BVI News

Gov’t offers two-week amnesty period to regularize qualified expats

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie is following through on his promise to regularize qualified expatriates, granting them a two-week amnesty period to apply for status in the territory.

This announcement was made by the Premier at a media conference held today May 7 to officially announce the process for which qualified individuals will have to undertake to gain permanent status.

“Beginning Monday, May 13th people who have been continuously resident here for more than 15 years and have met all the other criteria which we will detail, can apply to have their status regularised. This process provides a clear path to regularisation, in some cases, residency and in others Belonger status, and in most cases, residency straight to Belonger status,” Premier Fahie said.

He also said an amendment to the relevant Immigration legislation is scheduled to be made in the upcoming week to support the project.

“We are going to make an amendment to the law which will come into the House of Assembly on the 17th. That law which we will be making the amendment to will allow for this initiative to come into being,” Premier Fahie said.

Reasons for initiative

Premier Fahie listed a number of reasons he believes this initiative is the right thing to do. He said he views it as a duty that is well deserved to long-time expatriate residents who have earned the right to become a Belonger or permanent resident.

“People who belong can now have the cloud of uncertainty lifted off their heads and so they can invest in their own future and in extension that of the territory. It strengthens our security. People with more opportunities who do not have doors being closed in their faces are less likely to turn to illegal activities just to get by, to survive or to move ahead,” the Premier reasoned.

He added: “It is legal and in keeping with our constitution. The rule has been long established that people who have been resident here for more than 15 years or more, who do not provide a security threat to the society and do not have a criminal record, can have their residency confirmed.”

Dissemination of information

Premier Fahie also revealed that there will be information sessions available for qualified interested persons on the four main islands in the near future. Persons who attend these sessions will be able to receive application forms to begin the process.

He further said official information regarding how to apply for the residency or Belonger status will be readily available on the Premier’s ‘Special Projects’ Facebook page, the government’s official webpage (www.bvigov.vg), and by calling the special help desk number which is to be announced through a public information campaign.

Documents required and cost

The Premier said, to apply, each person a must have “one application form, two reference letters, two passport photos, one birth certificate, an original local police record and other police records that’s deemed necessary, one bank statement, one copy of a trade license, one copy of non-belongers landholding license and land transfer if applicable, certified copies of academic professional qualifications if applicable, and one marriage certificate if applicable.”

Persons who have already received residency status will pay $810 to start the process to become a Belonger, while persons who have to apply for both residency and Belonger statuses will have to pay $1,500.

Deadlines

The cut-off date in collecting application forms from qualified individuals is May 31t and the Premier said he expects applications to be fully processed and finalised within the following month.

“I’ll put it for you this way, in June, we already have the ceremony planned when everybody will be attending. I told them I’m not passing June with this, so whatever manpower is needed, I told them to let me know and we’re going to bring the manpower in,” the Premier said.

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57 Comments

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  1. Good says:

    …but! Theres usually an interview and verification process especially for belonger by descent or marriage but now we will process hundreds on 2 weeks when we couldnt do it in the past in 2yrs. It will be fun to watch.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
    • Anonymous says:

      All a bunch of B.S. This is being done to try a placate the Brits who are demanding that the Belonger BS be eliminated. It’s time for the Apartheid Territory and racist Territory to accept that they have no claim to the land

      Like 5
      Dislike 13
      • Rubber Duck says:

        The British are not concerned with the status of down island or US citizens. They are concerned only with the existence of a two tier system where one set of British citizens have given themselves superior status to another set of British citizens in a British territory. That cannot and will not be allowed to continue.

        I cannot see how this initiative affects that.

    • Time for Periodic Work Permits says:

      It is now time to implement ‘Periodic Work Permits’ policies like our Caribbean neighbors to safeguard the citizens of the territory. It would be completely irresponsible to.

      Bermuda Policies…

      Periodic Work Permits
      Purpose and Specifications
      A Periodic Work Permit is to be used by employers seeking to hire non-resident individuals who will make multiple visits to the Island over a period of time, staying no greater than thirty (30) days for each visit. Advertising is not required.

      Periodic Work Permits may be granted for periods of one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4) or five (5) years.
      After arrival, if the holder of a Periodic Work Permit requires a stay longer than thirty (30) days, the employer may apply for an extension of up to a further thirty (30) days by submitting a Visitor Extension Application. The Periodic Work Permit holder shall not be in Bermuda for more than a total of one hundred and eighty (180) days per calendar year.

      Like 1
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  2. Lunacy says:

    Mr. Hon Sir! Why are you allowing mad men to ruin the country? Sitting on your power and do nothing. Big disappointment, HUGE!

    Like 5
    Dislike 22
    • @Lunacy says:

      Speak for yourself. I think Fahie is doing an excellent job. He has made some errors but who hasn’t. He continues to make GREAT positive strides.

      Like 12
      Dislike 3
      • Really says:

        What about JW, only delusional persons would think he was a smart choice. The blogger is correct he is sitting on his power and doing nothing to fix this fiasco!

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
  3. Happy says:

    God bless your Heart Honourable Fahie for what you have done for his people. God sent you as a Moses to deliver from the hands of Pharaoh. May he continue to instruct, inspire and multiply his grace upon you and your team in this season.
    We are all one in the site of the Lord.
    You will forever be in my prayers.
    God Bless!!

    Like 25
    Dislike 4
    • Selah says:

      I hear horns of celebrations I see hurricane moving away I see earthquakes moving away from this little territory this a Blessing on the Entire Bvi Thank You Jesus For Your Guidance Some May not See it this way but when the Praises goes up what comes down?{ Blessings} Thank You Minister Fahie and ur Entire Administration Team VIP

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
  4. the fox says:

    Use a different name. Ammensety is for illegal immigrants. Be careful with the English Language. By the time these people put their papers together which were some conveniently lost the time would have expired. Good one!!

    Like 13
  5. Flowers says:

    Wow Irma forced me to leave after 18 yrs because I had nowhere to live. Look how I missing out on something I was working towards

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
    • Smh says:

      Yeah, I feel your pain. I’ve been living here almost 30yrs now and was given the run around when trying to get residency..now after Irma,I lost my apartment and job..so to find that $1500 right now,it tough for me smh

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
    • 24 years says:

      I also had to leave after Irma despite my 24 years there, I still call it home though I may never be able to afford to return. Someone said to me that i turned my back on the BVI, the reality is that the BVI turned its back on its residents for too many years. It’s nice to see that something is being done about it now, even though its too late for me.

      Like 20
      Dislike 1
      • Faith says:

        Lucky for you that you had somewhere to go. I have to stay in the BVI. You are blessed so stop speaking negative and being ungrateful.

  6. NO!!!! says:

    TREASON! TREASON TREASON! #Don’tTreadOnME!!!

    This is NOT the will of the people, indigenous Virgin Islanders!!! The blood of our ancestors are crying out!!! We will NOT be silenced!!! #HLSTOUTT #FAULKNER #NOELLYOYD

    Like 9
    Dislike 40
    • So true! says:

      Our forefathers must be turning in their graves…smh… ” Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”

      Premier you have violated our trust…the very ones that voted you in.

      Like 5
      Dislike 27
    • Anonymous says:

      You are not f*****g indigenous to the land you stupid uneducated moron. You are as smart as your ancestors

      Like 9
      Dislike 3
    • hhmm says:

      all of our ancestors came to the west indies in the same ship. Maybe all of are relatives because we all came maybe from the same village in Ghana.

      • think says:

        They want you to believe that you came in a ship. when in fact you was already here from the start. they separated us from or story telling and children just like the aboriginal people of Australia we blacks was here

  7. son of the soil says:

    This man selling out both we and the country

    Like 11
    Dislike 26
  8. strupes says:

    Mayson wha schupidness yo doin – we dun outnumbered

    Like 9
    Dislike 19
  9. Watching says:

    This is for the rich and famous. Poor people will never be a part of this. I feel bad for people in the country so long with their application already in , these people are not going to be in the fast track. Come again premier, good intentions but you need to give the people that are in the backlog theirs first. This is a competition poor and rich competing. Ridiculous

    Like 7
    Dislike 8
    • @Watching says:

      You left out one important fact, which is probably the driving force behind this legislation behind closed doors, and around table tops where envelopes are easily passed unseen:

      “This is for the “white,” and rich. famous,?” maybe.

      Like 2
      Dislike 5
      • Lodger says:

        I thought it was aimed more at Caribbean people, though many whites have also been here a long time without status. I wonder how many waiters there are and whether they could possibly be processed in two weeks and sworn in within the month. They have a lot of paperwork and money to find. That alone will cause many to fall by the wayside. Premier is trying to beat any deadline that might be set by UK to eliminate Belonger status, and thus possible extra voters.

        • Rubber Duck says:

          The so called abolition of belonger status would only affect British Citizens who are resident here and not belongers. That is a small number. It would not affect the status of the citizens of any other countries , not the USA , not St Vincent etc.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      You are right. It will be a disgrace and against the humanitarian purpose of this move if some people who qualify cannot afford the high fees and thus fail.

      Let poorer folk pay over time Mr Fahie.

  10. Jah Jah People says:

    Mr. Premier. Don’t be daunted by the naysayers. They are just selfish and shortsighted. Check and see how many of the same ones running their mouths have U.S as well as British passports.
    To whom much is given, much is expected.
    I, for one, will work even harder now to make this place a better place knowing that I have some kind of permanence. Thank you Hon. Fahie. You are a smart man. Together we are stronger!

    Like 36
    Dislike 4
  11. wHaT!?!?! says:

    Name another country with a population of ~30k that gives over citizenship, voting rights, political power, and land to a non-native populous and puts the indigenous people in subjugation???

    #I’ll Wait…

    Oh also, this happens in a so called democracy without consulting the CURRENT voting public about the future of their country…

    #ILOVEMYVI

    Like 6
    Dislike 15
    • @what says:

      Try finding a dictionary you stupid moron. You are not indigenous. You are a squatter on the Queen’s land. Your forefathers were slaves that other islands didn’t want. The worse of the worse.

      Like 9
      Dislike 5
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Monaco. The wealthiest country on the planet.

      Next question.

  12. CW says:

    Always with the opinions BVI, BUT NEVER SOLUTIONS. STRUPES what would you do then? Let this man try before you assume he fails. But you want him to fail because all people in BVI do is TEAR EACH OTHER DOWN FOR NO GOOD REASON

    Like 10
  13. Huh says:

    This is for “Professionals”! It is DISCRIMINATION”. Most “Professional” exparts don’t stay in the BVI that long. They move on to the next country that will pay them more than the exorbitant amount they are paid here. They are not loyal to the BVI. What about those persons who have been here for 15 years or more? Some 30 or more. They aren’t professionals but they are LOYAL to the BVI. Andrew needs to pause. He needs to show his integrity by first dealing with masters such as Willock who has allowed a little power to go up in his head almost immediately. Andrew needs to let the people and indeed the world know what his views are on this Willock issue. Whether you like Vanderpool or not this situation is proof that Andrew made the wrong choice in putting forward a childish, unprofessional and c***y man to be the speaker of the house. This in my view is the urgent matter for the premier. Not regularising professionals.

    Like 7
    Dislike 7
    • @Huh says:

      How did you come to that conclusion? It says if you’re here for 15 years straight, no criminal record and would like to make the BVI your permanent home you should apply and once you meet the requirements you will be granted the status by next month. Where does it say you have to be a ‘professional’ to qualify?

    • Rubber Duck says:

      What is it you dont understand about the 15 years qualifier?

  14. Lodger says:

    I suppose it is a good idea but amnesty is the wrong word. These people have done nothing wrong. I suppose it wouldnt have anything to do with the UK government committees recommendation to do away with belonger status? Get them in before the gate closes and they will be so grateful they will vote for us.

    Like 13
  15. ReX FeRaL says:

    Question? How can responsible man and women agree to a scheme that would make them aliens in their own country?

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
    • Easy says:

      It’s up to the PEOPLE of a country to decided how they deal with those who are not indigenous and have no blood or ancestry, NOT the opinion or “calling” of one person. ESPECIALLY, when the PEOPLE voted for him to ensure this does NOT happen to them. WE the PEOPLE have been “bamboozled, hoodwinked, led astray, run amuck, and flat out deceived!” #KEEPBVItheBVI

      Like 5
      Dislike 7
  16. Hmm says:

    The people knew that the premier allegedly had issues in the past. We will see if any of his ministers have the guts to get up and talk for what is right.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  17. son of the soil says:

    These ungrateful island people want to take over this country and change our ways. Most of them only want belongers to avoid paying for work-permits

    Like 4
    Dislike 13
  18. blind man says:

    I see fahie as a threat to national security…………….A traitor

    Like 4
    Dislike 10
    • Exactly! says:

      He has betrayed the very BVI blood that runs in his veins!!! I hope the 1st District realize what disgrace has has brought upon the honour of the Men who have served this country…It’s a shame and embarrassment!

      Like 2
      Dislike 11
  19. hehehehehehehehe says:

    A laughing because ayo say MW was giving away the country……

    this is what you get…..

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  20. GREAT Premier says:

    I admire and love this Premier because he is fearless. I am an indigenous BVIslander and I agree with Fahie.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  21. REALLY says:

    I think it is a good move by the Premier.
    We have people living here in the BVI for centuries and can’t get proper status come on people!!!
    There must be a BALANCE…..If we want the economy to grow and be fruitful as we all preach, we must have a BALANCE. We can’t have people living in the BVI for a hundred years paying taxes and making other contributions without proper status. We can’t continue to promote ‘Nature’s Little Secret’ and cannot foresee growth within our country. Perfect example, we experienced two category 5 hurricanes back to back in 2017 and there is no way in hell that a hand full of construction workers in the BVI would have been able to restore this country. People from all corners of the earth came in to assist whether by wind or by force. This born here thing is a sad story that needs to be banished seriously. What does born here or son of the soil even mean? 99.99% of born here have roots from other islands whether down, up, across, inside, outside whatever. We will travel abroad to further our education, further our careers, set up a home etc. Every country have their own status requirement some more stringent than others but there must be a BALANCE. It’s time to change the atmosphere in the BVI and build a better BVI to secure all our futures. The Premier has taken the lead and others should follow and set an example.
    At present look how funny it is:
    Crazy Bank rates
    Crazy insurance
    Crazy Taxes
    Crazy prices
    Companies downsizing
    Layoffs
    Pay cuts

    Like 15
  22. Existing Applications says:

    What is happening with the EXISTING residency and belonger status applications? Will those people finally get an answer too????

  23. Wow! says:

    Oh, dearie me! Our new government is selling out our birthright for thirty pieces of silver. How much lower can we get?

    Like 1
    Dislike 6
  24. Js says:

    Fahie sign up to be a full member of CARICUM since you need them to help you fight off the British and open the gates to free movement for the island people the..

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  25. Land Next!! says:

    Great initiative. Please do the same with these land applications, which have been sitting for years without a single word as to the status of these applications!!

  26. O shut up says:

    Yall worried about the wrong things . When the GAY* rights in place let me see the real action. Wake up

  27. Yes says:

    Who is going to look out for our children and are these people also getting Police Certificates from their country. Especially those who are only here for 15 years.

  28. Smile says:

    This topic has made it quite obvious who the majority of the bloggers are.

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