ZigaForm version 5.0.5

Research Permits

Summary of Procedures for Research Permits

Below is a summary of existing guidelines for individual member countries. More details will be added to individual countries as they become available. Reports of research undertaken under permits and lodged with governments should also be submitted to the USP Research Repository – www.repository.usp.ac.fj.

These guidelines are listed alphabetically by Member Country and are correct and up to date at the time of publishing (September, 2016).

Cook Islands

Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in the Cook Islands.
Application requirements:

  • An application form is available from the National Research Committee or it can be accessed here. A checklist is also attached.
  • Applications should be sent to the research.secretariat@cookislands.gov.ck.
  • Should a researcher stay in the Cook Islands after 31 days, you will be required to see the Immigration Department for a special visa extension and this will be at a separate charged fee.


Administration Fee:

  • An administration fee of NZD$80.00 is to accompany the application form.
  • If you wish to make direct payments, an additional NZD$10 is required to cover the bank fees involved. The bank details are also attached.


Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Fiji.


  • An application form is available from the Department of Immigration.
  • Applications should be sent to the Director, Immigration Department, P O Box 2224, Government Buildings, Suva, Fiji.
  • A letter of consent and endorsement from the local institution/s where the research will be undertaken must be attached.
  • A support letter from the Ministry of Education (MOE) is also required.
  • Please note that for research undertaken for periods less than 12 months, a certified copy of a return airline ticket is required.

Contact at the Department of Immigration:

Administration Fee:

  • An administration fee of FJ$667 is to accompany the application form.

Role of Ministry of Education (MOE)
The Ministry of Education vets applications from local researchers who wish to conduct study in schools or want to access information on the Ministry.

As part of the research permit application process, the Ministry also provides a support letter for overseas applicants who intend to conduct research in Fiji. This support letter must be attached to a research permit application that will be submitted to the Immigration Department.

In order to obtain a support letter, applicants have to submit the following which are then vetted by the Ministry’s Research and Ethics Council:

  1. Application letter to the Permanent Secretary for Education to conduct research in Fiji
  2. Curriculum Vitae (For group research applicants, each researcher will need to submit brief CVs)
  3. A copy of the research proposal
  4. Support letter from the applicants university and/or local partners
  5. Completed Research Agreement Form

Following the vetting process, the Research and Ethics Council then advises the Permanent Secretary who will then authorise the release of the support letter. The process usually takes about 1-2 weeks and a nominal fee is levied. Applicants will then be informed accordingly. Contact at the Ministry of Education:

Detailed information on the process can be found in the Research Policy


Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Kiribati if the research area is environment-related or culture/anthropology related. The Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development issues permits for environment scientific researches, and the Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs issues permits for cultural/anthropological related researches. These research areas involve researches requiring direct involvement with the local communities, physical extraction of samples, alteration of the physical environment (e.g. drilling, digging etc) and so forth.In cases where the research only requires consultations/interviews with relevant institutions and for research that is non-environment and non-culturally/anthropologically related, there is no research permit required. In such cases, appointments only need to be arranged with the relevant institutions and it is advised that you have a contact person to assist you on the ground.Application for Environmental Scientific Research:

  • All environmental scientific research carried out in Kiribati require a research permit and an application form and guiding procedures can be accessed at www.environment.gov.ki under downloadable forms/scientific research proposal.
  • Applications should be sent to the Environment and Conservation Division, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development, PO Box 234, Bikenibeu, Tarawa, Kiribati.
  • All applications will be screened by the Environment Scientific Research Committee (ESRC) which is made up of different Government bodies responsible for environmental scientific researches.
  • Please note that all requests for consent for researches involving environmental resources from National Institutions should have their Governments support. International organisations are exempted from this requirement.


Administration Fee:

  • An administration fee of USD$200 must be paid to:
    Bank Details
    1. Beneficiary Account – 269007
    2. Beneficiary Name – Government of Kiribati (No 4 Account)
    3. Bank Beneficiary Name – ANZ Bank (Kiribati) Ltd
    4. Swift # – BKIRKIKI
  • The researcher shall advise the Secretariat (Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development) by fax or email of the payment reference.

Application for Cultural/Anthropological Related Research:

  • Fill in the attached form with the applicant’s signature and required documents as outlined in the form.
  • The completed form must be sent to Mr Natan Itonga at natitonga@hotmail.com, Cultural Officer, Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs (MISA).
  • A letter of approval will be sent once endorsed by the Secretary of MISA.
  • Please note that once an approval is received, the applicant must write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary attlambourne@mfa.gov.ki about the intentions to visit. A copy of the application for research and the approval letter from MISA must be sent as supporting document for the application for a visa permit (if needed).
  • Once a entry visa is granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the applicant must do the following when arriving in Kiribati:
    1. Visit the Office of the Secretary of MISA at Bairiki Government Headquarters
    2. Pay the permit administration fee at the Account section of MISA (same office)
    3. Attach a copy of payment receipt to the application form and submit this to the Secretary of MISA for final endorsement of the permit application form with seal and signature
    4. The endorsed application and receipt must be photocopied at the MISA Registry (the front desk at MISA will assist) while copies are retained by the applicant.


Administration Fee:

  • An administration fee of AUD$350 must be paid at the Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs upon arrival.
  • Please note that a nominal fee is also incurred for a visa permit (if needed) to enter and reside in Kiribati.

Marshall Islands

Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in the Republic of Marshall Islands. To obtain a research permit, the researcher will need to contact the Office of the Chief Secretary.Application:

  • The following documents must be submitted:
    • An application letter to the Office of the Chief Secretary, PO Box 2, Majuro, MH 96960 to conduct research in the Marshall Islands
    • A copy of the research proposal must be provided
    • Support letter from the applicants university and/or institution
  • Please note that the application must be submitted far in advance of the actual work as a committee is formed to look at each application.


  • The Chief Secretary, Mr Casten Nemra – cnemra@ntamar.net
  • Phone: (692) 625-3445/3660, Fax: (692) 625-4021/3649


(More Information is being sought)
Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Niue.Application:Contact:Administration Fee:


(More Information is being sought)

Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Nauru.Application:Contact:Administration Fee:

Solomon Islands

Researchers must have a permit to ‘Enter and Reside’ when undertaking research in the Solomon Islands.Application:

  • An application form is available on request from the Department of Immigration website athttp://www.commerce.gov.sb/Divisions/Immigration/Residing_in_SI.htm .
  • Applications should be sent to the Director of Immigration, Immigration Division, Ministry of Commerce, Employment & Tourism, PO Box G26, Honiara.
  • A covering letter supporting the application and stating the purpose and reason why the application is lodged.
  • An original Police Certificate issued from the Police Department where the applicant’s country of origin is or from any Police Department under whose jurisdiction the applicant came under in the last 12 months up to the time of the application.
  • A letter of indemnity guaranteeing the Solomon Islands Government that any future repatriation costs and expenses shall be borne by the applicant or his employer or sponsor.
  • Please note that the applicant must also apply for a research permit with the Minister for Education/Department of Education and this must be submitted with the application.
  • The permit to ‘enter and reside’ is valid for two years and is renewable. For those wishing to renew or extend their stay, an application must be submitted to the Director of Immigration two months prior to the expiry of their existing permits.


Administration Fee:

  • The application form must be submitted with the applicant’s photograph and fee of SBD$240 (which is not refundable).


(More Information is being sought)

Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Samoa.Application:Contact:Administration Fee:


Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Tonga. To obtain a permit the researcher must contact the Prime Minister’s Office who will process the request with the Ministry of Education.Application:

  • An application form is not required however; the research conditions outlined below must be met in order to acquire a research permit:
    1. Description of the research project proposal endorsed by the head of Faculty of the University or Institution concerned
    2. Copy of approval of the research by the University or Institute’s Ethics Committee
    3. A supporting statement for the research from the Head of faculty of the University or Institution concerned
    4. Evidence of financial support for funding arrangements for the research in Tonga
    5. A proposed starting date and finishing date for the project
    6. A written and signed statement of willingness to submit two completed copies of research thesis to the Office of the Minister of Education free of charge.
  • Applications should be sent to the Director of Education, Ministry of Education, Nukualofa, Tonga.


  • Mrs Fatafehi Tuita –fatafehi.tuita@gmail.com at the Prime Minister’s Office, PO Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
  • Phone: (+676) 24644, Fax: (+676) 23888

Administration Fee:

  • There is no longer a fee required for those permitted to conduct research in Tonga.


To obtain a research permit, the researcher has to inform the Campus Director by sending in their research proposal which the Campus Director will then submit to the Director Immigration to request for a permit.


Campus Director; Dr Rosiana Lagi – rosiana.lagi@usp.ac.fj

Administration Fee:

USP is exempted from paying a fee for a research permit.


Researchers must have a permit to undertake research in Vanuatu and permission must be sought from the Vanuatu National Cultural Council. The Vanuatu Cultural Centre (VCC) has been given responsibility for executing the decisions of the Council, so intending researchers should, at an early stage make contact with the Cultural Centre in order to ensure that the project receives all the appropriate support and attention. Depending on the research area, permission must be sought from relevant authorities from respective Ministries/Departments, approval from respective chiefs of the communities should also be sorted out for studies involving community participation / land usage.


  • Applicants must file an application with the Director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre (VCC). A summary of the research topic must be included.
  • Upon arrival in Vanuatu, the applicant must visit the VCC to sign a research agreement.


Administration Fee:

  • A research fee of 100,000 Vatu must be paid upon signing the research agreement and before commencement of the research.

Research Related to Applied Sciences:

  • Research related to applied and any other sciences / areas belonging to various Ministries / Centers also needs to be discussed with respective Director Generals / Directors.  
  • Respective Ministries and Centers have their own rules and fees for carrying out the research studies in Vanuatu.

USP’s Emalus Campus Support:

  • The University of the South Pacific’s campus in Vanuatu is Emalus Campus and is located in Port Vila. There are four other centers in the outer islands in the country as well.
  • The campus has been a collaborative partner for many research studies with various universities and research centers all over the world.
  • The campus has established MoU’s with various stakeholders and thus can help any incoming researcher to Vanuatu, irrespective of the field and mode of study.
  • For more information please contact: Dr Krishna Kotra, Science Programme Coordinator. Email: krishna.kotra@usp.ac.fj; Mobile: +678-5441006.


Researchers must have a permit to ‘enter and reside’ while undertaking research in Tokelau. 
  • An application form is available here.
  • A permit to enter and reside on Tokelau can be obtained from the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office. Please note that Tokelau is made up of 3 atolls and if you wish to reside and conduct research in all 3 atolls, you will need to make this clear in your request that you will require permission for all 3 atolls.
  • Applications should be sent to the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office, PO Box 3298, Apia, Samoa.
  • In addition to this, an applicant is required to submit a research proposal with a cover letter to the Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau. The Office will vet the application and if the application is agreeable with current government policy statements, they will assist in the applicant’s application to ‘enter and reside’ in Tokelau. Depending on the research area, the Council may delegate your proposal to the relevant Ministry.


  • Seiuli Aleta; Director of Education/USP Tokelau 

         Tokelau UNESCO National Commission

         ph: Work- (+690) 22178

         Home-(+690) 22169

         mob: (+685) 770 1177

Administration Fee

  • Please liaise with the contact on this.