BVI News


Select expats can stay while changing jobs

A section of Road Town, the main business district in the BVI. Photo Credit: Timothy Barker

Work Permit holders in the British Virgin Islands have been told that despite the passage of two major hurricanes which left many jobless, there are requirements to be met in order to remain in the territory while switching jobs or changing their immigration status.

Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Geraldine Ritter-Freeman said persons working in the territory for five years or more and are seeking to change employers will no longer be required to leave the territory during the transitioning process.

Ritter-Freeman said persons who have been residing the territory, but want to seek employment, also do not need to leave the BVI while transitioning.

Those persons can now apply for a conditional permit.

Ritter-Freeman said they must satisfy the interviewing officer that their place of residence is in suitable living condition and that they are financially capable of supporting themselves during the transitional period.

Persons who are granted conditional permits will have three months to secure employment.

If within that time frame, Conditional Permit holders experience challenges in securing employment, they should report to the Immigration Department 10 days prior to the expiration of the permit to have their matter reviewed.

Ritter-Freeman said those who are unable to secure employment during the requisite time frame are required to exit the territory and return on an approved labour clearance where applicable.

No Policy change to date

Meanwhile, a call to the Immigration Department confirmed that there has been no policy change for persons who have been living or working in the territory for less than three years.

“They will have to go out of the territory and remain out of the territory until the work permit comes through for Labour and Immigration. That was a policy that we had before the hurricane and that still stands,” Immigration told BVI News.

However, exceptional circumstances will be reviewed by the Chief Immigration Officer on a case by case basis, Immigration noted in a media release.

“This policy seeks to ensure that Virgin Islanders, Belongers, permanent residents, and persons that usually reside in the territory are given due consideration and preference for available jobs, especially during these trying times.”

Immediately after the passage of the recent hurricanes, provision were made for skilled workers or other workers deemed critical for the rebuilding and recovery efforts to remain during the transitional phase.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Bix says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    she talking for the premier. Give the job to the person Guy Hill who is trained for it and will stand up to premier

  2. SERPICO says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    This is a crock of caca.

  3. Immigration - Officer Bridgewater says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Funny how this comes out a week after one of my employees was sent off island while I apply for her work permit status.

    Your officers and system do not benefit the employers and businesses here.

    Ridiculous to back track after the fact!

  4. Hmmm says:

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

    Select employees mean it’s all about who you know .

  5. Paradise is elsewhere says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    It’s easy to love living in the BVI and wanting to remain. But the truth is the country will never accept anyone not born there. It’s always we vs. them. Best advice for happy living is to do your time in the BVI like it’s an extended temporary move and then leave before your heart is theirs forever. The security necessessary for true paradise is far from reach. There are many other places in the world to experience and chances are they are the real paradise. That includes home. Just saying. The BVI’s are incredible but no matter how much you consider it home it never is yours with Immigration rules still hanging over you 20 years into the future if you can make it that long (and usually longer). Treat it like a temorary lover. Get the most you can out of the relationship and know when it’s time to call it quits.

Leave a Comment