The Fijian Immigration Office in Suva confirmed its country’s nationals can now apply for new and renewed passports at their Wellington outpost, which has the technology to record people’s biometric data for the new hi-tech travel documents.
The association says that for those members whose passports expire during the Covid-19 border lockdowns, a certificate of identity or a facilitation letter can be obtained from the Fiji Immigration Office.
Travelling to Fiji to renew passports costs $1,400 for return airfares. “Getting our passport renewed in Wellington comes with its advantages and also some disadvantages as well,” said Association vice president Savenaca Tukitoba.
“I guess in Wellington the fare will be cheaper compared to Fiji, on the other side we need to apply for the visas which is very much expensive when getting off in New Zealand.
“So, it’s really an interesting scenario for us blue passport holders here in the Cook Islands.”
“But then again this where ‘we are all in this together spirit’ comes in whereby for those of us who would find it hard to find a place to shelter while waiting for passport, then it’s always good to ask for assistance.”