BVI News

BVI inks contract for top-notch border management and e-Visa system

Government has moved a step closer towards implementing its much-touted border management and e-Visa system.

On Monday, government representatives signed a contract for the system with operatives from the Canadian Bank Note (CBN) Company Ltd.

“Today is a historic and red-letter day for the BVI. Finally, a border control solution is coming on stream to allow agencies to be integrated in real-time. We will know who is coming into the territory before they arrive. We will finally be able to do exit immigration,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Immigration Vincent Wheatley wrote on his social media page moments after the signing ceremony on Monday.

“Indeed, today is the first step towards reforming immigration. We will soon have tourism statistics readily available,” he added.

With this new system, Wheatley said transactions at the ports will be done quickly and will allow authorities to properly prepare for persons such as celebrities as well as criminals coming into the territory.

Long-time coming 

Premier and Finance Minister Andrew Fahie also said he was pleased with the undertaking.

He said: “It has been long in coming. It is needed and I always say no one does what’s expected, only what’s inspected, but the issue is we do not have the statistics now to inspect. This now will let us know who will be coming, who is here, and who is leaving.”

Vice President of Business Development International at CBN Mark Houlton said the BVI will now receive the latest technology.

“We have leveraged all the experience that we have obtained through your neighbours in bringing you that solution. It will be a seamless, integrated solution and we are looking forward to working with the immigration, passport, e-visas teams into bringing one single solution containing all of the information you need to control your borders,” he stated.

He continued, “Given the experience we have working in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), we understand the traveller experience is equally important as national security and so facilitating the traveller experience in a controlled and efficient way will help you with your tourism objectives to continue to build this strong tourism industry that you’ve got here.”

He said CBN would also be introducing technologies like kiosks that would enable persons to enter into the territory quicker. He said there would also be electronic visas capabilities will be integrated into work permit systems and to the police watch lists etcetera.

Costing over $6 M

In June this year Minister Wheatley announced that Government is spending roughly $6.4 million on the system.

His announcement came several months after Governor Augustus Jaspert announced that travellers arriving and departing the BVI will be subject to heightened security measures to include the implementation of an Advance Passenger Information (API) System.

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10 Comments

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  1. Lmao says:

    $6.4 million? Perhaps $64 million by the time the system is in use. Biggest problem will be hiring expats to operate the system as there is no way the locals are going to be able to. They are just not suited for technology……or anything else that requires use of brain matter.

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  2. Reasonable Man says:

    If this speeded up processing of arrivals at airports and ferry docks that would be fantastic. The waits to get through immigration are much longer than what you experience in other countries and I hear lots of grumbling about it in those lines ups.

  3. Concerned says:

    I was just talking to a friend yesterday how only countries you would only want to visit but not actually stay in request visa’s. So who is forced to apply for an e-visa now. If you do force our visitors from Europe, USA, Canada to apply for an e-visa at whatever cost before they can come and visit you will have to write a lot of them off because they will not want to go through the aggravation and expense. 6.4 Million of the taxpayers money wasted again.

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  4. Buzzy Bee says:

    If it sounds too good to be true…
    It must be…

    Are our borders really so solvent, so unsound? This sounds very much like spreading salve on belongers’ imaginary xenophobia wounds.

    I call BS.

  5. Breaking News says:

    News Headline–Canadians deported for overstaying contract period in the BVI.

  6. SMDH says:

    You cannot please some of these negative BVI people

  7. Great News says:

    Honorable, please have a system administrator in place to run the expensive system. I believe there is none attached to the department presently and we will want the best out of this. If you guy using that guy from Immigration is a waste of time and money.

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