BVI News

BVI should have a ‘means test’ in place for Belongership — Penn


Health Minister Marlon Penn said he believes a means test should be done to determine whether expatriate residents qualify for Belongership or residency status in the BVI.

Penn said there should be a clearer process for Belongership status in the territory and argued that it shouldn’t simply be based on the number of years someone spends in the territory.

“There needs to be other determining factors that determines what makes one a citizen of the Virgin Islands,” Penn said on the Talking Points show yesterday, February 27.

“If you’re going to be a citizen in a country… it has to be a basis. There has to be a means test and a basis in terms of how you become a citizen, just like you go to the US and there’s a process…” Penn stated.

He further commented that there is already a process in place to become a Belonger for persons married to locals. “Once you are married to a BVIslander, after five years and you could prove that it wasn’t a marriage of convenience or any of those types of things, [then] you get your status,” he added.

The government came under scrutiny during the Commission of Inquiry (COI) for skirting the established law on granting Belongership status after it was found that a government policy demanded that persons only apply after 20 years of residency, instead of 10 years as the law states.

Speaking to the furore over the issue, Penn remarked that the United Kingdom (UK) simply wants the government to uphold what the law says. Penn said it is one of the most critical reforms being undertaken by the government in relation to the COI report’s findings.

Governor John Rankin recently expressed disappointment at the pace of COI reforms and noted that a reviewer (Kedrick Malone) has since been identified to lead a review of the existing policy and processes for granting residency and Belongership status.

That review is also expected to examine the open discretion of Cabinet to grant such statuses and the length of residence required for Belongership, among other things.

Penn said the next steps for that review include research, public consultations and public meetings.


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  1. Hmmm says:

    It still have people who lived her over 30 years paying for time. It’s who you know

    Like 54
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  2. Pat says:

    Got thing our means test have determined you will not be the next premier

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  3. No nonsense says:

    The labour and immigration departments needs to insitute the law where after working 5 to 7 years no work permit can be issued. The red lady was doing that previously with her nail tech. We have a set of Filipinos now breeding like rabbits, they will be the next BVILANDERS ” I BORN HERE!”

    Like 10
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  4. ISLM says:

    There should be a test to become a belonger,the USA and Canada dose it.

    Like 12
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  5. Means Test my foot says:

    what foolishness yal chatting, the “means Test” dnt form part of the application where u have to provide financial records, criminal records, personal information etc. and still there are interviews. Yal jus beating beating beating this issue to avoid accountability for the ppl that got it with out MEANS and the ppl that still waiting and going thru the proper means, i sick of hearing bout this ish now.

    Like 56
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  6. @hmmm says:

    And? Don’t like it go back home. Belongership is a privilege not a right!

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  7. To @hmmm says:

    Tell your mama what?? Dumf@k I said there’s people here , did I say I wasn’t from here. Jump back up inna yuh mumma

    Like 12
    Dislike 6
  8. uh says:



    We have all types in already take a pause for everyone who made it in already to make it better for us all.

    Like 16
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  9. Real Ality says:

    Importing and installing a large population of poverty and marginal literacy with a culture that distinguishes a murder crime rate in the World’s top ten was/ is insidious and a crime against the VI and its people.These imports have fast multipli ed and continues the cycle of human reproduction with like intrinsic values,generational negative karma, propensities and culture. Expats of a specific demographic with their children are the 99.9% of crimes committed and are also the prime beneficiaries of the VI limited and unable to keep pace social services. Within the schools that are now war zones with deadly weapons, unteachable unreachable boys and girls,the reflection of the population presents itself and additional but can never be enough additional policemen from foreign countries patrol the wall enclosed school premises. These VI is literally mucked and doomed.
    Lest we forget,Immigration,it’s control is under those we elected. This pox is not the doings of the Uk,Governor, nor any White Man Woman King or Queen.

    Like 16
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  10. Rush More says:

    There is zero crime and poverty in St Barts.
    The ” locals ” thrive,
    There is zero crime poverty in Monaco.
    A humongous Immigrant population
    Locals thrive!

    Like 5
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  11. Suggest says:

    Pull out your promised and entitled parchment fo we to see.
    Include a list of your positive contributions to the Vi as a reminder that they couldn’t have done it without you.

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  12. ?? says:

    He is correct. You even have to attend a history class in the USA. Is that part of the current application process?

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  13. Rush More says:

    There is zero crime and poverty in St Barts.
    The locals thrive.
    A humongous Immigrant population in Monaco.
    Locals thrive, are entitled, favoured and respected!

    MONACO…an ideal model for the VI. It would change the meaning and reality of “Independnt Caribbean” and uplift the region while creating positive future possibilities for our children.

    Like 9
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  14. Anonymous says:

    Why now?

    Why has the government not came forward with this idea before? We know why. They imo just did not want to grant people citizenship as a matter of course and law. People who are not born in the BVI are viewed as a threat to those born here by some imo.

    Rather they were haphazardly granting some people’s citizenship when they felt like it. Citizenship applications were sitting on desks collecting dust for years. Some people took it upon themselves to circumvent the law.

    Now, on the surface, it appears to be just another hurdle to be placed between people who are qualified otherwise to receive citizenship.

    There is a realization now that they have a gun to their heads to get it right, so now they have suddenly come up with one last minute hurdle to place in peoples way.

    Nevertheless, on second thought, most countries have some form of citizenship testing that must be passed before citizenship is granted. Such testing typically assesses one knowledge of the county’s history, culture and laws.

    If this is what the Health Minister means when he speaks of “means” testing then that appears reasonable and consistent with what other countries do.

    In that case, the number of years needed before one can become a citizen needs to be set in stone for everyone prior to testing and issuance of citizenship imo.

    In this case, as per law the qualifications begins at 10 years. When that time appears, then he/she can take the citizenship test as part of that qualifying process.

    If this is to be policy going forward so be it, but let that process be fair and universal. Stop playing games with peoples lives and grant those who have met the qualifications their citizenship in a timely manner as per law. No more stonewalling.

    Like 22
  15. Errr.... says:

    there is.
    Real question is why have the applicants that have gone through the test and are waiting for cabinet to consider not been considered yet.
    It doesn’t matter what the tests or requirements are. If applicants are not being processed its all irrelevant.

    Like 16
  16. HUH says:

    don’t they required that?? Hon. Penn like you sleeping??

  17. @ rush more says:

    Monaco has indeed thrived. Richest country in the world. For example , the taxis are driven by the indigenous “ monagasques “ The taxi licenses change hands for $1 million. Also to protect monagasques against high house prices there are buildings and areas where only locals can buy. A scheme we should adopt.

    We could indeed learn a lot from Monaco.

  18. Common sense says:

    I think this gentleman has lost total sight of the fact this is a British Territory, what he suggests is discriminatory, which, is illegal in the UK. Notwithstanding the COI, you have learned absolutely nothing. If you want to see Belongership completely scrapped, which, Parliament was advised to do, just carry on down this road. You

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  19. Retrospective says:

    Means Test all Belongers and you might discover more than a few with no visible means of support but a very comfortable life style.

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  20. Agree says:

    Even though I agree there should be a Test and there is , lot of BVIslander would fail big time . They need to know about there country and history. A lot of even tourists and people from other countries know about BVI history than some BVIslanders.

    Like 14
  21. Tests says:

    Indeed the US and Canada have tests, but they are tests about history, laws etc. Basically knowledge tests. However, a means test is not an assessment of what you know. Instead it’s a measure of financial assets/earnings. Would an expat in the Territory earn enough to meet the requirement? Or, is the point to raise the bar to keep them from becoming Belongers?

    Like 12
  22. @ To @hmmm says:

    IDGAF where you from, my comment still stands! Yuh Dirty mumma!

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  23. @Tests says:

    I think a financial means test is unacceptable. To wait 10 years to meet the minimum qualifications to then be asked to prove that you have a certain amount of money in your bank account is simply wrong.

    A citizenship test based on the country’s history, culture and laws is palatable, but a financial hurdle to be met is unacceptable and yes imo discriminatory.

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  24. ok says:

    Shut down this granting of belonger status except in case of lineage and marriage. These people feeling that they have a right to this country. Hell No!! There are quotas on the law. They need to be adhered to. If it is 50 a year, we have far exceeded that during the course of this administration. People, love your homeland and go HOME. Make your money and go HOME. The BVI is not your home. Respect the laws, pay your taxes, full your pockets and go HOME!

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  25. Time Will Tell says:

    I can’t agree with you on that. There are some people paying for time who never applied for any status. In some instances, some people left the BVI for a years or two bu came back. Unfortunately, without some exemption being sort, their time started all over to qualify. In some cases though, some have applied and the department is at fault for loosing the application paper work.

  26. ISLM says:

    @Means Test my foot, if you are sick of hearing about this ish now, you know what you can do I shouldn’t have to spell it out for you, Getting status in another man’s country is privilege you guys don’t understand that.

    Like 5
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  27. hmm says:

    We need to revamp these laws in our favor because these foreigners feel like we owe them belongership… Grant belognership only through marriage or to people you trying to attract with a particular skillset… done all this confusion. Because the solution is not just to grant it to anybody simply on the basis that they here a while.

    Like 3
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  28. ....and says:

    The UK should have a means test for Virgin Islanders applying for British passports then. Fairs, fair, we wouldn’t want to be discriminatory now would we!?!

    Like 12
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  29. @islm says:

    There is!!!! (Do your research)

  30. VI Gal says:

    You are definitely not from here judging from the way you speak.

  31. @Ok says:

    Modt of them plan to go home. I was in America for ten years and came home. We have a small dot on the map and for some reason when they come, they are not interested in leaving. We are in trouble.

    On the flipside, it seems $120 million leaves our shores every month. That is locust type behaviour. So if they are only here to feed, the majority of them, some have full belly by now or are they waiting until we have nothing else to give. In the mean time they are mean as hell and lack basic respect for the people and place fattening their pockets. And that’s what upsets most of us locals. No BVIslanders where they are from I can guarantee that. So we’re stupid, run away. You don’t have to see us no more. We are all selling drugs. Run before we sell you some. As if their country men don’t sell drugs. In fact they come into this country as guns for hire and you all better stop them. One didn’t make it back out it seems with his ill gotten gains in hand.

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  32. Marlon disappoints me. says:

    I love him but i hope he lose, he talking nonsense. The Issue with status is those 2 Civilians in immigration making all the decision without following the law or the process..They are just giving who they or their friends and family like, they are vindictive and abusing the little power they have. That’s the root of the problem that they are afraid to address. The process can work as it meant to 1/ once we get personnel changes in those position with hon and decent people. Or if Britain take over. Marlon talking BS piss

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  33. we need help fast because says:

    We are being over-run and phased out

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  34. Belongers Pls. says:

    Don’t vote for this guy, he is a Cobra.

  35. Yes sah says:

    The only time you see people blogging is when it comes to Belongership

    If testing is done in UK and Canada no
    Problem if we want to enact laws like that too but Danny forget that once a Canadian or American always a Canadian or American no third generation and belonger so let us done it right

  36. Cannot Be says:

    The gall of these folks is beyond measure.
    They walk and drive through the sludge of dark humanity which dominate these VI ,read the ghastly daily headlines,which includes the conditions of the Public Shools dominated by their children,the overcrowded prison populated by they and their Children,the need for additional police recruited from their countries and the UK daily a reporting murders,robberies,, scooteraccidents precipitated by their misuse of these instruments , extradition/requests of their sons to face trials and criminal charges,their sons in foot and hand chains cargoed out to face face criminal charges …all manner of antisocial happenings attributed to them their offsprings and their presence in the territory..”yetnstill” they have lunacy audacity and belly to approach and reproach the issue about not given permanent status by the this country their footstool which they degrade and has cause to be downgraded…jeeeesh folks where is your humanity. Have you no shame no pride. If Tola was a real place,there would indeed be a Tolian Rushmore excercise. Disgusting set of empty vessels yessirree. Go Home! Begone. Nobody send call you.You wont be wanted nor missed.

  37. SMH! says:

    And there should be a mininum IQ level for being a policymaker. So after one has paid taxes and an exhorbitant cost of living they should demonstrate that they have money to be able to sustain themselves in the BVI. Is it a case that they would have been on welfare prior to acquiring belonger status. You sir were never too br**ht. I had the misfortune of having one conversation with you in 2017 amd I learned all I needed to know about you. However, for those of us who want to see the back of these VIP crooks, please shut up because you are currently campaigning for them!

    Like 3
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  38. I say says:

    These folks from the arena of bad
    disruptive with the resulting anhialation of the economy and communities are not assets to the VI, They have proven to be liabilities. BVI talking ’bout independence is just talk. The reality is that we could not afford the policing required . We cannot afford to build a secure prison with staffing that is currently needed and will increase and continue infinitely unless the demographics of these VI is altered /changed for one that is conducive to law and order with non cannibalistic tendencies and behaviour.

    Like 2
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  39. Truth says:

    Not through marriage unless you will check for paternity test because some of those women from other islands are giving tola men pork children.

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  40. Me says:

    Love this comment!

  41. Get real says:

    This guy don’t know there is a process. You apply. You wait years for a reply. You ate given an appointment for an interview. You sit a test (history, culture and geography). If you pass the test you are interviewed and and if you are successful it is sent to cabinet for final approval. The issue is how many people who receive Belonger goes through this process. My 21 years old daughter who has been here since two weeks of age applied one year ago and has not received an acknowledgement lettet as yet. That is the issue.

  42. DJT says:

    Folks I promise you, I’m going to build that wall, and I’ll make the Haitians pay for it……it will be a beautiful wall

    Like 2
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  43. Dis Card says:

    The VI needs AsSETS
    These bawly guts from updeislun are proven LIABILITIEtS
    Dead Weights
    And they multiply like mosquitos fast fast producing their mini liabilities…sinking yhe VI deeper and deeper.

  44. Wtf says:

    Marlon Penn is a genuine Jack *ss.

  45. Jay says:

    When your country people them got thier US status did they do exams? U all are to mischief

  46. Common sense says:

    Another man’s country, that’s quite a statement. The BVI as the name implies is a British territory, accordingly, everyone living here including you, does so at His Majesties pleasure, perhaps you did not know that. Until such time as the BVI goes independent, Belongers are British.

  47. Oh no says:

    Poor you went to the great land where you had your feast or intended to have your feast however it didn’t work out so you’ve returned a bitter bitter than gall POS. IMO Your patriotism was never there when you left for greener pastures so what you’re showing now is fictitiousq.

  48. Rex FeRaL says:

    @Hmm. Those people made a conscious decision to spend all that time in the Virgin Islands.

  49. Oh no says:

    Pork children lol lol This is new and ridiculous but not surprising lol lol. You must be the only A&$ babby ever barn making you VELY VELY SPECIAL

  50. Guy Hill says:

    The Immigration laws spells out the qualifications for Belonger status.Belonger status has a two prong qualifier. By descent and grant by Cabinet. One can be revoked in certain circumstances and one cannot. There was/is abuse of processes yes, but those who duly qualify should be granted such, even if you implement a certain number to be granted yearly after careful and legitimate scrutiny. There are frivolous requests and applications being made and those need to be addressed and investigated accordingly.

  51. Oh no says:

    Let’s be fair, transparent and honest lots of us can’t line the three together unless it’s typed. We just don’t have it in us. When it’s political it shows it’s proverbial tail and many of us think it’s cute cause it’s what we desire though it’s ugly and disgusting nlol loln.

  52. Pipiapapa says:

    The only law they have to put in place is to give their right to those who deserve it. The children who are born here should give their right to belong where they are born.

  53. Means = money says:

    Why is it all about money?
    What about good citizenship? L Fox has been right in the middle of helping everyone during Irma. She teaches our children. She volunteers for every program.
    She is here 15+ years! Make her a belonger! Don’t make her fill out all that paperwork. She is a Dimond. The BVI would be a better place with her as a voting national.
    This is just one example, but just look around! There are people living her for a long time that make the country better. These people should be invited to become bvi nationals.

    Like 3
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  54. Shark says:

    Just like becoming a united States Citizen there is 100 question test that is given.

  55. Redstorm says:

    There is a hundred ways to move the goal post. Coming on national media to state you mind is not good , those expat will get you at the polls. Remember how many of them can now vote.

  56. Smh says:

    Before you put your means test make sure all the local employers taking advantage of expats are held accountable for their crimes. Stealing from these poor people so they can barely survive. Surely they would never have your so called means. Sounds like another means of oppression if you ask me. Carry on. Judgement is coming.

  57. Monaco says:

    Monaco has CCTV everywhere

  58. Yes yes yes says:

    I think doing a test is ok.
    It will help us no more about the country.
    I meant even we INDIGENOUS
    Will learn more of our birth land.

  59. Confused says:

    Is he confusing residency/naturalization with belonger status?

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