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Gov’t considering visa-free entry for Chinese

Immigration Department

Immigration Department

While noting that the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has applied for permission to sell its tourism product in the Chinese market, the BVI government said it is looking to remove visa restrictions for Chinese nationals seeking to enter its shores.

The reasons include a request from Chinese officials who visited the territory recently, said Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Brodrick Penn.

He said other Caribbean destinations have allowed visa-free entry for Chinese, adding that China is the largest tourism source market in the world.

“According to the World Tourism Organisation just last year the mainland China had 120 million trips overseas [and] spent $215 billion on holidays abroad. Already, many of the competing jurisdictions for us in the Caribbean – including Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica; they are capitalising on this phenomenon and they’ve gone full out to be more attractive for Chinese tourists – sometimes even offering things like visa access.”

“Interestingly, just the other day, we had a delegation here from China and it’s one of the first things they asked us about – visa-free access. So that’s something we’re exploring as a government,” Penn further said.

China (except Hong Kong) is among 92 countries whose nationals require visas to enter the BVI.

However, based on a policy implemented last year, persons from a number of those countries no longer need to have a BVI visa if they hold a United States, Canadian or United Kingdom visa.

Destination Status

Penn stated that, in an effort to boost the number of Chinese who visit, the BVI also applied for ‘approved destination status’ in China.

He explained that the status allows countries like the BVI to promote their tourism product in the Chinese market.

“I think there are about 146 destinations that are approved to have this status. If you’re going to be a serious player in the Chinese market, you have to have this status… To be able to sell tours into China, you are going to have to be an approved jurisdiction, and this is something that we are vigorously pursuing and have had good indication that it’s a status that we are going to achieve,” Penn further said at a forum hosted recently by MWM Business Network.

Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office, Brodrick Penn

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Brodrick Penn. File photo

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47 Comments

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  1. James says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

    What a mistake! How can this be allowed? SMH

    • Albion says:

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

      I think you may be over reacting. They will be allowed to visit as tourists, like anyone from the USA, Canada or the UK.

      China has the second largest economy in the world, and a fifth of the population of the world. It is just crazy that we make it impossible for them to visit as tourists.

      Relaxing the tourist visa requirement doesn’t suddenly mean they will all be allowed to immigrate here, or will be exempt from work permit requirements if they do wish to emigrate.

      For a tourist destination we should have less visa restrictions on which tourists can come here – not more.

      I also still don’t understand why we impose visa requirements on other large sources of tourist visitors like Russia and India.

      • @Albion says:

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

        Do you see how many people already come to the BVI to visit and never leave? Everyday you see new faces in the BVI that wasn’t there the day before. We are already overpopulated.

  2. ndp heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

    The NDP is giving away this country

  3. well sah says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

    Our own carribbean brothers cant even come in here without a hassle

  4. ah ha says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    and then they will be smuggled into the USVI

  5. No says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

    Give them a pass and they will spread like flies.

  6. NDP heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2

    No NHI, no social security, no PAYE, no income tax, no local hiring, no work permits, no visas….

    The chinese will be given the red carpet while our own type from the other caribbean islands will be given the red tape.

  7. Freedom! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    od work, but the territory now needs an additional expansion of alternative, secure and reliable economic growth.

    Perhaps, manufacturing, technology, education and artificial intelligence industries should be explored for such possibilities.

    Perhaps the Chinese could be pursuaded to, with good incentives, to open a small vehicle assembly subsidiary here in the BVI.

  8. what!! says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

    The one world order/ system is coming straight into effect before our eyes and the government I strongly support is allowing it. What a thing, it is time for me to relocate.

  9. OMG says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    Lord help us all!!!!

  10. BVIslander says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

    As a BVIslander we need to come together and stop this and the airport Chinese expansion.
    Lets say NO to the right forum.

  11. Dementia says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    Is someone getting dementia- it is time to retire Premier

  12. LB says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

    It has begun!

    Penn talking crap about China tourists. Yes there are a lot of Chinese who travel but how the world they gonna get to the BVI?

    We have minimal airlift to the BVI and it would take them almost 3 days to get here and back home. Plus it is expensive.

    So it is unrealistic to think that the BVI would benefit in any way by lifting visa restrictions.

    Protect the BVI please!

  13. What? says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

    Oh boy here comes Plastic Rice

  14. Grumpy says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    It is too bad the Minister’s don’t look her at how the average folk feel & get a sense. This is a BIG BIG mistake. they WILL take over then even the Minister’s will regret their actions

  15. Saw that coming!!! says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

    Yes I saw that coming, I could never understand this territory called the British Virgin Islands, I saw that coming… in a particular caribbean island the chinese has asked for 40,000 passports for their people…

    Now my issue is BVI is an associated member of Caricom and Caricom members when they come to the BVI they need work permit and all sorts of visa for example Jamaica.

    However when they go to the Caricom islands for example St. Lucia they get stamped indefinite stay on their passports!!! hmmmm well done BVI!!!

    you all will get plastic rice just soon!!!

    • Tango says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Time to take steps to neutralize the presence and the detrimental effect of those who have already flooded the BVI with diverse effect on our quality of life, education, family values,crime…murders,killings,assaults and every other crime you can think of.

  16. Raised Brow says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    The prophet warned us already eh!

  17. Agreeable One says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    You all missed it. This is all about CCCC and the airport project.

  18. ok says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • ok says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      *unlike

    • As bad... says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      The lesser of two evils is still evil.

    • Really says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      @OK

      Are you a racist? How can u condem 1.5billion people? Do we wish to be judged by the irrational actions of our leaders?

      Are all us dumb because our leaders invested $7m in an airline that has no passenger or ticketing experience?

      Are all of us dumb because our leaders invested $200m in a white elephant runway?

      Are all of us dumb because we let our leaders spend $100m on a pier project that they told us would only cost $30m?

  19. 2 grand says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    welsah free free free free give dem the whole darn place and we go back to Africa.

    if this keep up soon we wont have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out. govt in the sunshine so bright we blinded

  20. Help us Lord!! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    I remember clearly Prophet Carn warning about Asian influence in this territory.

    We have to come together and fight against these decisions that this government is making WITHOUT even giving the people who put them in the right to choose if we want what they are planning or not.

    Something’s really wrong with these people!!!!

    “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice:but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Are we rejoicing or groaning?? If it’s the latter, then what are we going to do about it??

    There’s strength in numbers people. When are we going to come together and fight against the blatant disrespect of this government?? It’s high time!!! Enough is enough!!!

  21. Sum Ting Wong says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

    They are the worst tourists in the world.

    Rude,filthy,rude,did I mention rude and filthy? Oh, and they are rude and filthy. China will own BVI if airport deal is signed.

    They love to build crap facilities in other countries and then extort $$$ from the govt. No politician in BVI savvy enough to deal with them. Soon everyone ask Who Flung Poo.

  22. Wa dis says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Well give JA GT back free entry too

  23. CCCC and Airport says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Thousands of Chinese workers will come to the BVI and settle here. Looks at Bahamas, Dominica etc

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/muhammadcohen/2016/12/14/how-china-rescued-then-ruined-the-caribbeans-largest-resort-project/#61bf6295272f

  24. mi says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  25. eyes on says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    The BVI People cant talk or write Chinese, so they will be visa free, I hope the same for our people to go china be the same.dont needed a visa to go china.

  26. Eagle & Buffalo says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    We rolling over to roll out the red carpet for the Chinese but many of regional family members require a visa to come to the VI.

    Is it really tourists we are trying to attract? Or we trying to sweeten the pot or greased the skids to attract low/no interest loans or even grants from the Chinese?

    Are we not in the market for at least $150M + to fund TBLIA extension?

  27. john says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    considering you say, they have no choice but to do it, they must, they have to, so dont bother with them when they say considering, its already a done deal.

  28. Necha says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Are we looking for more crimes in this country and are unable to solve what we have now?

    Will thechinese be screened or will we have to worry about the Chinese mafia. We are going down a slippery slope. Does the premier perm.

    Secretary have this country at heart?

    Does he understand what this country was built on. Our downfall is we want to have what we see in other countries.

    No longer are we Natures little secret. We seem to be a place of greed.

  29. For real says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Hmm our government must consuming too much plastic rice.

  30. (284) says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Big mistake.

  31. CGB Resident says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    My husband & I traveled to China several years ago as a tourist, it cost each of us $500 for our visa, not sure what the law is now but it was. It free.

  32. soso says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    are we going to loose our connection with the u s a. when /if we do such a wierd thing ,knowing chinese only need to put foot on american soil and they get imunity. they would use us as their gate way to get to america.

    be careful. getting a penny and losing a thousand. we. helping others and destroying ourselves. we killing our chances.

  33. Eagle & Buffalo says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    We rolling over to roll out the red carpet for the Chinese but many of our regional family members require a visa to come to the VI. Is it really tourists we are trying to attract?

    Or we trying to sweeten the pot or greased the skids to attract low/no interest loans or even grants from the Chinese?

    Are we not in the market for at least $150M + to fund TBLIA extension?

  34. TOL says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Pure non-sense and a vague political move.

    If a Chinese citizen has a US, Canadian or UK Visa, they can enter the BVI without the need for another visa. Why we have to sell the country even more, if they’re allowed to enter the US, Canada or the UK they’re welcome to visit us point blank.

  35. duck1951 says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    That is insanity . You want to become the minority then proceed. While other countries are coming to their senses we are regressing Why do I smell a rat ?

    Stop sucking up just because they throw you a bone here and there !

  36. CONCERNED says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    HAS THE BVI GOVERNMENT GONE MAD…WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN MIND FOR THE BVI AND ITS PEOPLE…TIME WILL TELL

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