Visiting and Immigrating to Pitcairn Island.
What if I am seriously considering applying for Settlement?
As many of you will know our tiny community is faced with a real need to encourage repopulation. The local Council’s recently developed 5 year strategic plan for the island has given this the highest priority. We are often asked ‘how do I find out about living on Pitcairn?’ So, in an attempt to do our bit for repopulation we thought we’d dedicate a Q and A page about visiting and settling on Pitcairn. As the government develops its repopulation strategy I’ll keep you posted as things change.
How do I find out about getting to Pitcairn?
From a government perspective your first point of contact should be through either the Pitcairn Islands Office in NZ via the Government of Pitcairn Islands (GPI) website www.pitcairn.gov.pn or through the Pitcairn Islands Tourism Department www.visitpitcairn.pn. Each of these sites will provide you with contact details for further enquiries. The Tourism Department website will also provide you with information about how to arrange accommodation whilst on island.
Do I need a Visa to visit Pitcairn?
You do not have to apply for a visitor visa if your intended visit Pitcairn for less than 14 days. If you wish to apply for a long term visitor visa (an Entry Clearance Visa – for up to 6 months) or a Business Visa these can be downloaded from the Government website and submitted to the Pitcairn Islands office in NZ.
How do I get to Pitcairn?
GPI charters a passenger/shipping vessel, the Claymore II to carry supplies and passengers to the island every 3 months. A shipping schedule and information about the Claymore II is available on the Tourism department website. Voyages allow for a maximum short term stay of 10 days. Other Charter companies provide voyages to the island by yacht, usually from Mangareva in the Gambier Islands.
What if I want to stay more than 14 days?
As previously mentioned you can apply for a Long term visitor visa if you want to stay for up to 6 months. This currently costs NZ$150.00.
How do I apply to settle on Pitcairn?
You can apply for settlement at any time. However, I always advise people to consider coming for 10 days or so before they think seriously about applying to settle on the island. Living in a tiny community on one of the most remote islands in the world is something that should be carefully considered. Once, here you’re a long way from home.
You should complete a Settlement Application form well in advance of your intended travel (at least 3 months) and submit it electronically to the Pitcairn Immigration Officer or the Pitcairn Islands Office in NZ.
Where can I live when I first come to settle on Pitcairn?
We have 2 or 3 private rental options currently available. Alternatively, you may be able to arrange to stay with a host family for a time whilst you settle into island life.
Can I own land and build a house?
Yes, once you have been approved for settlement you can apply to the Pitcairn Islands land court for house land. You may be surprised to know that right now – it would not cost you anything! You would simply work out where you might like to build and, if it is deemed appropriate and does not encroach on others land, you can be granted land on a leasehold basis. You can also apply for garden land, forest land and orchard land, based on reasonable need, all at no cost.
Do I need a visa to work on Pitcairn?
Yes, if you have not been granted a settlement visa and are not a permanent resident of Pitcairn you need to obtain written permission from the Island Council before taking up paid employment or entering business on Pitcairn.
Can I bring my Children to settle on Pitcairn?
There are currently restrictions in place regarding visits and settlement by children under 16 years of age. If you wish to apply to visit Pitcairn, on behalf of a child, you will need to contact the Deputy Governor’s Office in NZ before submitting any application.
Is there a hospital or doctor on Pitcairn?
Pitcairn has a small Medical Centre, pharmacy and qualified resident doctor on contract at all times. However, medical assistance limited due to the Island’s isolation. Short and long term visitors are all required to provide evidence of medical insurance coverage, including medical evacuation cover. Once you are a permanent resident emergency medical evacuation services are provided by the Government, if required. Residents, requiring further medical treatment or hospitalisation are generally taken care of in either NZ or Tahiti. Once, they are fit and well again they are required to pay back 1/3 of the cost of their treatment to the Government. Pensioners however, do not have to pay back any funds.
Is there a school on Pitcairn?
Yes, Pulau School provides pre-school and primary education for resident children. Qualified, registered teachers are appointed on 1 year renewable basis. It’s a great little school and the teacher to student ratio is second to none.