June 13, 2007
Fiji is a South Pacific island nation consisting of over 350 islands and islets,
of which approximately 100 are inhabited. On December 5, 2006, the Commander of
Fijiâ€™s military force deposed the lawfully elected government of Fiji. There is
currently an unelected interim government in place established by the military.
The coup has had a negative effect on Fijiâ€™s economy. Tourist facilities are
available.The capital is Suva. The Fiji Visitors Bureau, which has a wide
range of information of interest to travelers, can be contacted via the Internet
theDepartment of State Background Notes on Fiji for additional information.
A passport valid for at least three months beyond the date of departure from
Fiji, proof of sufficient funds and an onward/return ticket are required for
entry to Fiji.A visa is not required for tourist stays up to four
months.Yachts wishing to call at the Lau group of islands need special
permission granted at the first port of entry into Fiji.For further
information on entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the
Republic of Fiji, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, No. 240, Washington, DC 20007;
telephone (202) 337-8320, or the Fiji Mission to the United Nations in New
York.This is particularly important for travelers planning to enter Fiji
by sailing vessel.See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more
information on Fiji and other countries.
Find more information about Entry and Exit Requirements, dual nationality and the
prevention of prevention of international child abductionon our web site.Please refer to our Customs Informationto
learn more about customs regulations.
SAFETY AND SECURITY:
While a state of emergency is no longer in effect, some basic rights remain
uncertain. The independence of Fijiâ€™s law enforcement and judicial systems
appears compromised, putting into question protections ordinarily afforded by
the rule of law. The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to
carefully consider the risks of travel to the Republic of Fiji at this time.
While Fiji is currently calm, political and economic uncertainties continue. The
security situation, especially in Suva, is uncertain and could deteriorate
rapidly. American citizens in Fiji should remain vigilant, particularly in
public and military places in the greater Suva area, and should avoid
demonstrations and large crowds. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can
turn confrontational and escalate into violence unexpectedly.
Terrain in the Fiji islands can be
hazardous.Please consult with local guides and/or your place of lodging
before undertaking a trek.Americans are also advised to hike with a
companion and not to stray from marked or well-worn paths.
For the latest security information, Americans
traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Departmentâ€™s Internet web site
where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement , Travel Warnings and
Public Announcements can be found.
Up-to-date information on security can also be
obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers
outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.These
numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through
Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The Department of State urges American citizens to
take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling
overseas.For general information about appropriate measures travelers can
take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of
State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.
CRIME: Urban areas
experience a higher incidence of crime than do other areas.Travelers
should protect their valuables and be aware that theft from hotel rooms and
purse snatching or pick-pocketing are the most common crimes against
tourists.Offenses against persons do occur, and visitors should remain
attentive to their personal safety.Tourists should be cautious about
sharing too much personal information about their country of origin or
lodging.Americans not familiar with their environs should ask hotel staff
about areas to avoid at night.Visitors are advised not to walk alone after
dark and not to walk alone in isolated areas at any time.Due to crime
directed against taxi drivers, travelers should not allow taxis to pick up other
passengers while en route and should not enter a taxi that already carries other
INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF
CRIME: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji at (679)
331-4466 (ask for American Citizen Services).If you are the victim of a
crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact
the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.The Embassy/Consulate
staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact
family members or friends and explain how funds could be
transferred.Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is
solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you
to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney, if
See our information on Victims of Crime.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH
INFORMATION: Health-care facilities in Fiji are adequate for
routine medical problems.Emergency response is extremely limited, and the
few ambulances available are poorly equipped and staffed. Two major hospitals,
the Lautoka Hospital in the western city of Lautoka, and the Colonial War
Memorial Hospital in Suva, the capital, provide limited emergency and outpatient
services.A private hospital in Suva provides Western-style medical care,
and maintains the Fiji Recompression Chamber for the benefit of scuba
divers.Other hospitals and clinics provide only a limited range of health
services.Medical emergencies may be referred to Australia, New Zealand, or
the United States.Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization
and/or medical evacuation to the United States or elsewhere can cost thousands
of dollars.Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health
Information on vaccinations and other health
precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection,
may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline
for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); or via the CDC's
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.For
information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World
Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en.Further
health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The
Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical
insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy
applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation.Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD
CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may
encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United
States.The information below concerning Fiji is provided for general
reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or
Traffic moves on the left in Fiji.While most
roads in urban areas are paved, they are poorly maintained. Roads outside the
city are usually not paved. In the city, driving after dark requires heightened
attentiveness; outside the city, it is discouraged, except in emergency or
exceptional circumstances.Stray animals, unwary pedestrians, and potholes
make driving dangerous and particularly hazardous at night.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more
information.Visit the web site of the countryâ€™s national tourist office
and national authority responsible for road safety at http://www.bulafiji.com.
OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has
assessed the government of Fijiâ€™s Civil Aviation Authority as being in
compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety
standards.For further information, travelers may visit the FAAâ€™s Internet
web site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa.
Fiji's customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary
importation into, or export from, Fiji of items such as alcohol or tobacco
products.It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Fiji in Washington, DC
at (202) 337-8320 for specific information regarding customs
requirements.Importation of animals is strictly controlled.Pets may
be imported only from designated, rabies-free locales.Those wishing to
bring pets to Fiji should contact the Ministry of Agriculture in Suva as much as
six months in advance for particulars.
U.S. citizens should be aware of the risks inherent
in purchasing real estate in Fiji, and should exercise caution before entering
into any form of commitment to invest in property there.Investors must
recognize the need to obtain authoritative information and to hire competent
Fijian legal counsel when contemplating any real estate investment.Fijian
law and practices regarding real estate differ substantially from those in the
U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their
U.S. passports with them at all times, so that if questioned by local officials,
proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.According to
Fijian law, a criminal detainee may be held for a maximum of 48 hours before
being charged.Police authorities normally advise the U.S. Embassy of the
detention or arrest of a U.S. citizen within 24 hours of the
incident.Nevertheless, U.S. citizens who are detained are encouraged to
request that a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Suva be notified.
Fiji is located in an area of high seismic
activity.Although the probability of a major earthquake occurring during a
particular trip is remote, earthquakes can and do occur.The cyclone season
is November through April.The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC) in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific
Region.General information regarding disaster preparedness is available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs' web site, and from the U.S. Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) home page at http://www.fema.gov/.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and
regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United
States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S.
law.Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United
States for similar offenses.Persons violating Fijian laws, even
unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.Penalties for
possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Fiji are strict, and
convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.Please see
our information on Criminal Penalties.
CHILDRENâ€™S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, see the Office of Childrenâ€™s Issues web site.
REGISTRATION / EMBASSY
LOCATION: Americans living or traveling in Fiji are encouraged to
register with the U.S. Embassy in Suva through the State Departmentâ€™s travel
registration web site, and to obtain updated information on travel and security
within Fiji.Americans without Internet access may register directly with
the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.By registering, American citizens
make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of
emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 31 Loftus Street in Fijiâ€™s capital
city of Suva.The telephone number is (679) 331-4466; the fax number is
(679) 330-2267.Information may also be obtained by visiting the U.S.
Embassyâ€™s home page at http://suva.usembassy.gov/information_for_travelers.html.
This replaces the consular information sheet dated
August 24, 2006, to update the section on Safety and Security and Embassy Suvaâ€™s
http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html for State Department Travel
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