BVI News

80 naturalised and ‘feeling good’

BVI News photo

Eighty expatriates living in the British Virgin Islands for varying number of years are now naturalised Overseas Territory citizens.

The naturalisation ceremony took place at Government House on Tuesday.

“It feels very good,” said Jamaica-born Otis McKenzie, who has been living in the territory for the past 15 years.

“It was a long process to get to this point, but it gives you the opportunity to have roots in the territory knowing that you can stay and be stable,” added Zory Nunez, a Dominican Republic native.

She has been living in the territory for the past 11 years and also applied for the document a few years ago after she married a local.

Meanwhile, another Jamaica national – Claudette Gilbert – who has been a resident for the past 29 years also expressed her delight.

“This is one of the greatest things that has happened for me in the BVI. I am truly, truly happy and blessed. I am so grateful,” she said.

She said, with naturalisation, she will now be able to travel visa-free into the United Kingdom.

“I will be going to the UK to visit my mom and my sisters and brothers, and it will be much easier for me. I don’t need the visa, I have the real thing,” she said.

She applied for her naturalisation in 2015.


In the meantime, Governor Augustus Jaspert had congratulatory words for the 80 receipents.

“You are now the newest British Overseas Territory citizens, and today marks a new milestone in your lives. To many of you, it might seem strange because you have been living here for many, many years but formally now I say welcome home,” the governor said.

He also urged them to continue to contribute positively to the territory.

“As you enjoy your new status, I encourage you to be the upright citizens and consider the opportunities that it offers.”

He said the new status also comes with responsibilities to the wider interest of society and the country.

Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley who delivered brief remarks said: “For many of you, the road to this place at this time was long and arduous.”

“I want you to reflect on the challenges of this journey perhaps, some difficulty with an employer, of course, the very inefficient Immigration process, the fear in the community of the unknown. Despite the obstacles that you may have faced, you have stuck with the process, and I admire your fortitude, your commitment to this place that you now know as home.”

Meanwhile, Registrar General Stephanie Benn told them to keep their certificates safe as they would require it for many reasons.

In addition to receiving their certificates, the 80 also said the oath of allegiance and pledged their unity to Her Majesty theQueen and to the BVI.

They will now be able to apply for a BVI passport.

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  1. Indigenous Virgin Islander says:

    Look how this country is being sold out to these opportunist. The government need to devise ways to frustrate and stall too many more from achieving status. Also we need apply means and ways to differentiate citizens with ancestors to the Virgin Islands and those without. Only those with ancestral linage to the Virgin Islands should be considered a Virgin Islander. And only true Virgin Islanders should be given full citizenship rights.

    Like 14
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    • Really says:

      Read what you wrote and go look at your self in the mirror.

      Like 76
      Dislike 4
    • For real says:

      You should be ashamed of your self my God and you want to go to heaven be for real

      Like 40
      Dislike 2
    • sad says:

      Are you serious?
      You call these people opportunist? Those that have given up everything to come and build a life here in the BVI and work hard and contribute to the community. I’m sure you are reliant on several of this group to maintain your lifestyle.
      If we applied your philosophy to ourselves then maybe all those BVI Islanders that give birth in the USVI just to obtain a US passport should be slammed as opportunist. And what about all the BVI Islanders going to college in the US? Are they shameful opportunists also? And how about all the BVI islanders living and working and studying in the UK – they have no ancestral lineage to the British Isles. Maybe all BVI Islands should hand over their UK passports and print their own? See where that gets us!
      I applaud and welcome all these folk who have chosen to make the BVI their home and helped build this country over many years!

      Like 55
      Dislike 3
    • TurtleDove says:

      @ Indigenous Virgin Islander

      Busting your tail for almost 30 years does not seem like an opportunist to. Have a heart. I bet you or someone in your family have dual US/BVI citizenship.

      Like 29
      Dislike 4
    • Mr. Hodge says:

      @indigenous, just how “indigenous” are you? I’ve gone back 3 generations but that’s not really the point. An individual does not choose where they are born but they most certainly can choose where they would like to live. Unfortunately most of US BVIslanders like having access to a blue passport and most of our children are born overseas… go figure, hypocrite much? There are individuals who make the BVI their home and are often times bigger contributors to the territory than those who are “bawn hare”. Where did your father, grand father or beyond earn money for his family when the BVI was barely emerging and didn’t have electricity, indoor plumbing, telephones or paved roads? I suggest you refrain from making such ignorant comments without any justification. Please have a seat… next

      Like 34
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    • Global citizen says:

      You Mr. or Ms. Indigenous Virgin Islander, you are a real sad case and you don’t represent true Virgin Islanders and I can say that because I have many indigenous Virgin Islander friends and they welcome decent law abiding expats who are making a worthwhile contribution to this territory.You are just selfish, mean and xenophobic. I hope u don’t call yourself a christian because i know how hypocritical some of you can be. Every Sunday some of you drinking communion from the same cup – both locals and expats but we are not worthy enough to become naturalized.

      Like 25
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    • HMM says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t it the same way we Bvilanders are opportunist when we get Geeen Card for the USA.
      We must stop this! they deserve it as much as we do, most have work hard and contributed to the BVI especially their tax dollars.
      Congratulations to all.

      Like 19
      Dislike 1
    • ISG says:

      “Indigenous Virgin Islander”……you make my heart sad and you typify all that is wrong with this beautiful place. Those of us that live here, love here and work here will always feel held back by this kind of attitude. We have given our hearts to these islands, and we will do everything we can to to remain here. We pay tax, we contribute to those that need help. It is our home; not just because our great great grandparents were born here, but because we have found a very special and beautiful place that we love. Please open your mind to the fact that just because we don’t have great grandparents that were born here, it doesn’t automatically make us opportunists……..

    • Wow says:

      My friend, why would a virginislander need citizenship? ?

    • Care says:

      So indigenous do a DNA test and lets see how much percentage BVI islanders you are.

    • @Indigenous Virgin Islander says:

      This is another Indigenous Virgin Islander. People like you and others is racist Indigenous. Every person standing in that photo deserved and earned that.

    • @Indigenous Virgin Islander says:

      Pahna go sitdown! Like you some kind of aboriginal.

  2. Mr. Hodge says:

    Congratulations to all of the new BOTCs especially that lady right there!

    Like 25
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  3. Think again says:

    @ Indigenous Virgin Islander. You are an the definition of an ignorant fool. Someone comes into OUR country, works and contributes most of their life (even more than some of US BVI Islanders), and you believe “the government need to devise ways to stall and frustrate others from obtaining status”? Someone like you needs not to have anything to say in matters concerning the country. This is something that is done worldwide, moreover in much more developed first world countries where outsiders aren’t even needed for the progression of the country like the BVI, the process and time is much easier. Go sit down.

    Like 38
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  4. Eagle eye says:

    All who voted for VIP y’all hold that.can’t wait to vote them out.

    Like 3
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  5. Donkey brains bwoy says:

    Idiot falkin dude no negro is no indigenous Virgin Islander. All a we sail from ship off Africa west coat and get dump different places. U who feel u so indigenous should get deported to ur place of origin

    Like 41
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  6. Ausar says:

    Good going there, Premier Fahie!!

    As long as the requsites are met, whats the hold up?

    Let us strive to get ALL naturalized by years end.

    Again, good going there, Premier Fahie!!

    Like 9
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  7. Anonymous says:

    The comments from Indigenous Virgin Islander sound so ignorant, that is why black people will get no where because we don’t want good for our people. The other races who are in the BVI are progressing and leaving us behind. Okease read up on Black History remembered we all came from the same continent, Africa, And know the world do not belong to now of us we came here and meet it and will go and leave it. The earth is God’s.

    Like 13
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  8. @ Eagle Eye says:

    This was already being processed under the NDP so they had to follow through with the list so back off VIP

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  9. For real says:

    Vi to the bone WELCOME AGAIN.

  10. oh yes says:

    We have to slow things down. You guys might not like what indigeinous said but go to st. Vincent or any other Caribbean country and the response would be the same. who do you think we are floor mats that everyone must come in here and take, take, take. MY CHILDREN COMES FIRST.

    Like 4
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  11. son of the soil says:

    This schit needs to stop because these people don’t really like the bvi. They are only using us for convenience, the US currency and benefits

    Like 6
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    • Ha ha says:

      How u know that if u all don’t have nothing good to say say nothing at all

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • @Son of the soil says:

      Go sit your racist A** down. My family was born in Tortola so was I. My husband is from Antigua and my family welcomed him with open arms. And to be honest, you no good so called son of soil men is no damn good. Been married to my Antiguan husband for over 15 years and is happy. Leave people the H*ll alone. All you son of soil people including my ancestors came over on the Slave Ship from Africa. Like I said, leave people alone. They have a right to be here just like we are.

      Like 9
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    • Just Ice says:

      Mr Moore your jack**s in me yard and I want you come and take him out…

  12. ¿¿¿ says:

    Hon.Wheatley(7thD) Why on the right, and not left lapel? Just observing!

  13. Happy for them says:

    My whole family was born in the BVI, and we welcome anyone new to our Country. Blacks in this Country have to stop the nonsense. Grand Ma always said live and let live.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  14. Trent L. Miller BOTC Campaign says:

    Meanwhile BOT children of descent, now adults, born abroad, between 1948 to 2006 are still denied BOT/British nationality/citizenship by descent because their BOT fathers did not marry their mothers.

    End unequal status in British nationality law. Our connections to BOTs is by blood & descent from our fathers and their fathers and mothers.

    When it comes to dishing out BOT & British nationality/citizenship, the British government in conjunction with the respective Governors and elected leaders of BOTs must resolve our discrimination first, stop pushing us to the back of the line. Please urge them to do so now. We have a web site for more information, just do a Google search for BOTCCampaign

  15. please! says: are small minded..shake your family tree and i bet you will suprised!

    • Must Apologize - says:

      Distaste for giving out a country’s citizenship is common throughout the world – including the Caribbean! My questions are – Why ‘call down’ a country that you would like to be a part of? Why do you stay and stay and stay? Why the hate when the indigenous population object? Would you treat me the same if I was in your country?

  16. Must Apologize - says:

    Distaste for giving out a country’s citizenship is common throughout the world – including the Caribbean! My questions are – Why ‘call down’ a country that you would like to be a part of? Why do you stay and stay and stay? Why the hate when the indigenous population object? Would you treat me the same if I was in your country?

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