PITCAIRN ISLANDS IMMIGRATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Pitcairn is one of the most isolated Islands in the world. When you
travel on board the Pitcairn Government's vessel, 'MV Claymore II', you
will be at sea for at least two nights before arriving at Pitcairn
Island. There is no airport on the Island, so when on the Island you
will be at least two days sail from the nearest airport – back in the
Gambier Islands (where you will have boarded the Claymore II). The
Claymore II visits the island on 4 rotations a year.
What is the population of Pitcairn?
At the time of the December 2012 census there were 45 resident islanders and 9 overseas professionals living on Pitcairn.
What is the climate like?
Pitcairn's average summer temperature ranges from 20-30 degrees
centigrade. In winter it can drop as low as 17 degrees centigrade. The
humidity ranges from 60-100% all year round. Winter temperatures can be
felt from May to October. Roads and walkways can become very muddy and
slippery in the winter months. During summer the island can become
tinder dry and very dusty.
What religions are practised on Pitcairn?
A successful Seventh-day Adventist mission was established in the
1890s. In recent years, church attendance has declined but most
Pitcairners still attend church on special occasions and visitors are
always welcome. The church is run by the Church board and resident
Pastor. The Sabbath School meets at 9.30am on Saturday mornings and is
followed by the main service (Divine Service) an hour later. The
Sabbath (Saturday) is observed as the day of rest by most Islanders.
Other faiths are not actively practised in Pitcairn, but all faiths are welcome.
I have a disability, can I still move to Pitcairn?
The Government of Pitcairn Island Council does not discriminate on the
grounds of disability. However, you should be aware of several factors
that may influence your views about the desirability of Pitcairn as a
place to live, with regard to access and services. The
terrain on Pitcairn is rough, with very steep hills, a lot of
dirt tracks and few paved roads. Transport is generally either on foot
or by quad bike. Public buildings are few and some have no disabled
access. Public services on Pitcairn are limited due to the extreme
isolation of the island, particularly health services (see below under
infrastructure). You are strongly advised to discuss your needs with
our Immigration department and to visit Pitcairn before applying for
Do I have to visit Pitcairn before applying for settlement?
No, you can apply for settlement at any time. However it would be wise
to consider visiting before you seriously think 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
Can I bring my children to settle on Pitcairn?
There are currently separate procedures in place regarding visits and
settlement by children under 16 years of age. If you wish to apply on
behalf of a child you will need to contact the Deputy Governor's Office
in New Zealand.
If I move to Pitcairn am I entitled to a British Passport?
No. Further information can be obtained from the Deputy Governor's office.
How will my possessions get to Pitcairn?
The Claymore II, Pitcairn's supply ship takes freight to Pitcairn every
three months. To arrange your items to go with Pitcairn's regular
supplies, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You can of course contact shipping companies directly if you wish to
send your cargo separately though the cargo has to be unloaded into
Pitcairn's longboats to get ashore and thus needs to loaded on ship in
a manner to allow unloading with limited facilities.
How do people travel to/from Pitcairn?
The Government of Pitcairn Islands charters a passenger/shipping
vessel, the Claymore II to carry supplies and passengers to the island
every 3 months. To view the Passenger Travel Terms & Conditions go
or contact email@example.com
Other charter companies provide travel to the island by yacht, usually from Mangareva in the Gambier Islands.
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.
Are there shops on Pitcairn?
There is one 'General Store' on the island. The store is open three
times a week and stocks a range of household and general goods. Orders
for food from New Zealand are placed through the store on a quarterly
There is also a warehouse (selling construction materials) and a post
office. The store, warehouse and post office all open three times a
Is there Internet/phone/television on Pitcairn?
All houses on island are currently connected to the Internet and wi-fi
is possible. Owing to limitations of the system there is a tiered
charging structure to discourage large up/downloads. The Government of
Pitcairn Island ensures maintenance of the system.
All houses on island are connected to an international phone system and
have New Zealand phone numbers. There are two satellite phones on the
island for emergencies – these are held by off-island professionals.
There are no mobile phone networks on island but it is possible to
receive and send text messages if you register before leaving New
Pitcairn can receive a number of television channels but only has
capacity to broadcast two to houses at any one time. The channels are
currently switched on a regular basis. This may be expanded in future
depending on funding and demand. In addition the church broadcasts a
separate 'Hope' channel.
How many visitors does Pitcairn get a year?
What infrastructure is in place on Pitcairn?
|Cruise ship visitors
There is currently a school which caters to nursery aged children
through to the age of 13. High school is usually started by
correspondence and completed in school in New Zealand., Existing
residents benefit from UK subsidies but these may not apply to new
There is a small health clinic and pharmacy on the island. A qualified
resident Doctor is available on call at all times. He or she is
contracted from New Zealand, Australia or the UK and rotates on an
annual basis. The Doctor is able to provide primary care and handle
some emergency situations but is limited by the isolation of the
island. Serious incidents or illness may require medical evacuation to
Initially immigrants need to have travel insurance including medical
evacuation cover when they settle. Once they become permanent residents
they are entitled to the same subsidies as other local residents.
There is a Police Officer based on the island, supported by an island
Police Officer. Crime is low but there are custody facilities available
Do I need a visa to visit Pitcairn?
You do not have to apply for a visitor visa if you intend to stay for
less than 14 days. If you wish to stay longer you will need to apply
for a long term visitor visa (valid for up to 6 months) or a business
visa. Applications can be downloaded from the Government website www.pitcairn.gov.pn
and submitted to the Pitcairn Islands office in New Zealand.
How do I apply to settle on Pitcairn?
You should complete a Settlement Application form and submit it
electronically to the Pitcairn Immigration Officer or the Pitcairn
Island Office in New Zealand.
What is the plan for the future of Pitcairn?
The UK Government is committed to supporting Pitcairn's development
towards a sustainable future. With an ageing and shrinking population,
attracting new immigrants is key to this.
Do I have to have a sponsor?
Will I live with my host on the island?
This is between you and your host.
How much does it cost to live on Pitcairn?
2012 figures based on average current spending are as per the table below.
What is the average income on Pitcairn?
||Mean expenditure per annum
|Store (food,beverages, hardware)
It is difficult to estimate the average total income as there is no
taxation and thus official records of private incomes. The average
Government income is NZ$6000 per annum.
How much money do I need to have to move to Pitcairn?
As per the immigration policy anyone wishing to settle on Pitcairn must
have evidence of savings or assets of at least NZ$30,000.
What sort of evidence of funds will I need to provide?
Normally six months bank statements, savings accounts, credit card statements etc.
On average how much does it cost to build a house on Pitcairn?
Over the past 7 years some modern homes have been built by settlers. A
fair estimate including importing all building materials and
furnishings, and paying local contractors to build a complete home of
around 160 square metres in size, to be approximately NZ$150,000.
How much is it to buy land on Pitcairn?
There are currently no charges for land for settlement. Once a
settlement application disapproved a further application should be made
to the Pitcairn Islands land court for a plot. Land is currently
granted on a leasehold basis. You can also apply for additional land
for garden, forest or orchard, based on reasonable need.
Pitcairn receives funds from the UK Government, will I receive public funds i.e. pensions, benefits?
No. If you move to Pitcairn you will need to have your own personal
funds to support yourself. These may be supplemented by wages if you
take employment on the island.
What currency is used on Pitcairn?
All government transactions are carried out using the New Zealand
Dollar - this includes the store, medical centre, utility bills etc.
Private Island enterprise including Pitcairn Island Accommodation costs
and local souvenirs are priced in US Dollars. You can access cash on
credit cards and exchange currency at the Government Treasury Office in
the town square.
Is there accommodation to buy or rent on the island?
There are currently no properties for sale on the island. The Pitcairn
Island Tourism department can help arrange accommodation for you with a
local family on a charged basis or alternatively there are a couple of
private self-contained houses and units for rent, subject to
I would like to build my own house, is this possible?
Yes. Once your settlement application is approved a further application
can be made to the Pitcairn Islands land court for a plot on which to
build your home. Land is currently granted on a leasehold basis. You
can also apply for additional land for garden, forest or orchard, based
on reasonable need.
It is up to you to arrange construction of your home, you may like to
employ local labour, work on the project yourself or bring in an
Are there builders/electricians/plumbers etc. on island who could build me a house?
There are a number of skilled trades people on the island who have in
the past assisted in house building and could be approached on a
private basis should you wish to.
Do I have to settle on Pitcairn permanently or can I come for 6 months to work?
You can apply for a short term visa, there is no compulsion to settle on the island.
Do I need a visa to work on Pitcairn?
No, but if you have not been granted a settlement visa and are not a
permanent resident of Pitcairn you will need to obtain written
permission from the Island Council before taking up paid employment or
entering into business on Pitcairn.
Is everyone employed on Pitcairn?
No, we have a number of retired residents and partners of our ex-patriot workers are not normally employed.
Do I need to work if I move to Pitcairn?
If you are able to support yourself financially then there is no requirement to find work.
Do I need to have certain skills to move to Pitcairn?
There are no mandatory skill requirements in place at this time.
What sort of work is available on Pitcairn?
There are no current vacancies but temporary positions do come up from time to time.
How are jobs advertised and filled on Pitcairn?
All jobs are advertised and filled as per the GPI recruitment policy.
Are islanders given preferential treatment over immigrants?
No. That would be discriminatory.
What is the retirement age on Pitcairn?
Some islanders do take the option to retire at 65, but in accordance
with age equality legislation there is no compulsory retirement age on
How long does it take to process a settlement application?
If all the documents are in order, Council has endorsed the application
the applicant(s) will be called for an interview with the Deputy
Governor and a decision made within one month of that interview.
Is there a charge for settlement applications?
Yes. The current fee is NZ$500.
Is there a limit on the number of applicants Pitcairn can take?
The current Strategic Development Plan is looking to grow the
population to 80 residents over the next five years. Expansion beyond
this has not been ruled out.