BUSINESS PERMITS 2003
1. (If applying in Tonga for a renewal/Transfer of a visa) Always apply whilst your current visa is still valid (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged);
2. (If you have not entered Tonga) Always apply at least one month before entry into the Kingdom (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged); ANY PERSON HOLDING A TONGAN VISITOR'S VISA IS PROHIBITED FROM UNDERTAKING BUSINESS ACTIVITIES 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 a business visa, when approval PRIOR to entry into the Kingdom has not been granted by the Immigration Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Tonga.
There are certain business sectors that are restricted for operation exclusively by Tongan nationals. Policies relating to business markets in the Kingdom are established by the Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries (MLCI).
Non citizen investors who wish to financially invest in a business/company in Tonga are advised to contact the Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries to seek advice on the business markets that are available for foreign investment. Contact with MLCI should be made prior to the non citizen's entry into the Kingdom, otherwise penalty fees may be charged.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS SHALL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE IMMIGRATION DIVISION.
STANDARD REQUIREMENTS WHICH MUST BE FULFILLED FOR ALL BUSINESS 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$200) 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 a business visa. (Business visas are issued for up to 2 years).
1. Business plan;
2. Letter of support from the specified senior officer in the Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries, Nuku'alofa;
3. All relevant company registration/business licences relating to the said business, including share certificates;
4. Evidence of financial investment in the said company/business (bank statements, letters of reference from bankers/creditors);
5. If financial investment is in an established business, the Immigration Division may inspect the current operation in conjunction with the MLCI and request information on the number of Tongans currently employed in the said business;
6. Relevant licences/registration required by any other law in Tonga relating to the specific business (eg. Registration on the Board of Health for persons requiring to set up a medical practice in Tonga etc).
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: email@example.com
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