1. Always apply whilst your current visa is still valid (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged);
2. 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 WHILST 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, Government of Tonga.
Tonga has a very high unemployment rate, particularly amongst its youth. In order to help combat this problem the Tongan Government has attempted to protect the Tongan labour 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 IN TO THE KINGOM (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 organisations 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 organisation).
STANDARD REQUIREMENTS WHICH MUST BE FULFILLED FOR ALL EMPLOYMENT VISAS
1. Completed application form (NB: one family can share one form);
2. 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. 2 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 licences/registration required by any other law in Tonga relating to the specific profession, have been acquired (eg. Registration on the Board of Health for persons requiring to practice medicine in Tonga etc.)
5. The employer's business licence 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 parties 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.
CONTACT FOR THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR, COMMERCE & INDUSTRIES
Mr Maliu Mafi
Deputy Secretary Labour Division Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries
Government of Tonga
P O Box 110 Nuku'alofa TONGA
Tel: (676) 23 365 FAX: 23 887 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
VISA SECTION, IMMIGRATION DIVISION, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Tonga
P O Box 821 Nuku'alofa
Tel: (676) 26 970/26 969 Fax: 26 971/ 23 360 Email: email@example.com