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Expat guide to living in The Solomon Islands

Expat guide to living in The Solomon Islands

Living in The Solomon Islands


Solomon Islands gives expats a number of attractions perhaps even as many as the numerous islands that make up the country. As the backdrop of World War 2, Solomon Islands was propelled into historical spotlight; the Battle of Guadalcanal marked the pages of history books as an important yet devastating campaign. However foreigners visit the country not to stare in awe of the remnants of war, but the natural beauty of the landscape and seascape, as well as pronounced cultural uniqueness of the peoples of the country. Here are some important information we thought you’d like to know.

Solomon Islands

Expat Clubs


Solomon islands Women in Business Association
They are a voluntary non-profit association made up of Solomon Islander women who are in business. SIWIBA was established in 2005 and currently has 50 members. There are over 100 women entrepreneurs in the capital city (Honiara) who have been operating businesses for some years now. There are many more women who are operating informal businesses and would like to build their skills and capacity to grow their businesses.
Address: P.O.Box 750 Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 28386/7
Email: ceo@siwiba.com
FB: www.facebook.com/pages/Solomon-Islands-Women-in-Business-Association-SIWIBA/420712241298821
Website: www.siwiba.com.sb/

International Schools 


Woodford International School
Honiara has five private primary schools; expatriate families generally prefer the Woodford International School for their children. Schooling is available up to Grade 6, and curriculum followed conforms to that adopted by the schools in Queensland (Australia). As of 2011, the school has about 150 pupils on its roster of which about 50% are citizens of Solomon Islands.
Curriculum: Australian
Address: P.O. Box R44 Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 30186
Fax: +677 38021
Email: woodford@solomon.com.sb
Website: www.wis.edu.sb

Local News in English


Solomons Star News
Daily newspaper featuring Solomon Islands news, editorials and archives.
Website: www.solomonstarnews.com
 
Island Sun
This is an English-language site that covers local news, events, business and sports.
Website: theislandsun.com

Country Information 


Location: Pacific
Capital City: Honiara
Currency: Solomon Islands Dollar
Language: English
Calling Code: +677
Internet TLD: .sb
Electricity: The Solomon Islands run on 230/240V 50Hz. Electricity is provided by the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority.
Website: www.siea.com.sb
Emergency Numbers:   
Medical: 911
Fire: 988
Police: 999
Country Information
en.wikipedia.org

Embassy Information


embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/solomon-islands

Residents Visa and Work Permit information


Nationals from certain countries including the US, the EU and Australia may enter the country and obtain a permit on arrival valid for 30 days. Other nationals will have to obtain a visa before travelling. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration site has a list of countries and their corresponding visa regulations: http://www.commerce.gov.sb/departments-units/immigration/visas/i-want-to-apply-for-a/long-term-visa/long-term-employment-visa.html
 
Documents required:
  1. Must be in possession of a valid passport or other valid travel documents
  2. An onward air ticket which can be used to travel from Solomon Islands to other countries which the visitor will be ask to enter.
  3. Must have sufficient funds to sustain himself/herself whilst in Solomon Islands.
  4. Must have valid visas to enter other countries (where required) from Solomon Islands.
 
For extended stays, like employment or investment, expats must apply for a residence permit at the Director of Immigration prior to travelling.  This permit is valid for two year and renewable after that.

Documents required for residence permit:

(1) Application form - in pdf format
This form must be duly filled by the applicant. A form can be supplied on request. The application form must be submitted with the applicant’s photograph and fee of $240 (which is no refundable)

(2) Police Certificate
Usually issued by the Police Department from the Applicant’s country of origin or from any Police Department under whose jurisdiction the applicant came under in the last 12 months up to the time of the applicants application. Only original Police Certificates are acceptable.

(3) Letter of Indemnity/Interest Bearing Account
A document guaranteeing the Solomon Islands Government that any future repatriation costs and expenses shall be borne by the applicant or his employer or sponsor. If a letter of Indemnity is not acceptable to the Director of Immigration, the Director of Immigration will require the applicant, his employer or sponsor to open with any bank in Solomon Islands an interest bearing account in the name of the Director of Immigration as trustee for the applicant. The amount to be deposited will be equivalent to the cheapest airfare from Solomon Islands to the applicant’s country of origin or to which he is a citizen. The money deposited in an interest Bearing Deposit account may be withdrawn if and when the applicant requires it to purchase airfare to repatriate himself/herself.

(4) Work Permit
A work permit issued by the Commissioner of Labour. This permit must be applied for to the Commissioner of Labour. The issue of a work permit is a requirement for those wishing to work, or run their business whilst residing in Solomon Islands.

(5) Covering Letter
This letter should simply support the applicant’s application and state the purpose and reason why the application is lodged.

Accommodation


Out of the many islands in the country, Guadalcanal, Malaita, Choiseul, New Georgia, San Cristobal and Santa Isabel are the places where most foreigners visit. Honiara, the capital has tourist class hotels and resorts. These places are geared towards expats.

The housing in the towns are mostly bungalows with an average of three bedrooms. They come in with kitchens and other amenities. And in respect to their culture, in-house not common; separate toilets for men and women are favored.
Apartment rentals in Honiara can cost about $1,700 per month, at least the most expensive luxurious ones. Budget accommodations like guesthouses are also available.

Driving License


Expats may use their domestic license along with an international driving license in the Solomon Islands for up to 4 months. After, they will have to obtain a local license through the Inland Revenue Division IRD.
Inland Revenue Division IRD
Address: Box G9, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tel:  +677 28243
Fax: +677 22369
Website: www.ird.gov.sb/

Documents required:
  • License Application form
  • Two passport size photos
  • Original domestic license and international license
For more information please read: www.ird.gov.sb/Resource.aspx?ID=150

Healthcare


Medical services and facilities in the Solomon Islands are basic. Free public healthcare is given to citizens, residents and tourists in the country. A Medical History Card should be obtained by expat residents; this card will trace all received services and help facilitate future ones. Private healthcare is also available, but at an expense. Expats are urged to get comprehensive health insurance that can cover or reimburse costs including medical evacuation to neighboring countries.

Insurance Companies

Globalsurance
Globalsurance offers expats international medical insurance coverage in a number of countries including the Solomon Islands.
Website: https://www.globalsurance.com
 
Hospitals
 
Helena Goldie Hospital
Helena Goldie Hospital (HGH) is a 68-bedded second level care hospital situated in Munda, Western Province of Solomon Islands. The hospital was established in 1903 by  Methodist Missionaries, and is now owned by the United Church in Solomon Islands (UCSI). In agreement with the Western Provincial Health Services, HGH looks after 15 clinics within Zone 3 of Western Province,the area comprising of North New Georgia, Vona Vona Lagoon, Roviana Lagoon and Rendova Islands.  The estimated population within the area is over 26,000.
Address: P.O. Box 82, Munda, New Georgia, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 61 121
Website: hghospital.jimdo.com
 
National Referral Hospital
This is a public facility that handles basic treatments and services.
Address: P.O. Box 349, Honiara, Guadacanal, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 23 600
Fax: +677 24 243
 
Kilu'ufi Hospital
Address: Auki, Malaita Island, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 40272
 
Gizo Hospital
Address: PO Box 36, Gizo, Gizo Province, Solomon Islands
Tel: +766 60224
 
Lata Hospital
Address: Santa Cruz Island, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 53 045
Fax: +677 53 044
 
 

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