BVI News

4th-generation BVIslanders now added to govt’s regularisation initiative

Fahie. (Photo by Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson/BVI News)

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Fourth-generation British Virgin Islanders without regularised status in the BVI have now been included in government’s fast-track regularisation initiative to gain Belongership in the territory.

As BVI News understands it, fourth-generation Virgin Islanders are persons whose great-grandparents were born in the BVI and/or have status in the territory. Fourth-generation Virgin Islanders without Belonger status are those whose parents — and perhaps themselves — were born outside of the BVI.

Speaking in the House of Assembly for the second reading of the bill entitled the Immigration and Passport (Amendment) (No.2) Act of 2019, Premier Andrew Fahie said it was the local “population” that requested for fourth-generation descendants to be included in his government’s fast-track initiative.

But, besides being fast-tracked, Fahie said government will also make it easier for these class of fourth-generation Virgin Islanders to gain status in the territory.

“The Passport Office has advised that there is a need and there has always been a need to simplify the process to facilitate fourth-generation Virgin Islander descendants and to bring them under the ambit of the law the same way the third-generation descendants have been created for,” Premier Fahie said.

Descendants should not have obstacles in their way

The Premier said these descendants of Virgin Islanders should not have barriers in their way if they desire to return to the BVI.

“The fourth-generation descendants are the great-grand-children of BVIslanders. They are not strangers. They are family — a bit distant for some, but family nonetheless,” Fahie reasoned.

The Premier further argued: “It is about reuniting families, it is about completing families that are separated and torn apart by man-made laws — laws which may not have been created with any intention of harm but which, due to circumstances that were not foreseen at the time, were not provided for in the drafting of the law. So, the issue is not so much about Immigration as it is about repatriation.”

Benefits of accommodating the estranged fourth-generation

And while outlining reasons to accommodate these descendants, Premier Fahie said there will be benefits to the territory.

He said they will help in increasing the territory’s indigenous manpower pool, create jobs, and bring with them intellectual capacity and skills that are needed in the territory.

“We need people. People will always be coming here whether we like it or not. So, in the first instance, I submit, if people are always going to be coming here, why not give preference to our great-grandchildren who can inherit our heritage?”

He added: “When people relocate, they often move their wealth with them so that some if not all the wealth of our returning descendants will be brought into the domestic system.”

Incentive to stay

As part of government’s transformation agenda for the BVI, Premier Fahie said his government would also provide reasons for these descendants to remain in the territory.

Notably, Fahie said the amendment to accommodate fourth-generation Virgin Islanders will not require any additional resources from the government. He said the provisions that were already made in government’s fast-track regularisation programme will suffice.

Other amendments

Other amendments to the aforementioned legislation include increasing the tenure requirements for expatriates wanting to apply for Belonger status. Expats will now have to be living in the BVI for 20 years, which represents a five-year increase.

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38 Comments

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  1. son of the soil says:

    I hope they don’t have to pay?????????????

    Like 1
    Dislike 16
  2. Hmmm says:

    Not criticizing the move Mr. Premier but don’t hold your breath. Not too sure how many will be interested in your offer. Most who are in the states and doing well have no desire to come and settle here with all our issues with infrastructure etc. I think Mr. Minister, u need to screen carefully also. Not sure we want undesirables taking up the offer. Remember we have good Virgin Islanders but we also have less than good ones also.

    Like 18
    Dislike 5
    • Good or bad says:

      They are Virgin Islanders and they have a right to return to their Islands. We should not be creating anything for foreigners, they have their own countries.

      Like 1
      Dislike 2
  3. Online Now says:

    I’m not sure how to feel about this and the other news about taxing overseas remittances. As an expat of 15 years, who owns property and sees this as home.
    My initial feeling is the Government would far rather have people who don’t want to live here and may never have lived here make decisions about the future of the country instead of those who do want to be here and live here – based only on reasonably distant ancestry.

    Ultimately though, as long as those people have the best interest of the country at heart then fair enough. And after all it’s not my decision.

    Like 22
    Dislike 5
    • hmmm says:

      This don’t have anything to do with you. I am am very grateful that you have immigrated to the BVI and have achieved success.

      Please let the BVI handle their business.

      Like 8
      Dislike 35
      • true says:

        But they are not BVIslanders they are 4 generations away that over 100 years has passed since they were in the BVI but you want them to vote and direct the country, its a joke.

        Like 26
        Dislike 7
        • Well Well says:

          As a Virgin Islander, my only concern is that they are appreciative of this new change and that these GREAT GRAND CHILDREN truly understands what this means. Most of these kids are US molded kids or adults with full or partial BVI roots. Their Mom and Grand Mom could be US and lived in the US, so there is a possibility of BVI losing its culture.

          I think we could have waited for this move.

        • @ true says:

          My child is 4th generation is very much connected to the BVI. Always eager to set foot in the BVI. My child will inherit the properties that I own in the BVI.

          What should my child do with these properties when they are not welcome in the BVI?

          Are you saying that people who have no connection to the BVI is welcome over my child?

          Like 7
          Dislike 4
    • VILander says:

      What gives you the right to determine who wants to live here & why? Why don’t you live where you are from? Should you not be entitled by birthright to things where you are from?

      15yrs expat now can feel anyway they want but what makes you feeling more valid that than of a centuries long line of BVIslanders? Maybe if you could have your job & quality of life where you are from you would be there…our people are entitled to the same…when their ancestors were here raising hell to get free where were yours and what were they doing? So BVI for BVIslanders I say…Afrika for the Afrikans…by some twist of fate expats have all the opportunites here and feel entitled to it but when we do for our own you don’t have entitlement to any negative feels about it…agree or stay quiet and if offended then leave.

      Like 9
      Dislike 19
      • Online Now says:

        I don’t have a right, I have an opinion.

        I guess my point is, I want to live here. If those with a great grandfather who was a BV Islander (but don’t live here) really wanted to live here, they would be by now. So who would have the better interests of the country at heart?

        Just my opinion.

        Like 11
        Dislike 2
      • SMH says:

        Stand Your Ground! Some of them feel they have the Rights to say what they and what should be done. But if we tend to reply or make comments in reference to their ideology, we are deemed to be ignorant and bad minded. Look, this is Our Territory and we have the birth given Rights to defend it. If We don’t, Who Will? Our Ancestors sure has to be turning over, when we don’t defend Ourselves.

        Like 1
        Dislike 6
    • Ancestry says:

      Ancestry is not distant. It is direct. These are the people who will eventually inherit this land, it must not be given to outsiders.
      We are speaking here of 4th generation, but the expats have accomplished nothing in their own countries in nine generations. It is to their home that they should take their fight for land.

      Like 2
      Dislike 3
  4. US Citizens says:

    My parents, grandparents and great grand parents born right here but me and mine born outside for medical and other reasons. So, good going for my offsprings.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  5. Wow says:

    This government just proving themselves worse than NDP. What sense it make to born your child here now? Now you gonna have people who ain born nor grow up here their parents ain born here and they still got belongership? Its not right!

    Like 16
    Dislike 18
    • Me says:

      we have been living in the BVI for more than 20 years with no status, been a great grandchild of a BVIslander paying work permit just like you. and waiting for status just like you, with a mother or a father with a belonger card in their hands and we been treated as a non BVIslander. is that fair.

      Like 14
    • Virgin Islanders by descendance says:

      That’s because they’re from here. The Premier did not need to make this inclusion because those who are descended from here are indeed from here by definition.

    • So says:

      Who should we give our assets to? Think. From generation to generation it rolls and rightly so. Same thing will happen in any other country. You’re not going to give up your assets to someone naturalized above your own flesh and blood. Point.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Do we have to paid the 810 USD to get the papers?

  7. Me says:

    is we who push for this law to pass, remember that mom and dad can vote but your maybe not. it was more than time for them to listen to US.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  8. Flip flop fahie says:

    This whole thing has become a joke now.

    Like 7
    Dislike 7
  9. Perspective says:

    Look at it this way… Children born here to expat parents dont qualify to be belogers but you willing to give it to someone whos nearest connection to the BVI is 3 generations away?

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  10. Clearly says:

    Clearly this is a good move Mr. Premier.

    Like 6
    Dislike 9
  11. Charter flight says:

    Be prepared for the influx coming in from D.R. for the 3rd generation Belongers they had Al the headstones researched so they could get birth and death certificates and then have their parents own to match

    Alot of them are legit. Go D.R and there are streets named after BVI people. But lawdee alot of them did alot of document swinging to qualify. We shall see

    Like 11
  12. Frustrated says:

    Had a child born here and now I sent the child home I can only get a travel document for a month and to get a passport where am from will take a month because the child wasnt born there immigration giving you time to get BacK in the country to be on our time and because of generation they getting status am sure half of those people who born outside never visited the bvi

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • Da juice says:

      So much have happened for the past 3 election since have been here and many promises of child/children born to expats parents would be high on agenda to date nothing is being said or done to help those children.its a struggle to be pushing to get passport from which ever country you from
      When can this be fast track?.

  13. Fact! says:

    Our Premier of discard!

  14. Da juice says:

    So much have happened for the past 3 election since have been here and many promises of child/children born to expats parents would be high on agenda to date nothing is being said or done to help those children.its a struggle to be pushing to get passport from which ever country you from
    When can this be fast track?.

  15. Good Move but says:

    It is a good move but it needed to be attached to some kind of years living in the BVI. To preserve our heritage you have to live and breed it. Some of our younger generation don’t even know and value the BVI heritage. They have to be to that point to preserve it.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  16. SMH says:

    Stand Your Ground! Some of them feel they have the Rights to say what they and what should be done. But if we tend to reply or make comments in reference to their ideology, we are deemed to be ignorant and bad minded. Look, this is Our Territory and we have the birth given Rights to defend it. If We don’t, Who Will? Our Ancestors sure has to be turning over, when we don’t defend Ourselves.

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  17. Just Saying says:

    Some of the decisions this Government are making seem to be pandering to some extremists why not give Belonger’s to people who helped build your economy for over 20 years first the tax on sending money abroad will not encourage anyone not to send money away, a sense of security the status gives will, think Mr Fahie Why send money abroad if you are Living in the BVI won’t an expat think about purchasing a home here and investing the island

  18. Mistake says:

    Our governments made a big mistake when they started allowing people to stay here indefinitely. Now these people have been embolden enough to think that they have more rights than Virgin Islanders.

  19. Rudy says:

    Many B.V. Islanders hate anyone, Black People, south of the Anegada Passage.

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