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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