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Change visa in Fiji. Feedback

If you happen to hold a limited visa, there is no reason to panic. It can be just an excuse for another travel, for example to Fiji. There is a New Zealand Embassy on the islands, which is able to consider visa applications for any passport holder. Russian people have an advantage – for entrance to Fiji you don’t need a visa, your document will be stamped at the airport.

A trip to Fiji was made in order to change an expired visa for a new one, so that not to go far from New Zealand and reduce expenses. You can change your Limited Purposes Visa for a new one, only when applying from abroad. Furthermore, I will honestly describe my relaxation on Fiji.

I was lucky to snatch two-way tickets for $550 NZD from Auckland to Nadi, with Air New Zealand. I had no desire to fly to Russia where I would have to face with winter and Russian immigration officers. Beforehand I booked a car for a day, because I had to go to the capital, Suva, and live there for a while. So, I have had an occasion to go by car through the half of the major island using the main motorway of the country. The motorway, also known as, Queens Road – there are two lanes, one in one direction and the other in another. Sometimes you can see the third lane, it goes up-hill to pass the slowest vehicles. You can always see people with an arm-length machete walking along the road. I want to believe that they were just farmers. Although I saw kiosks, that had iron grills and plenty of padlocks, small windows. Moreover, in a car rent company they told me: “Maybe you won’t do it? Roads are in a bad condition, and there are reports about flooding on the radio.” But you know that’s Russian nature. By the way, I should point out that I booked the cheapest car, but I got a higher-grade car without any additional payment, so that it would be more secure for me. Many thanks for it.

I would have to say that the roads on Fiji are truly awful. I couldn’t drive slowly there, and as a result the suspension of the rented car was torn away a little after I used it. There were many potholes. Sometimes there were just potholes in the road. I recalled Russian regions and didn’t get bored. Suva left some sad impressions. The capital (means the mother of Fiji’s towns, I suppose) was in the same condition as the roads on the main island. Even in the centre of the city, everything was messed up. Just like in New Zealand, they have buttons on the traffic lights and when the light turned green, I could cross the street. It was messy, some people still look at you like as if you look like an alien (that makes sense, I think), but that’s boring. Truly, I was walking there at the time of some public holiday, so half of the local amenities were closed. Nevertheless, I am not very keen on crowds, so it was good for me to assess the situation like it was. All in all, the location of the city is quite interesting. There is a port, an ocean, green hills and other things. It could, however, be a real knockout.

I made a stop 10 km outside of city in the forest. It was a really pleasant place – Raintree Forest. A cheap hostel was what I needed. There was rainy weather. I took a short walk and went to bed. The next day I was busy with my visa, notably I mailed a prepared set of documents, and went back to Nadi (by the way, it is 200 km one way), the weather became more favourable and I was told that I bring good luck. Well, I agreed. Then I stopped at another hostel, named Smugglers Cove, near the local main resort of Nadi. It is located 10 km from the airport where everyone arrives. The ocean is beautiful and the café on the beach is also nice. But water is not clear, the weather is too changeable, (so I will never complain about Auckland) but it was expected, considering my experience of living in Thailand. So, I was seeking smaller islands where everybody goes to really relax.

Close by, I chose two main resort islands: Malolo and Mana. As for the first one, it was quite nice there. The outside of the café looked very chic, but at the top of the island, there also was a simple snorkeling; many mosquitoes and flies. And so I left that place, feeling satisfied but bitten. Then I stayed as always in a simple place named Funky Fish. On the second island, there was an awesome beach with white sand and palms, everything was right. As far as entertainment is concerned, there were diving, tracking and some helicopter, aeroplane and parachute facilities available. Taking into account my retrenchment, I used only a kayak and paddled in the ocean. The name of the place was Ratu Kinis. I liked how local staff tried to help the tourists: welcoming songs, polite explanations, a fire show and songs at night. After a couple of nights on each island, I went back to the main island with the hope that my visa issue had been already decided.

Generally, a trip to an island country is always an interesting thing. The country has some obvious drawbacks, but the nature is magical. And it is even better to mix business with pleasure.

I got the Student visa in two weeks, although it could have been faster. I was waiting for my IELTS certificate, and as soon as I provided it, they approved my visa straight away. My time in Fiji wasn’t bad and I got a tan. All-in-all, if you have a Limited Purposes Visa, don’t despair. It would be better to think over your next steps.

Denis, 2012.