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‘Deficient’ residency, Belonger policies to be changed – Premier

A British Virgin Islands passport. (BVI News photo)

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has announced that government will be amending the residency and belongership policies in the British Virgin Islands.

In a statement impliedly directed towards expatriate residents, the Premier admitted that there are “deficiencies” in the current policies in those areas.

He said: “Many of you, both here in the BVI and temporarily in other parts of the world, have made significant contributions to the development of the BVI. You are part of the BVI family and we are very grateful for your contributions.”

“My Government will, therefore, be proposing changes to our residency and belongership policies in the first quarter of 2018 to address many long-standing and newly-emerging issues in this area,” the Premier added.

Premier Smith did not specify the changes that will be made but said government will ‘consult with the public’ on the matter, which he described as being ‘very important’.

He stated that government had planned to roll out the changes by the end of this year but said the September hurricanes shifted their focus.

Dr Smith said, at the same time, the hurricanes increased the need for government to resolve the issues with the territory’s residency and belongership policies.

Those issues have been a sore point for many persons, especially those in the expat community who complain about the many years they have to wait to receive residency or belongership.

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