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Emergency Employment Visa Order signed

Minister Emelee signing the Order, By Glenda Willie

Vanuatu’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has been granted the power to bring at least 1,500 foreign workers into the country under the newly developed Emergency Employment Visa, as announced by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Christophe Emelee on Tuesday this week. The move comes in response to a growing working gap in the private sector, as more Ni-Vanuatu workers leave their jobs for seasonal work in Australia and New Zealand.

According to Director of Immigration, Jeffrey Markson, and Minister Emelee, the visa will be valid for one year, after which its effectiveness will be assessed to determine whether it should continue. The Minister’s office, in collaboration with the Immigration Department and Labour Department, has already developed the Visa and other required documents associated with it.

To obtain an Emergency Employment Visa, applicants must have a valid police clearance, provide a medical certificate, and a support letter from the VCCI. The Labour Office will also provide a letter to confirm the application based on their assessment. Once submitted, the applications will be processed within five working days, and the visa will be issued by the Immigration Department.

However, the visa comes with several restrictions. Workers cannot change companies or workplaces during their 12-month stay under the Emergency Employment visa. The position occupied by a worker cannot be changed either. The visa also cannot be extended beyond 12 months. After a year, if the worker decides to stay in the country, they will be required to apply for a normal employment visa and follow the regular procedures, including paying the full fees.

Fees associated with the Emergency Employment Visa have been reduced by half, making it more accessible to applicants. For instance, the work permit fee has been reduced from VT200, 000 to VT100, 000. There is also a special package fee of VT150, 000 for a couple and four children.

Director Markson called on interested applicants to provide all the requirements stated in the form to fast-track their application. The authorities reserve the right to refuse applications if necessary, in accordance with the law.

The Emergency Employment Visa has been developed to address the immediate need for foreign workers in Vanuatu. While it is a temporary solution, it may help bridge the gap in the workforce as more Ni-Vanuatu workers seek seasonal employment abroad.

  • Mar 30, 2023

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