BVI News

Gov’t evaluating the number of unemployed expats before issuing departure deadline — Wheatley

Minister of Labour & Immigration Vincent Wheatley said government will be assessing the number of unemployed expats currently in the territory before it issues a deadline for them to leave the territory. 

Wheatley gave that indication during a radio interview on Tuesday, July 14. 

He said: “It can’t go on forever. Last Friday, I didn’t really state a deadline that anyone must go. I will be evaluating the numbers during this week here to see exactly how many persons we are speaking about. Once I am sure how many persons we are talking about, then I could say, ‘well, two weeks seems like a fair time for you to make up your mind on what you want to do’, or ‘three weeks seems to be a fair time’.”

In explaining the rationale for the evaluation, the minister further said: “Even if we have 200 persons, how quickly can we get them out of this country? It cannot happen very quickly. Those planes don’t take too many persons right now. Even the biggest planes that come in may take 75 persons, so if you had a few hundred, it will take you a few weeks to get those persons moving under the COVID-19 rules.”

Wheatley’s statement comes days after announcing that expatriate residents who lost their jobs since COVID-19 and have no means to support themselves must leave the territory.

Task force

Meanwhile, during the aforesaid radio interview on the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton Cline talk show, the minister said a previously-implemented task force is ‘in place’ at his ministry to tackle specific issues such as the one in question.

As for expat residents who have been unemployed long before the coronavirus pandemic, Wheatley said his ministry has already given them notice to leave.

“We know who they are for the most part … We hear street people [saying] we’re trying to catch and round them up, put them on a plane. We don’t want that. That, to me, is very inhumane treatment. We want people to come forward. Let’s have a conversation. If you do need some kind of assistance to get back to your homeland or someplace else, let’s have a conversation.”

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  1. VG Resident says:

    Some islands/nations have lockdown and closed borders so they cannot go home. Youi have very limited air transport and no ferry service, so travel out of the BVI is limited.

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    • Liza says:

      You wish. People are leaving daily.

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      • Local girl says:

        Shut your mother c×=t, who sent you back from St.Thomas? classless morbidly obese pos, atleast they have where to go and take this to your grave, 90% of them have their mansions back where they came from, well atleast the Vincies, hardworking proud ambitious group of people, I went there I saw for myself and food galore, they are not hungry so all of you BVISLANDERS need to shut the F=$k up, they build our economy and they help themselves, that is living and contributing, mother England is broke and Trump don’t want ah sorry A$$ on American soil because ah you black and ugly, so ah better foster better relationships with our Caribbean neighbors.
        Trump went after China with Tariffs and the Chinese unleashed Coronavirus, mess with others and after a while you’ll see.
        The man you see today is not likely the man you’ll see tomorrow.

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        • Local girl what says:

          People like you missing the point because you are so ignorance and hateful. Please utilize your monthly salary to take care if those who are not working then. Why stick around when you don’t have a job? Leave and come back when there is work. Geez.

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    • @VG says:

      Just as the VI has opened its borders to its nationals, other islands/nations are doing the same. The issue, as you pointed out, is getting out commercially and not having to use private means, which can be costly.

    • How says:

      How exactly can we deport Wheatley to wherever the rock is located that he crawled his sorry a** out from under. These people come to the Territory, do the jobs the worthless Belonger refuses to do and when the stupidity of the government closes the Territory to visitors thus irreparably damaging the economy the first thing you want to do is throw these people out. You Belongers are truly a disgusting lot that needs the very worst to happen to you all.

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  2. Online Now says:

    This is a very difficult one for those expats who have been here for less than 5 years;
    They may have;
    – loans
    – credit cards
    – cars & personal items
    – rental agreements etc

    To quickly exit from all of that will be very difficult.

    Also, if they go “home” what is there for them? They won’t be able to claim unemployment benefits etc as they haven’t been paying into their “home” systems. They won’t have cars or homes. They will be relying on family handouts – and let’s remember a lot of expats leave “home” as they don’t have a solid family network.

    My recommendation would be to use their SS contributions. As it stands they will never claim them as they have not made 500 contributions needed for a pension. Pay it all, including the Employer contribution. Allow them to pay rent and their loans and keep supporting the economy.

    This, of course, relies on the Government making an announcement really soon on opening up so companies can make appropriate plans for these unemployed workers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How are they paying the loans, credit cards etc without employment. Bills can be paid from anywhere in the world.

      People go to school all the time with mortgages and credit cards and must pay them. They will find a way. If they go home they may find work as well. Unfortunately, the SS Act does not make provision for unemployment. This is not America. Regardless of where these people live they will claim their SS when the time comes, so if they spend it now, when they really need it it will be gone.

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      • Online Now says:

        The lack of empathy is depressing.

        No country has planned for this and everywhere is making adjustments to help residents, especially those tax payers (not just citizens).

        These people will never see a $ of the SS if they are forced to leave and don’t come back so better for them to have it mow when they really need it.

        My suggestion is obviously a short term fix to what is hopefully a short term problem and assumes the jobs will need to be filled fairly soon.

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    • Hmm!! says:

      While we understand and empathize with the affected, the government still has responsibility to run the country. They cannot for the rest of 2020 sustain the un-sustained, hence a decision must be made. It is not only us who has been affected, the entire world is in an uproar. As individuals we do realize that change has come and in someway or another we will be affected. It’s time to face our individual music and make up our minds to move on.

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    • Hmmm says:

      What about the children

  3. Just Saying says:

    Wheatley is a D*****c looking person i wonder if he prays to God

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  4. Correct says:

    Hey my people lets make a move and get out until things get better. We all came here after Irma and we tried to stay to better ourselves. We are out of work now and its better to be back in our country where we can get a few things for free. We cannot expect to stay here not paying bills. We are using water electricity gas rent and we must pay nhi.who should pay them for us??.’come on my people lets seek help if we can’t pay our way back to our country. Yes we make contributions but we get paid for it. Even when a certain Caribbean island people came here to assist with electricity they even strike one morning over payment. So we all get paid we didn’t work for free.lets go my people

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  5. Great says:

    Yes Vip do y’all thing send them island people home leave the whites they the one that actually have the money, bvi ain’t loosing a dime when them island people gone because them don’t have no job and not contributing nothing at this moment.

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    • Father Time says:


      Y’all come on here like the white people aren’t on;y supporting their white owned businesses. Nothing local love. I suggest you get your priorities in check.

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    • Lilly says:

      Stop it. Some of those white people need to go to for other reasons.

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    • See says:

      Racist at every level

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    • @great says:

      You better wise up my friend. Caucasians, for the most part, only support their own businesses and interests, what’s left can be given as scraps in the form of charitable contribution. Just enough to say that they are making a community contribution, meaning that they are helping the “locals”. If you are blind to that fact, then you should probably not say another word. Especially not about “island people”. I’m all for people who want to live in the VI and want to build a better VI, regardless of color, class or ethnicity, so don’t get my comment twisted as racist. Truth is truth. And, Hon Wheatley is doing what he must. A lot of people are acting as though it was an easy decision. Fact of the matter is none of us can live in another country illegally or without the means or the right to do so.

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  6. Vi lander says:

    Don’t allow them to come back free up the population them got the place so ghetto especially fine food up east end, and Virgin Queen in town.

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  7. Wow says:

    I think those who can support themselves shouldnt be forced to leave

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    • work permit says:

      have a work permit only allows you to reside in the BVI while working with that employer no job means you cannot stay i the BVI, its that simpleand its the form you signed on entry.

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  8. USVI resident says:

    I just wish Governor Bryan get with the bvi program we need them island people out of st Thomas especially them Haitians.

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  9. Lmaoo says:

    Who going clean my house when them gone?? Lol

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    • @Lmaoo says:

      If any was cleaning your house, they would be employed and should have been getting paid and would not need to leave.

      You can clean your house since you nasty it up!

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  10. Crazy says:

    The Virgin Islands both bvi and USVI are so racist against their own Caribbean brothers and sisters but not so against the whites is so sad.. lived in st Thomas and the same island people and down island people word them does use. Now I know Tortola and st Thomas people really related now

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  11. Tracy says:

    Good opportunity to open our doors to the Americans when they come in let loose of them down islanders out this place

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    • localman says:

      I would always take my Caribbean people over Americans. But right now those that are not working really need to return home. The door is always open when things get better.

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  12. Voter says:

    Them can’t vote either ways so government go ahead we locals with y’all.

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  13. Exp says:

    Go back you say ,we not going back to do what the same thing there so we staying here I have nothing home all my belongings here.

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  14. Cookie says:


  15. Z6one says:

    I guess those 1500 people who got their Belonger status would not qualify for deportation.

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    • Ken says:

      Its not deportation. People are allowed to return if they find work. If you are deported, you cannot set foot back on the island.

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    • Tola says:

      No. they are from here now. they are part of us. So suck it up!! Some of us Tolians need to stop being so negative towards the people from other islands. My mother did not bring me up like that.

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    • @Z6one says:

      those people got full rights, and may be calling for you to be deported!

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  16. I says:

    I sleeping with one eye open and one ? closed.

    This is government way of getting rid of unemployed non-local people in hopes that when jobs returned locals should get, I hope!!

    If some of those locals were smart, they would start grooming themselves for when jobs opened up.

  17. Fool says:

    @Z6one you dortish. If the got belonger status which means they are here more than 5 years. You fool

  18. St. Vincent says:

    Minister is very simple: Offer his person the Social Security contribution is simple and I assure you they will take the first plane that leaves BVI, they want them to leave and everyone will leave it for you. When you say you will be reimbursed there are no ploblems to leave

  19. Expat says:

    What about work permit holders who have jobs waiting for them that are needed to bring back the economy. Why is there no mention of them?

  20. What’s wrong says:

    People need to stop it, I’m not from here and since I come to the bvi over 20 years it’s been this way. I have been telling people that came after Irma to try make use of the opportunity because it will not last and will never last as I told them this is a small island and the trailer load of people that came in the work will not go on forever, no one listen to me , they were up showing off buying big rides and going strip club and drinking out them money, now you see things change now unnu see sey life hard u never send no money go a yard according to Buju. I’m not laughing at anyone because I can be put out anytime as I do not have any status but at least I’m working and very grateful to the bvi government for the opportunity, so please people have some shame and go. It’s better to be home begging and suffering than in another man country wasting time. The little money you save go home and do a little business, sell your cars and go home and buy one run as taxi and life goes on. It’s just reality, no hatred this was the norm from long time.

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  21. Wondering says:

    Last night I listened to a radio programme with a male host from another Caribbean country saying that being born in the BVI means nothing,

    It does.

    I am sorry for those who have to leave, but I am happy to see our politicians looking out for BVIslanders. Here we say east, west, home best. I wonder if nationals of other countries feel the same way.

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  22. Expatriate says:

    You bunch of c*****t politicians your you’ll have to catch me running a**holes

  23. Nationalist says:

    Alot bvi nationals are out of work too some some expats are getting flexible work work weeks.we nationals can fill those same gaps in all the professions here help us minister

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  24. White BVIlander says:

    This Government is racist.
    We, locals, don’t develop the territory and don’t allow foreigners to do it.

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  25. Hmmm says:

    What about those who have kids

  26. Be aware says:

    There are about ten men in the east end area from one Caribbean island that is here illegally. This is a fact. Some illegal for ten yrs and more . Some for three yrs without work permit. Talk with some of these people and you would here the numbers in east without work permit. One goat in east for almost four yrs without permit working with tom dick and harry
    Not paying a penny in social security NHI and social security. And there are many more just from one island and in one small area in east. Don’t talk about Josiahs bay my gosh the folks down there call it little Jamaica. Small shacks going up everyday coming like the slums in their country. Please use the task force mr minister not just have them sit in the office. And the only task force that can be effective is one headed by the immigration guru mr H×××.

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  27. JA girl says:

    U need to visit Jamaica. We have clean running spring water in our pipes NOT CISTERN!!! We have locally grown healthy food NOT IMPORTED CHEMICAL!!! We have well devoloped HIGHWAYS & FLY OVERS not dirt tracks!!! Yes there are areas with slums but majority is not. Get off your big boat and teavel a bit. BVI is 1950 jamaica! Jamaica is a major tourist destination for a reason!! We are warm and welcoming to all color and race. We are human! Ee DO NOT use terms like “down-island” because ee see people as people/human beings. That is why JAMAICA is BLESSED!!! If a shipment does not come to bvi, u all cant eat!!! Stop bashing other people’s country we ARE ALL BLACK PEOPLE!!

    Like 12
    • @JA girl says:

      Since your country is so wonderful and better than the BVI they should be happy return. From what you said that means the Minister is doing them a favour by asking them to return to their country where there are better opportunities. Why stay here? It is strange that they come from modern Jamaica and refuse to leave the BVI which is like “1950 Jamaica.”

  28. Nationalist says:

    East end and Josiah bay are filled with illegal immigrants mr.fahie and mr Wheatley please clean up this area its turning into a shanty town

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