Each nationality might only be allowed a limited number of persons to be present in the British Virgin Islands at any given time.
This is likely one of the considerations to be made as the territory undergoes an Immigration reform process.
Labour & Immigration Minister, Vincent Wheatly said these decisions have to be considered since persons are flocking the BVI, which is considered as an attractive jurisdiction to work, live, visit, and invest.
“This means that persons, for the next foreseeable future, will be coming to the BVI. We have to decide now how we’re going to be affected by that immigration of persons coming into the territory,” he explained while interviewing with JTV news recently.
“Are you going to tell everyone, ‘come and after 20 years we make you a BVIslander’? What are we going to do? Now is the time to be making those kinds of decisions,” he added, stating that these decisions should have been made a long time ago.
Mindful of ‘access to citizenship’
Wheatley said the government will be reforming the territory’s exemption policy, its Belonger and residency, among other things.
Nothing has been finalised as yet but Wheatley said the government must “be very mindful” of access to citizenship as it undergoes the reform. He also mentioned a new Immigration system, that will enable the BVI to “monitor the number of nationalities in the country”.
The minister said more than 120 different nationalities are currently in the BVI. He, therefore, suggested that Immigration limitations must be put in place to avoid oversaturation.
“Some countries like America; they do quotas every year for visas and green cards. At some point in time, we have to choose a system similar to that. I’m not saying, ‘use that system’. But we might decide, for any given year, we would only give 100 persons status, or 50 persons, or 200 persons. Those kinds of decisions. Or we may say, ‘we don’t want no more than a thousand persons from each nationality in the territory’. Those kinds of decisions — critical decisions because there is an imbalance right now,” Wheatley explained, adding that limits might also be place on professions.
“We need to control this–how many nationalities and how many of each nationality. And then we break it down to professions–[that is], how many of these professions do we allow into the country each year,” he added.
Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.