva
- 5 Ways to Get to the Mamanuca Islands
- 5 Ways to Get to the Yasawa Islands
- 6 Ways to Get to Vanua Levu (& Get Around Vanua Levu)
- 8 Ways to Get to Taveuni (& Get Around Taveuni)
- 5 Ways to Get to the Lau Islands