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Gov’t now issuing three-year entry permits

Persons awaiting clearance from Immigration and Customs officers at the port in Road Town

Government is now issuing multi-year entry permits to select workers in the British Virgin Islands.

Non-nationals were traditionally given entry permits yearly.

Non-nationals who are contracted government workers, employees of statutory bodies, as well as persons who have indefinite work permit exemption and have lived in the territory consistently for five years or more will be eligible for a multi-year entry permit.

Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Geraldine Ritter-Freeman said the multi-year entry permit will now be granted in three-year intervals and will be given after the expiry date of the person’s present entry permit.

“This will positively impact those persons and their dependents who are ordinarily resident in the territory but are still subject to Immigration control. It will also aid in enhancing the department’s operations as we seek to provide efficient and reliable services to the public,” Ritter-Freeman said in a media release on Monday (January 8).

She, however, said receiving a three-year permit is not automatic.

The Immigration boss said permits “will be issued accordingly by the interviewing officer based on the individual’s satisfactory history with the Department.”

The cost of a three-year permit is $75. But, according to the Immigration Department, the cost is likely to change ‘pending the proposed increase in Immigration fees’.

Changes are slated for this year, the Immigration Department said.

Multi-year entry permits are said to be in keeping with regional and international immigration reform initiatives.

It comes weeks after Premier Dr D Orlando Smith promised to overhaul deficient Immigration policies in the BVI.

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15 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    This is a good idea in principle, but why limit it to Government employees and statutory bodies? Having multi year work permits is just such an obvious and sensible idea – reduces the hassle and paperwork, and it means Government gets its money years in advance of when it would otherwise receive it. But it is just crazy to roll this out and then restrict it immediately to a very small percentage of foreign workers.

    • Comprehend says:

      Indefinite work permit exempted workers is also a separate category mentioned. If you don’t comprehend there is a number to call for more info.

  2. Nonsense ... says:

    Government contracted expats are exempted from work permit because they are government/statutory employees, but now they have to pay …. how is that positive. A slap in the face for expats that are here still

    • @nonsense says:

      What are you talking about. Expats employed by Government and Statutory board are exempt from work permit, but still have to go to immigration every year and pay for time. Immigration is now saying they don’t have to do that, they can get time for the length of their contract not exceeding thee years.

  3. ReX FeRaL says:

    More things change the more they remain the same. Poor people. It’s a disgrace to be poor anywhere in the world. Same government employees children getting turn down to go college by immigration. Talk that.

  4. Lilly says:

    This is not in keeping with international standards. International standards do not issue work permits Willy nilly like the BVI. They have programs for understudying and the BVI does not; they issue work permits on a needs basis and the Bvi issues to everyone who applies. BVI now have an influx of Asian (handicaps included). That is not on a needs basis that is on a want basis because these Asians are not employed to do anything special special that others cannot do. BVI better stop importing people and exporting money or it will get in far more trouble than it is now.

  5. Authur says:

    Don’t get it wrong people. They are not suddenly giving 3 year permits to random drug dealers from the depths of Mordor lol. The vast majority of the beneficiaries will be indefinite exemption holders who are and have been working here with stable jobs for the past 5 years. These are working, tax paying folks living here. This will reduce the overwhelming work load on immigration while maintaining that permit revenue.

  6. legal eye says:

    It’s commendable that Government through the Immigrationn dept has taken this step from a commonsensical and a practical buisness perspective.Howver, the category of workers should expand to include persons residing in the Territory continiously for more than 10 years and do not have a work permit exemption.There are lots of persons in that category that resides here.lets say that a department in the Government has a job opening for a head of department and they advertise that that person must have a Masters degree with 5 years supervisory experience…it is common also for you to broaden the candidates requirement for someone with a Bachelors degree with 10 years supervisory experience.In that way all potential candidates are given a chance to be the head of department.So I would appeal to the Government to consider persons residing in the Territory for more than 10 years and do not have a work permit exemption …my say.

  7. Appreciated says:

    I applaud the Department for finally introducing some initiatives after so many years of stagnation. Keep pressing forward the effort is much appreciated. Rome was not built in a day.

  8. Just Asking says:

    Does this mean a three year work permit fee will have to be paid in advance at Labour Department ?
    Any clarification is much appreciated.

  9. Great Dog says:

    Keep moving the target. Spread confusion.

  10. Nice question to the labor department. says:

    Nice question to the labor department.

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