BVI News

BVI considering programme to attract longer-stay tourists

Labour & Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley has announced that government is considering to implement a ‘work from paradise’ programme that is currently being explored by some Caribbean countries to revive their COVID-hit tourism industries.

The new work from paradise trend is being used by Caribbean countries with low COVID-19 cases. It capitalises on the work-from-home trend by encouraging people to move their home office overseas and vacation for longer periods.

Speaking on the Honestly Speaking radio show on November 3, Minister Wheatley said the government is studying the countries in the region that have implemented the programme and are trying to find the best ways that the BVI could earn income from this avenue.

“What I didn’t get from the programmes I saw was ‘how was that country making money from that person’s presence’? Yes they may rent a villa, they may go to a few restaurants or supermarkets but my question is, ‘is that all you can get from them’?” Wheatley explained.

Barbados, as well as fellow British Overseas Territories Cayman and Anguilla, are among the jurisdictions that have implemented the scheme to lure professionals to work in paradise. In Cayman’s case, persons can stay for up to two years by acquiring a Global Citizen Certificate.

However, Minister Wheatley said the government may not be able to grant work-from-paradise stays that are too long, otherwise, they may start infringing on other laws within the BVI.

In the meantime, Wheatley said in the short-term, the government is seeking to offer an extension to tourists who can only stay a maximum of 30 days in the BVI.

He said no laws would need to be amended to implement this measure but interested visitors would need to send an email to the Chief Immigration Officer outlining their intent to stay longer than 30 days.

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31 Comments

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  1. Jokers says:

    This government really is counterfeit. Can’t they come up with any ideas/thoughts of their own? Get the marine industry going and stop trying to steal Barbados plans.

    Like 51
    Dislike 6
    • @Jokers says:

      You could not have it better. They should at least give Barbados credit and not try to pass this idea off as their own.

      Like 21
      Dislike 1
    • And says:

      Cayman…..This government is a waste of time.

      Like 14
      Dislike 2
    • Not to worry says:

      The Foy and his cronies can copy all they want but there is one vital piece they can’t copy. INTERNET!! You can’t attract people to work when the BVI has the worst internet in the Caribbean. You see eventually all of the kickbacks come home to roost. Allowing the internet providers to charge the most and provide the least rests solely on the government. They issue these companies their license to operate.

      Like 49
      Dislike 1
    • Rubber Duck says:

      What you get Mr Wheatley is that businesses may be able to stay in business until the panicdemic passes. And you may then be left with a few hospitality venues to attract tourists in the future. Your comment shows a breathtaking lack of understanding as to how hotels etc are going to survive. We are not all on fat government salaries paid no matter what.

      Like 10
  2. Is that all? says:

    No that is not all because you want the blood along with their sweat. They better think long and hard before coming. Look at how you treat your expats. I hope everybody goes.

    Like 31
    Dislike 2
  3. Says it all says:

    Forget supporting villa owners, supermarkets, bars, etc. Is that all you can get from them!!! – “What I didn’t get from the programmes I saw was ‘how was that country making money from that person’s presence’? Yes they may rent a villa, they may go to a few restaurants or supermarkets but my question is, ‘is that all you can get from them’?” Wheatley explained.

    Like 36
    Dislike 2
    • 2cents says:

      What else you going to get from them? You can try armed robbery. Forgetting all the support you got after Irma when Tourists came down to help you rebuild, sent relief and trying to support you now. That’s a real slap in the face.

  4. L Ipton says:

    You want professionals to come yet for all you have locked out professionals for months? What an irony!

    Like 48
    Dislike 1
  5. Just my 2 cents says:

    An initiative to attract tourist and professionals to the BVI shores that must be applauded given the circumstances. However, it comes with sacrifices and changes. You cannot wish to consume your yet still wish that it remained untouched. There must be some amendments to the labour and immigration laws/policies to facilitate an effective program.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  6. LoL says:

    These people are clueless! Leave Tourism to the Tourist professionals. Why is the Labour man speaking about tourists? He not the Premier not the DeCastro woman not the Sprauv woman non know a thing about tourism.

    Like 20
  7. EU Citizen says:

    There’s a big problem with that: The internet connection from Tortola is not good enough for work. All work from home people do zoom, goto meeting, and the like and those require high bandwidth.

    Like 38
    Dislike 2
    • @EU Citizen says:

      You would think they would want to get some basic infrastructure in place before considering such an idea. I can’t even get to check emails and watch netflix and it’s just me. *** told me I need to upgrade my plan. So more money for probably the same shite internet. Is this what they want for long term visitors?

      Like 17
      Dislike 1
  8. Anonymous says:

    When can work permit holders enter?

    Like 22
  9. ALL YOU CAN GET FROM THEM? says:

    So it’s not enough that they are renting homes, cars, boats, going for dinner, buying groceries, going to the hairdresser, paying for telephone and internet, buying a coffee, etc etc…the absolute shortsightedness of these comments are beyond belief!

    Like 35
  10. Chosen says:

    They always treating and talking about us down island people so bad and always coping all our ideas

    Like 10
    Dislike 4
    • Foreigner says:

      @chosen, we downislanders lead so the small minded idiots can follow
      My grandmother told me many moons ago to feel appreciated when someone wants my leftovers/hand me downs.
      S V G has an Education revolution now all the small islands misfits wants it also.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  11. Styles says:

    Dear Vicenzio

    I am a bit confused. Well actually, it looks like you are confused.

    You have locked out many expats for months and try your absolute best to keep them out. And now you want more to come in?

    Which one is it?

    Like 26
  12. WTF? says:

    “What I didn’t get from the programmes I saw was ‘how was that country making money from that person’s presence’? Yes they may rent a villa, they may go to a few restaurants or supermarkets but my question is, ‘is that all you can get from them’?” Wheatley explained.

    IS THIS GUY SERIOUS? WOWWWWWWW!!!!!!!

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  13. Waiting says:

    So its November 4th the bvi gateway is still not up and running?????? I want to plan my trip in advance not last minute. I need specific information. A a contact email to make inquiries? Something???

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  14. Just my poor citizen Idea says:

    Why not utilize the land down Prospect Park and build a Convention Center and a Hotel.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  15. Unbelievable says:

    The remote workers will need to be accommodated already for the economic substance requirements of BVI registered companies. Internet has to be improved for that, so the Government needs to step up on that front. Unbelievable how Honorable Wheatley can say “What else can we get from them”. Your economy is shot due to Covid-19 you should be so lucky to have some of these people move into the territory to help out with rentals, restaurants and everything else these people will be utilizing. And they are not “tourists” Shame on this Administration.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  16. So give us an update says:

    How many days are for quarantine now and what is the cost. You see lots of expat could not get their papers process in September when it was free which i will say was a deliberate act. People are not working and have to pay $2500. I do not pay for apart rent for 4 months. Where will I get the money from I am not working since March. I have children to feed.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  17. “What else can we get from them” says:

    For an island state which depends 100% on foreign money (USD) being brought to the island this is a very disrespectful statement…

    Like 12
  18. Anonymous says:

    Sickening that the government prohibits qualified ‘dependents’ working for 3 years but is thinking about allowing this. No end to the irony!

  19. YOUTH says:

    Some of you fuss but everything and do so everyday.

  20. Wtf? says:

    Aren’t we in the game of trying to attract business, stop the outflow of financial services, show economies substance? If we had a working product, we could entice all sorts of businesses. We have an immigration system that’s broken and not fit for purpose compared to competitors, it’s not customer friendly despite recent incremental improvements in customer care. We blocked the RDA from giving us a proper infrastructure because they wouldn’t allow the usual illicit transactions and because the experts were pigmentally challenged. Our schools are underinvested.
    A managed amount of global citizens and welcoming current clients could make the everything more viable – amenities, schools, infrastructure projects… when will bvi learn?

  21. VRBO says:

    Good idea…for next season.
    THis would have been nice about 4 months ago! Villa booking for the winter happens in JULY and AUGUST. These work from home people are already renting villas in other countries.
    The Government and Tourist Board needs some people on staff that have some experience in this (Yes, maybe a white person, who not born here!)
    The longer the BVI keeps government to themselves and blocks diversity, the longer we are going to be in this mess (the mess started with Irma).

  22. Just about sums up the BVI says:

    Yeah ….. same old story “what can we GET from them?” Never “How can we attract high-earners to visit?” Will BVI politicians ever learn? Nope.

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