Cabinet has approved a list of costs that visitors will be mandated to pay under government’s Work In Paradise Programme (WIPP) which seeks to attract longer-stay tourists.
The programme was developed as part of the government’s plan to revive local tourism, which is experiencing major declines because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Cabinet, the following costs will apply to individuals or groups that register for the programme:
• Individual —$1,500
• Couple —$2,000
• Family —$2,750
• Dependent —$500
• Other (Nanny, Chef, etc) —$250.00
$10K fine for working with local companies
Since the programme seeks to attract people who are already employed in their home countries and are seeking to work remotely in the BVI, government has made it illegal for them to work with local companies once they arrive in the territory.
A fine of $10,000 will be paid by persons found to be in contravention of the work restrictions. Additionally, such persons would be barred from re-entering the BVI under the Work In Paradise Programme.
At the last Cabinet meeting on April 14, government made it clear that WIPP participants will not qualify for permanent residency based on time spent under the programme.
Tax and visa waivers
To attract as much individuals to the WIPP, the government also waived visa requirements for persons from countries that normally require visas to enter the territory.
Additionally, WIPP awardees will not be required to make Social Security payments, pay work permit fees, or pay Customs duties on “small personal items for use during the approved period”.
Cabinet further waived National Health Insurance (NHI) payments for WIPP participants. However, government has made it mandatory for these WIPP awardees and dependents to have private insurance while in BVI.
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