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Overstay Numbers Drop

Overstay Numbers Drop
From left ,Director for Immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa and Immigration official , Talei Yabakivou making submissions before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in Parliament yesterday. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
April 05
11:23 2017

The director of Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa yesterday said the number of overstayers in Fiji decreased from 600 last year to around 200 this year.

He was making submissions before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in Parliament yesterday.

He said the decrease consisted of overstayers who had their visas expired and consisted mostly of people from around the region.

He said the best option for illegal immigrants was to be sent back to their countries.

“If illegal immigrants aren’t sent back to their country they could become a burden to the State,” he said.

He said a lot of the illegal immigrants refused to return to their respective countries because they owed large sums of money to family members or loan sharks.

Mr Vuniwaqa said they would prefer to stay and work in Fiji rather than return to their country.

Mr Vuniwaqa said illegal immigrants in Fiji were mostly overstayers.

He said Fiji being a country surrounded by inhabited islands  needed to strengthen its border security to prevent crime syndicates from infiltrating the country.

Mr Vuniwaqa said one of the biggest challenges they faced was the unavailability of relevant resources needed to identify crimes at the border.

He said another challenge the department faced was the non-collaboration of other stakeholders in the sharing of information.

He said some of the information they needed was with other stakeholders but they refused to divulge them to the department.

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