Monday, November 24, 2008

Who's got $20,000 play money?

from w
This new 'Second home visa' is only meant for rich people. Not everyone has $30,000 or $20,000 play money to put into a bank deposit in Fiji, so it is a selective visa. It's not for an ordinary bubu to go back to the village in retirement (if he's taken out another citizenship!) A second gripe is that the exit tax on visitors to Fiji has been upped to about $70 which is too much. Hey, if you want to attract tourists and visitors to Fiji, that's not the way to go, nor is the hefty price of Air Pacific tickets - e.g. Melbourne to Nadi return in the Christmas season is over $1500! You can just about get to Paris for that!
from Fiji TV news:
Attracting foreign currency funds through new immigration policy
23 Nov 2008 02:38:41

Non-Fiji residents who intend to settle in the country will have all legal rights, except for voting. The 'Fiji My Second Home' Program is part of Budget 2009 - which allows non-citizens to reside in Fiji on a multiple entry social visit pass. The Department of Immigration says, the goal is to attract foreign currency funds into the country.

The new 'Fiji My Second Home Programme' announced in the 2009 national budget is one of the many schemes by the interim government to attract investment, that will eventually grow the economy. The programme will allow non citizens to reside in Fiji on a multiple entry social visit an effort to attract foreign currency funds into the country including expenditure locally for retirement and here living by non-citizens. The programme has some requirements though those who use this facility, will need to satisfy certain critieria including a fixed deposit placement of $200,000 for those aged 50 and above and $300,000 for those aged below 50. Interest earned from deposits will be exempted from tax. Those who fall under this category will have all the validity rights in the country except for voting.

The program comes into effect on January 1st, 2009.


Pandabonium said...

$200,000? Yipes. Even if I had it I would not trust a bank in Fiji with it. For that kind of money I would expect a Passport, not just a multiple entry permit. I have that from Japan already and it cost me nothing.

And airfares... thanks to high fuel costs and the effects of Australia and NZ restrictions on Fiji (they hurt those they pretend to want to help IMO), it is hard to get from Japan to Fiji now. No more direct flights on Air Pacific. Have to go Korean Air - no thanks - or Qantas routed through Brisbane or Auckland and the resulting price is ridiculously expensive.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Some decisions are being made with haste in order to attract investors, but on the other hand other decisions just make it more unpalatable for people to set up new businesses. And as for the fares to Fiji! We were quoted $1500 for Melbourne - Nadi return for the Christmas season! Yes and now that Air Pacific have cut out some routes, that doesn't help either.
Enough grouching, it's going to be a sunny day.

gracewilkins said...

I'm confused.Is it 20,000FJD or 200,000FJD or neither? Or is it in US currency? And if I leave my retirement money in a Fijian bank, at what % will my earnings be? Who gets to keep said earnings? How much tax will there be on said money each year since I'll have to declare it on my US Federal tax returns? Secondly, after I invest in Fiji, I still have to be able to afford land,housing,utilities and transportation(not counting the expense of setting up a second a home to a satisfactory level of second home living). Now add on R/T airfare for 2-3 adults at least twice a year- since the great selling point is a "a multiple entry permit." WOW!Not having been to Fiji MORE THAN 3 times, in any one year back in the '80's when airfares were somewhat affordable,and I was employed full-time (not on U.S. social security) how many more RTs would I want to make anyhow? Just who had this brilliant offer. Wealthy ex-patriots would be more likely to own a 3rd home, if they didn't choose to move to Fiji?

Pandabonium said...

Gracewilkins - according to the Fiji government website it is $200,000. I assume Fiji Dollars since that is the currency of the land.

As a US citizen you would be required to report the interest on fund in Fiji on your US tax return as well as file a form declaring that you have such funds in a bank abroad.

Obviously you (and I) are not in an income category that would benefit from this scheme. It seems to me, few people would, which makes me wonder what the REAL motivation behind this is.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Who is pulling the strings to make such decisions I wonder because others I guess couldn't even run a chook raffle. Better for me to zip up though.