Visa Requirements

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Visa Requirements for all visitors to Tonga

A visitor’s visa will be issued, free of charge, for the period of one month from the date of arrival at the airport provided the visitor holds a valid return ticket out of the Kingdom to country which he shall be able to enter and the Immigration Officer is satisfied that the visitor has sufficient funds to financially maintain himself while in the Kingdom

If you wish to extend your visa or you have any further inquiries contact the Immigration Department in Nuku’alofa – Phone +676-26970, Fax - +67626-971. Visitors holding non Tongan passports are advised that it is illegal to take up employment, business, and schooling or study courses while in the Kingdom. Persons in breach of the Immigration Act may be prosecuted and subject to a term of imprisonment or fine or both.

Do you need a Visa?

You do not need a visa prior to arrival if you’re a citizen from the one of the following countries. All others need visas prior to arrival.

Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia (New Caledonia, Tahiti, Wallis & Futuna), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lusia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, The Bahamas, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vanuatu.

Condition for the Employment visas.

Always apply while your current visa is still valid (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged),
Always apply at least one month before entry into the Kingdom OR for those applying for renewal, apply one month before expiry of your current employment visa (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged).

Any person holding a Tongan visitor’s visa is prohibited from taking up employment while in the Kingdom. There are high financial penalties for any person who enters the Kingdom on a visitor’s visa and attempts to transfer a visitor’s visa to an employment visa, when approval PRIOR to entry into the Kingdom has not been granted by the Immigration Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Government of Tonga.

Tonga has a very high unemployment rate, particularly among its youth. In order to help combat this problem the Tongan Government has attempted to protect the Tongan labor market for Tongans by not allowing non citizens to enter the Kingdom looking for job opportunities.

Companies/Businesses registered and operating in Tonga may bring non citizen employees into the country, provided that the said non citizen holds a specialized skill. In order to have professional skills of non citizen’s assessed please contact the Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries (MLCI), Government of Tonga for further information (MLCI contact details appear below). MLCI are responsible for the labour markets that are open for non citizens to take up employment whilst in the Kingdom.

Employment requirements should be fulfilled prior to a person’s entry into the Kingdom (unless an agreement has been reached with the Immigration Division and the employer prior to the applicant’s entry into the Kingdom). Incomplete applications shall not be accepted by the Immigration Division.

Persons undertaking voluntary and charitable work in the Kingdom are also required to hold an EMPLOYMENT visa, the same conditions for an employment visa apply to applicants undertaking voluntary and charitable work. (Special immigration conditions apply for those international organizations which bring in voluntary workers to Tonga on a frequent basis and where the Tongan Government has an official agreement, approved by Cabinet, with the said organization).

Immigration Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Tonga

1. Completed application form (NB: one family can share one form);
2 recent passport photographs of all applicants;
3. Valid passport (valid for the period for which the visa is to be issued);
4. Medical certificate, issued by a doctor specified by the Immigration Division at Vaiola Hospital (Tonga), Vava’u or Ha’apai or from overseas;
5. Two character references from persons who have known the applicant for 5 years (contact details of the referee);
6. Police certificate (for persons over the age of 16) from the country in which the Principal applicant is ordinarily resident;
7. Signed declaration (page 3 of the application form);
8. The relevant fee (currently TOP$150) and any penalty fees.
NB. Any foreign documents presented must be the original and have attached an English translation. The documentation must also contain certification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for that Government or from one of its diplomatic missions verifying the document and translation).

Additional requirements for an employment visa. (Employment visas are issued for up to 2 years).

1. Offer of employment from a company in Tonga.
2. Employment contract for all applicants, each contract must include the job specification of the non citizen applicant and a repatriation clause for conclusion/termination of the contract by either party, which places the burden of repatriation on the employer. (If not Immigration may require a TOP$1,000 bond per person).
3. Evidence of professional skills of applicants. Evidence to support these professional skills (formal academic qualifications or letters of references from former employers on letterhead). Letter of support from Secretary for Labour, Commerce & Industries on whether the applicants’ profession/skill is required in Tonga (labour check)).
4. Relevant licenses/registration required by any other law in Tonga relating to the specific profession, have been acquired (e.g. Registration on the Board of Health for persons requiring practicing medicine in Tonga etc.)
5. The employer’s business license and company registration may also be required by Immigration. MLCI may also request inspection of the business/company and any information relating to the number of Tongans currently employed by the said company.

NB. A bond may be imposed if a repatriation clause is not included in the contract or in any case where the Immigration Officer is uncertain that either party will be able to pay their return air fare. Applicants shall bring all original documents and copies thereof for sighting and certification at the Immigration Division when applying for a visa.

Standard requirements for interested investors in Tonga:

1. You must obtain a “Working Visa” from the Immigration Department, Tonga
2. Have your company established with the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries
3. Complete the foreign investment form from the same Ministry ( Labour and Commerce )
4. Obtain a business license from the Ministry of Labour and Commerce
5. You must have a Tourist License from the Ministry of Tourism

Contact for the Ministry of LABOUR, COMMERCE & INDUSTRIES.

Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries
Government of Tonga
P O Box 110 Nuku’alofa TONGA
Tel: (676) 23 365 FAX: 23 887

Visa Section

Visa Section
Immigration Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Tonga
P O Box 352
Tel: (676) 26 970/26 969
Fax: 26 971/ 26 972