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Visiting the Falkland Islands

There are three main ways to visit the Islands for a holiday: flying via the United Kingdom, flying via South America, via cruise ship.

Flying to the Falkland Islands from the United Kingdom

There is a twice- weekly direct flight to the Falklands through the Royal Air Force and operated by AirTanker. This flight is known as ‘the airbridge’ and departs the United Kingdom on Wednesday and Sundays.

The flight departs from RAF Brize Norton (BZZ) and flies directly to the Islands with a stopover in Ascension Island for refuelling and crew change.

The return fare is fixed-rate at £2,222.00 per non-resident adult and £1,111 per non-resident child over two years of age.

Flights to the Falkland Islands using the airbridge can be booked through the Falkland Islands Government Office Travel Co-ordinator by calling 0207 2222 542 or by emailing travel@falklands.gov.fk

The airbridge is operated from Ministry of Defence facilities, and nationals from certain countries are currently restricted from travelling on the airbridge flight. These restricted countries are: Belarus, China, Egypt, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Ukraine, and Vietnam.  The situation is reviewed regularly by the Ministry of Defence.

Flying to the Falklands via South America

In addition to the RAF Airbridge, there is a weekly flight from Santiago de Chile (SCL) to the Falkland Islands via Punta Arenas (PUQ). This flight is operated by LANChile, a member of the OneWorld Alliance. The flight departs Santiago de Chile early on Saturday morning each week, makes one stop in Punta Arenas before continuing to the Falkland Islands, arriving early afternoon. The flight then returns to Santiago de Chile the same day via the same route. Once a month, this flight also makes a scheduled stop in Rio Gallegos (RGL) in the south of Argentina to collect passengers, and the following week makes another stop to return them.

Visitors to the Islands who intend to travel via LANChile should be aware that nationals of certain countries require a visa to enter Chile and that the flight to the Falkland Islands is not considered a transit flight, and travellers will need to complete immigration processes.

Flights to the Falkland Islands via LANChile can be arranged through International Tours & Travel www.falklandislands.travel  or email se.itt@horizon.co.fk

Visiting the Falklands on a cruise ship

Cruise vessels regularly visit the Falkland Islands between October and March, and range from luxury liners to small expeditionary vessels. Typically, routes for larger liners will travel between Brazil and/or Argentina around Cape Horn to Chile, and back. Smaller expedition vessels typically travel further south, towards South Georgia and Antarctica.

Cruise operators who frequently offer itineraries including the Falkland Islands are, amongst others:

Princess Cruises: www.princess.com

Holland America: www.hollandamerica.com

One Ocean Expeditions: www.oneoceanexpeditions.com

Polar Latitudes: www.polar-latitudes.com

Azamara Club: www.azamaraclubcruises.com

Quark Expeditions: www.quarkexpeditions.com

Polar Cruises: www.polarcruises.com

Hapag-Lloyd: www.hl-cruises.com

National Geographic: www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com

Visas to visit the Falkland Islands

Nationals from EU members states and some MercoSur member states are exempt from visa requirements to enter the Falkland Islands.

The following countries are Visa Exempt and as such do not require a visa to visit the Falkland Islands.

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, (Republic of) Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and the Vatican City.

If your country of nationality does not appear on the list above, it is highly likely you will require a Visa to visit the Falkland Islands. If you are unsure, please contact the Falkland Islands Government Customs & Immigration Office on +500 27340 or email admin@customs.gov.fk

Living and Working in the Falkland Islands

Finding a Job:

The Falkland Islands Government is the largest employer in the Islands, with approximately 500 civil servants across the whole authority. Private sector industries include tourism, agriculture, deep sea fisheries and construction amongst many others. All Falkland Islands Government vacancies are advertised in the local paper, the Penguin News www.penguin-news.com and depending on the role, many vacancies are advertised overseas in industry-specific publications e.g. Times Educational Supplement.

The Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce has a weekly bulletin which includes current vacancies, as well as a section where job seekers may publish their skills and credentials. For more information on the Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.falklandislandschamberofcommerce.com

Work Permits and Residence Permits:

Any person who does not have Falkland Islands Status or a Falkland Islands Permanent Residence Permit will require a Work Permit to undertake employment in the Islands. A Temporary Residence Permit of up to 3 years can be obtained prior to arriving in the Falkland Islands, but a Work Permit will still be required before employment commences. For more information regarding Work Permits, Temporary Residence Permits and Permanent Residence Permits, please contact the Falkland Islands Government Customs & Immigration Office on +500 27340 or email admin@customs.gov.fk

Healthcare in the Falkland Islands:

Healthcare in the Falkland Islands is free those eligible. Given the small size of the population in the Islands, healthcare services are more limited than they may be in other countries. The King Edward VII Memorial Hospital provides Primary and Secondary care in the Islands, with General Practitioners, a General Surgeon, obstetrics and midwifery, a health visitor, dental services, a 27-bed ward and a 3-bed Intensive Care Unit all housed in one building. Services are augmented by regular consultant visits, including paediatric consultants, orthopaedic consultants, optometrists and gynaecologists. MRI scanning and chemotherapy are not available in the Islands.

Patients who require acute care in an emergency are referred to a private clinic in Chile for treatment, and patients who require specialist care or chronic care (such as chemotherapy) will be referred to the United Kingdom for treatment on the NHS under a reciprocal agreement. Typically, patients will be treated at Southampton General Hospital or Southampton Princess Anne Hospital, but other options are available depending on the patients’ needs and best interests.

For more information on Healthcare in the Falkland Islands, please visit www.fig.gov.fk/health

Education in the Falkland Islands:

Education in the Falkland Islands is free for all students up to the age of 16 years. There is one primary school, the Infant & Junior School (IJS), and one secondary school, the Falkland Islands Community School (FICS). Anywhere outside of Stanley is referred to as ‘Camp’ and there are four settlement schools for children in Camp: one at Fox Bay, one at Port Howard, one at Goose Green and one at North Arm. Children living in Camp on farms and in settlements other than those four receive telephone and Skype lessons, and are visited by a travelling teacher. Travelling teachers will have a ‘beat’ of their own, and they rotate between all the children who live on their beat. The settlement schools and travelling teachers all fall under Camp Education. IJS and Camp Education share a Headteacher, Karen Steen, and the Headteacher at FICS is Martin Winward.

For more information about the Infant & Junior School and Camp Education, please visit http://ijs.falklands.info/

For more information about the Falkland Islands Community School, please visit http://www.fig.gov.fk/fics/

Post-GCSE education is provided overseas, and most students will study at either Peter Symonds College in Winchester, Chichester College or Atlantic College in Wales, although there are other options available depending on the students’ needs and career plans. The Falkland Islands Government will fully-fund education overseas for those eligible on a grants scheme, including flights to the United Kingdom, accommodation and tuition fees.

University education is also fully-funded by a grants scheme up to the first degree for those eligible, and again includes flights to the United Kingdom, accommodation and tuition fees, plus a monthly stipend.

Pensions/Social Security:

Any person employed in the Falkland Islands who earns more than £180 per week will be required to pay £14.50 per week towards Retirement Pensions Contributions (the Falkland Islands ‘state pension’ scheme.) The minimum number of contributions necessary to receive a partial pension is 250, and in order to receive a full pension is 2,200. RPC is obligatory for all employees earning over £180 per week.

The Falkland Islands Pension Scheme (FIPS) is a private pension fund, for which all Falkland Islands Government employees are eligible. Private sector employees may also make contributions into FIPS. FIPS is designated by HMRC as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme (QROPS) which means is it possible for contributions made into FIPS to be transferred into a UK pensions scheme. For more information on QROPS please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-qualifying-recognised-overseas-pension-schemes-qrops

Accommodation:

Any person who is employed by the Falkland Islands Government on an overseas contract (that is to say was hired from outside the Falkland Islands to come to the Islands and work for a specified period of time) will be provided with accommodation as part of their employment package.

The private rental market in the Falkland Islands is under a lot of pressure, and it can be difficult to find rental properties quickly. Rental prices in the Falkland Islands do not differ significantly from most inner-city rental prices in the United Kingdom.

 

Keep in touch

To speak to a Falkland Islands Government representative in London, please call:
+44 (0)20 7222 2542

To speak to a Falkland Islands Government representative in Stanley, please call:
+500 27451

Follow us on Twitter! @FalklandsGov

Please get in touch by email by clicking on this link