BVI News

BVI entry portal woes: ‘We can’t be guessing who is in our country’

Screenshot of the BVI Gateway homepage captured Monday night, November 23, 2020.

Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley continues to be a strong advocate for the BVI’s online entry portal, despite its many shortcomings.

The platform continues to receive a barrage of criticism for its many failings and deficiencies since being implemented late last year to assist with the return of visitors to the BVI after the territory’s COVID-induced closure.

Minister Wheatley said the online portal’s presence is integral in capturing badly needed data about persons who are within the BVI’s shores.

“That is one of the reasons why I am pushing to ensure we keep that online portal for labour available, Mr Speaker we cannot be guessing about who’s in our country and what they’re doing,” Wheatley told legislators in the House of Assembly recently.

“The portal captures, that information. It captures it. If we’re going to prepare our people for the needs of this country, we need to know what those needs are and to channel our young people in those areas,” he stated.

And while pointing to its problematic nature, the minister assured residents that a fix was on the horizon.

“We gon’ get it fixed. Yes, it’s problematic now but we’re gonna get it fixed,” he stated.

According to the minister the portal gives the necessary data for government to make strategic decisions that are required. 

Previously, travellers reported their inability to upload relevant documents such as the mandatory negative COVID-19 test results and required photos to be processed through the application.

Travellers are not allowed to enter the territory unless they upload their negative results and are granted permission to land.

Several travellers, therefore, have been stuck in-transit to the BVI while waiting for a response from government.

But Premier Andrew Fahie recently announced that talks were being held in efforts to make the portal more automated and user-friendly.

According to the Premier, this is to speed up the process and make it more efficient without any resulting data loss or compromises to the security of the territory.

 

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17 Comments

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  1. WTF says:

    Didn’t they just announce they have elected to remove the immigration forms from the portal?! Something smells fishy, as usual.

    Like 11
    • Lmao says:

      Customs and immigration and especially immigration keeps track of who enters the Territory and for what purpose. The portal site is and was established for Covid. Wheatley needs to get his head out of his ar** and learn how the system works. He was an embarrassment at the COI and he is now. It appears he engages his mouth before engaging what little b***n matter he has.

      Like 22
  2. Styles. says:

    We already know it’s not working for about 9 months now. And only now we are “talking” about a fix.

    Last year when we were asking for a plan for the future you decided to remain silent and last minute paid a huge sum of money to have this horrible site developed.

    You should have listened and started timely with getting this site up and running.

    You are right in that the platform is needed. But all islands around it have a good platform, only BVI again failed.

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
    • @styles says:

      How did you come to the conclusion that only BVI failed. Have you visited every single country in this world? Stop spread propaganda

      Like 1
      Dislike 14
      • Styles. says:

        I did not mention all countries in the world (learn how to read please), I mentioned the countries around us. And yes, I have visited those during covid, and yes their portals work (a lot) better!

  3. Suggestion says:

    Once you submit to the portal and are approved for entry, you should have an “account” which saves your basic details so that it doesn’t all need to be re-entered when you next travel.

    Like 24
  4. Tourist arrivals says:

    You have one month to fix the process until the tourists start to arrive for the new season. Stop talking and FIX THE ISSUES!

    Like 22
  5. Why says:

    This guy continues to push hate for the expatriate community. Why should it matter, you have immigration arrival cards, to provide the same information you seek about who is coming in your country. The portal is just making sure that no positive person pending approval is allowed. This is something you can’t prevent, because the testing is showing positive cases after arrival.
    Look around you Mr. Minister, you have created a problem, who are you trying to protect really?

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  6. Hmm says:

    The government know they need the man power but they don’t have the money to pay for it. That’s why they have all this lip service for John public.

  7. SMH says:

    Once again it seems that these guys attribute hate to being POWERFUL. Hating expatriates does NOT benefit locals, it’s actually the complete opposite as we are seeing now with the exodus of many expats due to COVID and economic downturn. Ask the bank show many local homes are going up for auction because they cannot afford the mortgage as a result of lack of tenants willing to pay the rental rates. The bottom will fall out before we recognize what’s happening. Put rules in place but you do not have to keep reminding people that they are not from here. The rules are there so once they follow them they become a legal resident worthy of some level of respect. They can’t vote, they can’t buy land without going through a processs and they cannot work without a permit so why all the added stress? Live and let live!

    Like 18
  8. FEDUP says:

    Dear Mr. Wheatley,

    It is very bothersome as a belonger I have to seek permission to enter my own home land.

    I am asking that you rethink the structure for residents and belongers who live here. It is unfair and unjust to have us fill out this portal before arriving.

    We should have the will of choice to choose when we would like to come home.

    Kindly Rethink this.

    humble.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  9. Clueless Wheatley says:

    The portal is to keep track of vaccination and test arrival status, NOT FOR CUSTOMS OR IMMIGRATION PURPOSE. STOP USING IT FOR OTHER PURPOSES!

    WHY do you not separate vaccinated versus unvaccinated travelers to speed up the arrival process?

    WHY is a QR code not used during the arrival testing?

    WHY do we get asked for the same information on arrival 5 TIMES? Covid building on arrival , immigration, customs, taxi desk and final desk.

    FIX THESE ISSUES

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  10. SKB says:

    did the portal to travel to St Kitts. simple as 1-2-3. Did the portal to come back to BVI my pressure went up and got alot of anxiety. Very stressful

    Like 19
  11. Fedup says:

    What is the rocket science in building an efficient portal in these times?? are we lack intelligence? import some if needed it will help the BVI as always, then you can kick them out when they finish the job!!

    Yall ungrateful behavior telling tales! Karma is a b**ch!!

  12. Resident says:

    why have customs forms then, the portal is a joke, its so hard to use

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