BVI News

Expats regularised as Belongers now buying land, building homes

A section of Tortola. (BVI News photo)

Expats living in the BVI for decades did not want to save money in the territory because they did not feel they would be given a home here.

This is according to Premier Andrew Fahie who was responding to questions from members of the media during a press conference last Thursday.

Citing the fact that some expatriate residents had been living in the territory for as much as 35 years, yet still felt uncertain about their future in the BVI, Fahie said: “One of the reasons persons who were not investing their money who were living here for years is because they didn’t feel that the country – no matter how much they applied – was recognising them for being here after all these years.”

The Premier is now claiming vindication in regularising the status of more than a thousand persons in the first year of his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration.

In May 2019, the government introduced its fast-track regularisation programme for persons who had been living in the BVI for more than 20 years.

“A lot of those persons since then have purchased land, have started to build. So, the proof is in the pudding that we did help persons who have been here for years,” Premier Fahie said.

Unpopular move brought unity

At the time it was done, the Opposition and several sections of the community decried the lack of engagement and consultation before the initiative was implemented.

Consultations were subsequently held after a hue and cry was raised, but this did not appear to appease many of the naysayers.

But while it appeared to be an immensely divisive and unpopular move that cause severe blowback, the Premier said the regularisation brought unity to the territory.

“We were able to unify this place as much as we could, and we did it in our first year,” he stated.

It was the right thing to do

Meanwhile, Premier Fahie continued to insist there was no political motive behind the initiative, particularly because it was done in the first year of his administration and not the third or fourth.

“So, there was a lot of uncertainty and there was some division along that line and we were able to regularise in terms of the Belonger status for over a thousand persons.”

Despite all the hullabaloo and apparent expended political capital, the Premier intimated that he was comfortable with the outcome of the initiative.

“Some persons are still not happy with it but it was the right thing to do,” he stated.

 

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37 Comments

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  1. Hmm says:

    Those here over 35 years should be allowed to buy land and build homes they’re now one of us but them other island people who here fresh feel them obligated to get things here in the bvi and that’s not how it works

    Like 42
    Dislike 10
    • Guy Hill says:

      There is no law that prohibits anyone local of foreign from buying land in the Virgin islands that I know of.

      • Curious says:

        Hahahaha – this is a joke right! Try the extra tax that expats have to pay on buying the property as anon belonger, the wait for 12 months to get a non belongers land holding licence approved, the fact that belongers have the right over the foreigners to buy the property – which artificially forces up the prices and no guarantee that you will be allowed to live in it if you dont have or lose your work permit and that’s without the anti-expat attitude.

  2. BVILANDER says:

    You are to be commended for that move Mr.Premier.
    Many of our decent and hardworking brothers and sisters can now feel a sense of belonging.
    This can only help to make the BVI a more inclusive and better place.

    Like 28
    Dislike 3
  3. De*****l man says:

    Where are the stats on this? You always coming spouting your mouth without facts to try fool people. You didn’t campaign on regularizing so much people like this one time. You know that you would have met resistance if you did. It was nowhere in your manifesto but you did it three months after getting elected. That is call deception Mr. Premier. It’s not that anybody against people living and contributing here getting belongers, it was the deceitful way in which you did it. If you can’t understsvd that then you are worse off than I thought.

    Like 18
    Dislike 19
  4. .... says:

    @Hmmm You hit the nail on the head. It is those Johnny come lately that is talking their Shinanigans as if they have entitlement to the Territory.

    Like 8
    Dislike 11
  5. Stewww says:

    Where is the lie
    You ppl treating expats like dogs
    Why save your money here when you are not welcome
    This is the only island ppl live for years and can’t own anything
    Other islands give you papers after 15 years

    Like 18
    Dislike 16
    • Big Sis says:

      You saying we all treat “you all like dogs” but why is that? Some of you all came here and deceit us and expected us to feel good about it. So when you say one you must say two. You all did a lot of s**t to us in the beginning that is why some of felt this way.

      Like 6
      Dislike 4
    • .... says:

      @Stewww. Then go where you feel you can get papers.

      Like 1
      Dislike 5
    • Notso says:

      Some countries send you home after 6 and 7 years too,?but you come to the Bvi expecting. Nobody owes you anything.

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
  6. Rastarite says:

    And it will help him get re-elected – pure coincidence of course…

    Like 11
    Dislike 3
  7. Hodgie says:

    But still yet the white man can buy land here before even entering the territory. We are the most racist society.

    Like 14
    Dislike 15
  8. What!!! says:

    Can only buy if someone is selling, no one forcing anyone to sell land.

    Like 27
    Dislike 2
  9. Yawn says:

    What deceitful way? They spoke scout it in campaign rallies. The fast track was one of the most advertised government move ever. Large public meetings that were also live streamed. The media was covering the event and there were many articles about it. There was nothing wrong in helping people that lived here for 20 or more years. Some of them here so long, went through the entire school system you swear they were from here.

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  10. bottom line says:

    he sold us out

    Like 3
    Dislike 22
  11. redstorm says:

    One way to include people is to make them feel that sense of community spirit. Given them a piece of paper then tell them its a privilege and how you can take it back its not they way. It is more than that , if you consider what they will gain, many politicians should have done it years ago.

    There are not many expat here living among the natives for twenty and thirty years. Becoming a citizen of another country means a increase in population an increase in contributions of taxes, which means government can improved road, have a bigger senior citizen home and able to feed them and lot more can be done in different areas. When people feel a sense of belonging they will invest more , which build a better community. They will experience that people actually cares , they will vote for those people a million times over.
    People naturally has to gain that point of drive and present need of fulfilment. Abraham Maslow theory of self actualization is for man to achieved its need of love, food , water, rest and a sense of security such as safety and Belonging , a feeling of accomplishment and a full potential. However, most older folk has reach the point of actualization in their own country after a period they return to their country.

    Therefore it would have been best to give the consideration at a younger age of ten years, when young people who have their strength, creativity and skills to be use in building now. As they will only build in their own home country , if they do not see its potential in the BVI.

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  12. Yawn says:

    More B..S… you dont need to be a belongher to buy land. The only difference between a belongher vs a non belongher buying land, is that Govt has to approve the purchase for a non belongher.

    Like 12
    Dislike 3
    • Not true says:

      The taxes are like three times higher (4% vs. 12% I think) making it more difficult to purchase land for certain demographics when added with the licence requirements. Also, since last May there has been a “Stamp Duty holiday” for Belongers which would make it a lot easier. Honestly, I know a lot of Belongers feel the need to protect our little rock, but regularizing those persons who have been here for such a long time was absolutely the right move by the Hon. Premier. I do not agree with everything he has done in his tenure, but this was commendable. It needed to be done, it is inhumane to treat people living among us for so long some for 40 and 50 yrs any differently…

  13. Local says:

    Strupes tis who u is…theres many here less than ten years and they have.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  14. Charnele says:

    BVIslanders, Expats are not only from the islands. The whites who have the money are buying the lands but all you are seeing are the people who look just like you (black people) watch out the bVI will soon belong to the white expats and you will have to bow down to them. When will we has Africans, yes Africans which we are learn to live with each other in love and harmony.

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  15. Maxwell says:

    If it’s one thing slavery thought black people was how to tear your fellow black brothers and sister down while every other race moves ahead. A sad fact. I wish we would recognize that and do the opposite.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  16. Norris Turnbull says:

    You do not have to be a Belonger or be here 35 years to buy land or house. Stop telling lies. Immigration status move was all political. Does Bermuda grant status Nilly Willy? Give me a darn break. Some get Belonger status and still send home all their money and hate on the BVI and its people same way. That’s the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Hey
    life is real in the Virgin Islands also.Bitch now.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  17. aplus says:

    everyday you buy Jordan it could be block..priorities screw up.

  18. mmm says:

    stop peeping dread

  19. LILLIAN says:

    HATERS!!! HATERS!!! YOU ALL WERE SLAVE AND HAD PEOPLE IN THE SAME WAY YOU ALL WERE SO WHATS WRONG NOW? FREEDOM!! STOP TAKING REVENGE ON PEOPLE WASNT THEIR FAULTS THAT BLACK PEOPLE WERE SLAVE LOL!! STOPPED!

  20. dictator says:

    regularising people in a proper way with criteria was the right thing to do.

    unlike the friends of the former *** who were regularised under the table after irma

  21. Curious says:

    yeah we dont want them but we want the money from them though

  22. Captain Flint says:

    So its ok for workers to pay the payroll tax, SSB and NHI, the very inflated prices for food, cars and rent for years and years and years but not be recognised for their contributions to BVI society and economy and told that’s its you can go back now to wherever you came from? No matter what colour, gender or race or age that can never be right. What happened to the principle of ‘Love your Neighbour’?

  23. Wow-Welcome to the BVI says:

    What about us BVIslanders who want land keep applying for crown land and cannot get piece of land. Different Government same behaviour…only care about themselves and their close friends and family. Everybody else better fend for themselves.

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