BVI News

BVI travellers to see enhanced border security procedures, policies

Travellers arriving and departing the British Virgin Islands will be subject to heightened security measures now that a set of new Immigration policies are to be introduced in the territory.

Governor Augustus Jaspert said those policies will include the implementation of an Advance Passenger Information (API) System.

In short, the API system is a way to enhance border security by providing Immigration officers with a manifest depicting specific data on persons before their arrival or departure from the territory.

The system was created in the United States but a number of other countries have adopted it over the years.

Governor Jaspert said the United Kingdom has already approved this system for the BVI “in principle”.

He added: “A review of the Immigration and Passport Act is currently underway to transform and reform Immigration legislation and policies inclusive of e-services, training and the introduction of the API System, which will address issues of integrated border management, automated border control and international co-operation.”

The governor made the statement while delivering his Speech from the Throne address last Thursday, September 13.

A continued Immigration overhaul

Government representatives, in recent times, have announced several ways that they intend to improve the local Immigration system, which has been the cause of much public outrage; particularly in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes.

In March, Junior Minister for Trade Marlon Penn said plans were ongoing to merge the Labour and Immigration processes to create a seamless online route for persons applying for work permits and Immigration clearance.

At the time, Penn said the government was vetting the proposal of a benefactor who was interested in donating the programming software for the e-government platform.

And just a month prior to Penn’s announcement, government said Her Majesty’s Immigration was testing an online application process for entry permits in an effort to speed up the application process.

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44 Comments

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  1. BVI tourist (former) says:

    Seriously?
    You’re not that special BVI.
    Maybe back in the day your pristine environment and low-key, friendly Caribbean vibe would attract people willing to travel a for a full day (or two) – take multiple flights and ferries etc and spend thousands doing so.
    But unfortunately you ‘paved paradise and put up a parking lot’.
    When we make the effort to travel to the BVI we’re greeted by grumpy, sullen immigration officers and then two huge cruise ships and thousands of tourists fighting for a sun lounger on the beach.
    And now you want to pry into our private lives unnecessarily all in the name of ‘security’. Sorry, I won’t be spending my hard earned dollars to go anywhere on vacation where I’m assumed to be a criminal or a ‘risk to society’ and not made to feel welcome. Plenty of beautiful quiet places in the world where my family can go and we welcomed with open arms.

    Like 47
    Dislike 34
    • Anonymous says:

      Once again this is an example of the racism, bigotry and hatred of the white man. The “belongers” will run straight through immigration as the tourists are made to wait, then scrutinized by dumb, barely educated low life’s looking through your passport. Don’t forget after you go through immigration, you have the opportunity to pay the “white tax”, also known as the environmental tax. The locals don’t pay but they are the worst polluters to the Territory. Keep it going BVI. Your little secret is getting out!!!

      Like 29
      Dislike 38
      • @Anonymous says:

        Wow!!!! dumb, barely educated low life’s? WOW!!!

        Like 21
        Dislike 4
      • @Annonymous says:

        Please stay anonymous because your post is ugly and hateful!! To whom are you referring as low life? I am highly offended by this comment.It is your racism that is showing not the BVI!. Why do you think you are so entitled that you should be able to run through our lines. Don’t officers in every jurisdiction you travel to thumb through your passport?

        Wherever you travel around the globe, the residents and citizen are given preference in admittance to the country. Why should we be any different?

        In recent years racism has reared its ugly head in other parts of the world with people feeling more embolden than before. Please do not try to incite it here. Why should you interpret our policies and procedures to be “hatred of the white man”?

        I adhere to the rules of any country when I visit. I don’t agree with all of their rules; however, I comply.

        Before you try to visit our beautiful shores again, try your best to search your soul and release those biases your hold against BVI.

        Like 36
        Dislike 6
      • Fedup says:

        In the US and other countries there is a line for us citizens and another for visitors. Why is it that blacks must never get any privileges in this world even in a country they sweat to build.

        Like 20
        Dislike 8
      • @Anonymous says:

        Here is a statement, when placed in context, indicates a “dumb, barely educated low life’s.”

        “Once again this is an example of the racism, bigotry and hatred of the white man.”

        So right are you, “racism of the white man.”

        Need to take your racism back to the UK. You are on BVI News every day slandering, spewing and exhibiting your racial hatred of BVIslanders.

        Like 12
        Dislike 3
      • Lady says:

        Every where you go in the world, citizens have the first right to enter into the country; right next door in STT you see, “US Citizens” line only. So what if we do it here in the BVI, why must we have to be treated like second classed citizens in our own home.

        Like 16
        Dislike 3
      • Judy Gundersen says:

        In every country I have visited AND on returning to the US, citizens go in one line and visitors/non- residents in another; that is normal. Educate yourself…citizens are pre-screened in case you never figured that out. Drop the attitude, please.

        Like 10
        • Anonymous says:

          First, in every country including the US there are lines for both citizens and non citizens. Both lines operate simultaneously ( means the same time for all you edumacated belongers) and both lines are treated equally. In the BVI, all belongers are taken through first before the first visitor is taken. This shows your racism and bigotry. You can say what you will but it pleasures you to see the white man waiting for the Africans. Not a problem. Just don’t expect the white man and his money, his sail boats and his cruise ships to bring you money. Live off of what you produce. Let me think….hmmmm. By the way what do you produce? Oh I know, a haven for drug traffickers to launder their money. Last, all monetary transactions would cease in the Territory if all your calculators were taken away. Call me racist but everything I said is true.

          Like 4
          Dislike 12
          • Lunatic says:

            You think we are dumb, but you will be quite surprised when you have the opportunity to engage one of us without your predisposed bias!

            White entitlement syndrome does not work here!! Clearly you have a dislike for the BVI and its black majority. If you can’t deal, just leave.

            Why do you think it is okay for WHITE people to always be more privileged than other people? Are you being held or do you visit us against your will? You do have a choice.

            You sound ridiculous when you say Africans feeling pleased to see the white man waiting? LOL why do you think you should have first preference over the black man? You have a warped mind that needs repair. How long has it been since white people have forced the black man to wait in the back of the line?

            Go purge your racist soul so you could find some peace and learn to live with the only race there is, the human race!

          • lie says:

            This is a lie! The lines run simultaneously.

            Like 5
            Dislike 1
        • Rubber Duck says:

          Just because lots of countries do something does not make it right. The US attitude to visitors is atrocious. BVI islanders and others complain of it. So why are we copying them? Lets treat tourists, whom we all depend on, with some respect and a welcoming attitude.

          Like 4
          Dislike 2
      • Kinte says:

        I generally agree when you mention the corrupt goverment and officials, but if you feel the way you statedby calling us barely educated, dumb and what ever other derogatory term you would like to call us, it would be best if you stayed out of the B.V.I. as you have no ise for the people here.

        YOU ARE THE ONE INTRODUCING RACE INTO THIS, AS IF YOU SHOULD HAVE SOME SORT OF SPECIAL PRIVILEGE.

        AND BY THE WAY, NOT EVERYONE BORN IN THE N.V
        I IS BLACK.

        If you feel this way have the courage and not be anonymous.

      • It says:

        is easy to be nasty, cruel, slanderous and racist behind an anonymous blog.

        Yet, each time you reveal more and more of your demented mind.

        Sad state of humaniod existence.

    • reply says:

      don’t let the door hit you on the way out

      Like 19
      Dislike 7
    • tourist (current) says:

      “Plenty of beautiful quiet places in the world where my family can go and we welcomed with open arms.” Please let me know of that place. If it is quiet there must be a reason. Maybe there is danger to public safety. I am sure the majority of our visitors (boaters) know of all our quiet beaches, and pristine environment. That is why they come all the time. We will build our airport soon, and more visitors with money will come. Gone are the days when we were begging for visitors. The BVI is Global now!. We need security to keep out all the cheapskates.

      Like 11
      Dislike 4
    • bye says:

      @BVI Tourist(F) I am not sure if you are a VIlander being a smart a$$ or another Caribbean national who hates the VI, but base on your post you obviously don’t travel Very much or don’t read well.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  2. Albion says:

    In other countries immigration have used API to speed up immigration processing and even allow people to clear immigration using passport reading machines rather than inspection by hand. Is it too much to hope that we might one day see something similar here?

    Like 23
    Dislike 3
  3. Please says:

    Always policies to make things harder rather than punishing the offenders. The way here, is to cover up and then pass laws that affect everybody including the innocent.

    What about those who are able to get false criminal records in their countries. Is the BVI immigration going to have direct access to the records of people in those countries.

    Some of them changing their names or using different last names.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  4. Retired says:

    Please insure that the ‘enhanced border security procedures’ do NOT become a deterrent to anyone visiting or living in the BVI now. In the past 40 years some of Immigration/Custom entry & exit procedure ‘improvements’ have been more detrimental than helpful to everyone arriving and leaving.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  5. SMFH says:

    Everybody reads the headlines then straight to f—ing comment. Nobody reading or cares what the story is really about.

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  6. @Please says:

    They need to get an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in place to help with the issues pointed out by Please.”…What about those who are able to get false criminal records in their countries. …
    Some of them changing their names or using different last names.”

    The Fingerprint Identification System should help deter the criminal minds.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
    • Hanger Manic says:

      It won’t deter them. They will just chop their own fingers and thumbs off. At least one side. Once they’ve done one hand they won’t be able to hold anything to do the other one. Damn. I knew there was a flaw in my theory.

    • hgg says:

      Good point but you dont understand it is alleged that the corruption in these places run very deep. An automated system will only detect what is there unless immigration has access to records of conviction from the courts along with photos.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Most of the machines , like in the UK and US use face recognition not fingerprints.

  7. Reply says:

    At a time when the BVI is still recovering from the 2017 hurricanes, and the country is in dire need of recovery finds, this measure may prove counterproductive.

    Seems to me what should be done at this time given the current realities is to implement policies that will encourage tourism rather than policies that discourages it.

    While the API system may be beneficial to the US by serving as an anti-terrorism measure, the question is: How benefificial this will be in the BVI?

    In my view, this is a wrong move at the wrong time, and the wrong tool being applied to known BVI security problems.

    Terrorists are not running to the BVI. The problem the BVI has from a security standpoint is mostly illegal drugs, illegal guns, and the rare illegal immigrant. I dont see how API addresses these problems. Furthermore, many caught with illegal guns were local.

    Stop bitting the hand that is feeding you.
    API is of questionable value to the BVI. Save the money adapting API and redirect it elsewhere. Perhaps more emphasis and focus on border security to stem the tide of illegal drugs and guns may prove more beneficial.

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  8. Muahaha says:

    The bvi is being sold to the beast and he is protecting his investment. Branson is auctioning off lots of his island to his friends, control is being handed over to england, america, canada and mexico will be the dumping ground for immigrants and when its all over and people start to wakr up to the truth, all the elites will escape to mars on viirgin galactic to continue building their utopia and rule earth from up there. Muahahaha

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  9. Jay says:

    Some Tourist complaint about locals processing before them,every country take care of there own,look at the united states virgin Islands for (Example) see how fast American does get process while others from abroad still waiting to be.i don’t mind thats how it is all over they don’t be looking for who is tourist only we here looking for that,why don’t we get into other aspect such as finger printing.do we want to stay behind the rest of our lives.

  10. Djanger says:

    Meanwhile today the Government phone lines were down and their web site was offline. The good news is it won’t make a huge difference.

  11. Dog man says:

    BVI u had a chance to put your house in order.Now see what going to happen to Us! Because of greed ! God bless the Bvi

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  12. Brad Boynes says:

    Heard that there was one officer trained and experieneed with the APIS Initiative.Hmm. I wonder who that one officer is/was?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Conspiracy theorists are recognizing weapons of mass political and economic destruction against the BVI, emminating from the top and within down.

  14. Reason says:

    The updates of border controls is welcomed in the BVI.
    Let the Nay sayers must stop having “crab in a barrel” mentality and welcome the update of border control is offering. Other countries haves their rules/Policies. Why we can’t have too.
    We need to keep up.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  15. Diaspora says:

    Like other countries, the BVI must have strong border protection to protect the homeland; ie, residents, property, way of life……etc. The BVI has an extensive and porous coastline; it must take action to protect the homeland both at the front door and the back door.

    In the public interest and safety, all of us, residents and visitors, should welcome some reasonable review when entering the territory. By the way, when Virgin Islanders travel to other countries, they get in line and wait to be processed. Likewise when visitors are returning to their home countries, they also have to get in line to prove who they are.

    Here is a news flash. True, the BVI depends heavily on tourism and external investment but that does not means it must throw caution to the wind. It needs to protect the border and the homeland. It is an open secret that some people coming to BVI shores are traveling with false documents and fronting as someone else. The BVI cannot have open borders while others have closed borders. Thus, by any reasonable means necessary, protect the homeland.

  16. YO HO HO says:

    @ HANGER MANIC

    Do you have any space on Dead Man’s Chest? I have a bottle of rum.

  17. Hmmm says:

    Random blogger on birthright citizenship:

    “In the U.S. XYZ happens… the BVI is behind and backwards and I can’t wait to see them fail.”

    Random blogger on BVI updating its immigration standards to match the U.S.:

    “The BVI is racist and think people actually want to come here. I can’t wait for them to fail and for the world to leave them behind.”

    I guess you can’t win for losing.

    I never get why there’s always so much grumbling in these stories. If the VI have nothing worth protecting and nothing to offer why are these people still here, I wonder. What exactly do they want from us? Or are they just masochistic or insane? …Because you wouldn’t catch me living in a country I hated; being stressed and miserable. There is not enough money to get me to subject myself to be a “dog” in another man’s country. I’d rather be a pauper and an outcast on the soil that bred me than to take knock-about in another man’s country. I wouldn’t leave heaven to live in hell.

    Just saying…

    And to the person who is always race baiting. Belongers and tourists in the VI come from all races and backgrounds. Please stop trying to dress the VI in someone else’s shoes. It iscommon practice for ports all over the world to have lines for specific groups of people. If you think procedures are rasict because you see certain people doing certain things and others go learn some History and some Maths. Quite obviously in a majority black country you will see majority black people in all walks of life and positions.

  18. Rex FeRaL says:

    You ALL the BVI/ BVISLANDERS haters. If you are coming here to help me YOU are Wasting your time and money. Eff u very much.

  19. @Hmmmm says:

    Ohhh, sock it to them/he/she babeh!!!

    Sock truth to those/that race bating racist troll!!

  20. Lucy Lu says:

    I have nothing to hide API advanced Passenger System been around as once 1989!
    It’s done everytine you buy an airfare
    #its no different than USA/Canada “trusted traveler program” Nexus, Global Sentry etc

    Get with the times, I’m on the security database finger & eye scanned! 5+ years won’t travel without that card!

    USA has enhanced drivers licenses/ Chipped passports passport cards for domestic flights & Island cruising.

    BVI its no different, than any other Country or Territory that’s whose been told to update their border security systems.

    BTW Sailing in the BVI is not as easy as people think! You get checked at the airport, on the ferry & anytime, while sailing on their waters!

    Finally
    4 all those RacIST ranters …stupidly chimming in!
    Isn’t it hypocritical of you to be complaining about it’s Island descendants? To which our forefathers committed “human trafficking & slavery atrocities”against their ancestors.
    “Belongers” Belong for a reason!

  21. JJ says:

    People need to chill here. I have been coming to the BVIs for almost 20 years to charter boats and also have stayed in CGB during the off season, most recently this past March and December (both times after Irma) to support the BVIs. Yes, immigration is a pain but it is everywhere. I hate that racism is brought up, it’s so distasteful and absolutely not the case in the BVIs. As for parking lots? That person is truly ignorant and was stoking the flames. There are many many places all over the BVIs that is in its natural beauty. I will continue to travel to my favorite Caribbean country for the natural beauty of both its islands and its people.

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