BVI News

Gov’t will limit the time work permits holders can stay if businesses don’t start hiring locals!

Minister of Labour & Immigration Vincent Wheatley has warned that limited periods could be attached to new work permits if businesses do not comply with government’s goal of transitioning the labour force to mostly local.

Wheatley said this goal to move towards having a higher ratio of locals in the BVI’s workforce is because the existing ratio is unsustainable.

“I think right now it’s 30 percent locals and 70 percent expats. That 30 needs to go up towards the 70’s. It’s not an overnight fix and I have been appealing to all of the companies in the territory to work with us, the government. Let’s get together, let’s make this a priority, let’s start shifting that ratio around,” the minister said during Tuesday’s airing of the Honestly Speaking radio programme.

“If there is too much resistance, we are going to be forced to do like what Cayman [Islands] do. They say after five years, pack up and leave and never come back. That’s how they have solved their problem,” he further said.

Non compliance will result in ‘extreme measures

While expressing that it is not the government’s intention to force the hand of local businesses, Wheatley warned that government will take whatever measures are necessary to achieve its goal.

“I’ll talk with anybody who wants to listen to me on our intentions to have more locals in the work than outsiders. Let’s move in that direction. If it is going too slow, you’re going to force us to get draconian and say, ‘you know what, if you don’t want to move, we are going to force you to move by limiting your work permits’,” he said.

“To me, that is an extreme way of doing it. I don’t want to start there … It is not a place to start because we know we must have outside talent. Every country in the world must have outside talent,” the minister further said.

BVI’s model of awarding Belongership flawed

Wheatley also commented on the current model whereby work permit holders gain Belongership after working in the territory for 20 consecutive years or more.

He described the model as flawed and one that will continue to stifle local employment if measures are not taken to develop a new system.

 “That is not a sustainable model. It’s probably good for some businesses, absolutely, because I can come here and I can have a full career in the BVI and then get citizenship afterwards. But what about those persons who are here all the time? The fact that you are coming to have a career here, we want our people to have careers in the same area,” he stated.

“I’d advise persons who are sitting wherever you are in the world who are thinking about coming to the BVI that things are likely to change.”

Minister Wheatley said his ministry plans to meet with a consultant before year-end to work on an immigration reform policy that is expected to solve many of the existing issues in the current system.

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87 Comments

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  1. Education says:

    Threatening talented and educated Expats, developing and investing in our economies for decades will take you down a dangerous path. Ask the Cayman Islands how that worked out for them. They are offering to sponsor the return of many they expelled previously.

    Instead, how about Government take responsibility to properly educate and train your children? Throwing them on the street at 16 or 17 years of age, never having worked, without any experience or training in any field – this is your local workforce. You expect business, at their expense, to train your uneducated and inexperienced workforce? You will find businesses relocating in increasing numbers to less hostile venues.

    Gotta go, time to start boxing up the equipment.

    Like 199
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  2. Styles says:

    Dear Vicenzio

    Your logic is very dangerous and your policies are very divisive.

    You do realize that the fast majority of the working force is on work permits. How in the world are we able to employ a majority of locals? It looks like you have trouble with basic calculus.

    Furthermore, can you please for once make a comment on locals needing to put in the hard work instead of giving them the feeling they simply have the right to receive.

    The community we have in the BVI is in danger. In danger of splitting up. Please can you read some history books on what happens to societies that are divided? They collapse.

    And when that happens, you were to blame with your silly comments and your shallow policies.

    Locals already have the first dips based on the labour code. Just make sure you monitor this properly instead of your hateful messages in the media. Be a leader, not an instigator of negativity.

    Thank you.

    Like 183
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  3. Liar says:

    You are being dishonest mr. Weatley.

    Do not misuse the Cayman example here! In Cayman people have the chance to become locals if they contribute to the community and if they do they don’t ever have to leave. Your comment on having to leave after 5 years is simply not true!

    Have some dignity and stop spreading false truths. Or become friends with the orange leader of the US, because you are starting to look like him.

    Furthermore, if we have 70% of locals do the work there are not enough people doing the work. It’s simple math… you rely too much on work permit holders to have such a target. Shortsightedness.

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  4. Ll says:

    Smh. There will be alot of problem because some local just lazy.

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  5. Send us all away says:

    And you’ll see who is going to rent your $3,000 per month apartments.

    Do you know how to catch fish Weatley from an empty ocean? Becuase there are not going to be fancy financial services jobs anymore.

    Do you know how to grow crops in this climate to feed your population 365? Because nobody is going to man the marinas if we are all gone.

    You need new glasses mate. You are so shortsighted.

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  6. LOL says:

    Keep it up Vincent…but, remember God is in control.

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  7. Hire locals says:

    Sure I want to hire locals, if they are qualified, educated and hard working.

    If not, a work permit holder who is qualified, educated and hard working please.

    Not just a local for the sake of it being a local. It has to be someone who I want in my business for my business to thrive.

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  8. Islander says:

    What if the belongers don’t want to work at that particular place? You watching Cayman islands and want to do what they do and think is something good your doing, you’ll severely damage your economy . Look how covid come to show true colours, all the time the islanders here it’s not a prob but all of a sudden ohhh too much islanders here working? What ah bunch ah crap! I said it before and I’ll say it again we all need each other to survive and build the country such small minded you think MR….🙄🙄

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  9. Jane says:

    Cayman caps work permits at nine years, not five. Its troubling when Ministers make inaccurate statements in this way.

    That said there is also a Key Employee status in Cayman too, so that senior staff arent forced to leave.

    Cayman would be an excellent example to follow. Their Labour and Immigration rules are transparent, published and not subject to manipulation by well-connected persons. There is a clear pathway to Permanent Residency which includes local investment and community activities. The rules are strict and it isnt an easy path but the path is there and it seems to be evenly applied to all.

    Having been in Cayman for a few months post-Irma I can say that their Immigration and Labour staff are pleasant and professional. Their system operates very efficiently. It is like night and day compared to BVI. I can only hope that the Minister can visit Cayman soon and learn a trick or two from how things are done there.

    Like 116
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  10. Mad Max says:

    Wow! He has just put off a load of potential recruits with his language. It is difficult and expensive enough to attract the right caliber of professional staff as it is.

    His facts are also incorrect re the Cayman Islands and their immigration policy.

    I wonder if this is policy or if he is making it up as he goes along. Either way, very damaging for the long term recovery of the Territory.

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  11. true says:

    They should limit the amount of time on a woek permit to 5 years maybe even 3 years as this would male the countries over burdened school system come back in line, think about how many actual BVIslanders children are in the public school system compared to people on work permits. This is needed NOW

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  12. Ausar says:

    Thank you, Honourable Wheatley!

    This was a major loophole in which racist expat employers can escape from hiring BVIslanders!

    We should have had this in place for quite some time. I will not agree that expats should be thrown out forcefully, but we need control in insuring much more Belongers are employed!

    This is a new day of TRUE leadership in this territory!

    Thanks!

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  13. IT CAME BACK TO HAUNT US says:

    I CAN RECALL YEARS AGO WHEN FRASER WANTED TO DO WORKPERMIT LIMITS WHERE THE PERSON HAD TO EXIT AND REAPPLY AND IT WAS THE SAME TOLIANS WHO REJECTED IT

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  14. free advice says:

    Make it mandatory for on the job training for all students and after every graduation force them to hire

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  15. vim says:

    vincent i beleive you should think before you talk, this does not sound good,

    “I’d advise persons who are sitting wherever you are in the world who are thinking about coming to the BVI that things are likely to change.”

    are you telling whoever that they must not come to the bvi, careful what you say my friend it might just turn around and bite you,

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  16. Social Engineering says:

    If the present work force is 30% belonger and 70% on work permits and you want change balance the other way around, you will need to increase the local birthrate by at least 50% to provide the labour pool needed. Better get a prescription for Viagra and get busy ” The Country Needs You “

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  17. Cookie monster!! says:

    Jus’ my 2cents about this fiasco as I am a local, yes for some reason the stigma of being lazy has been attached to locals which will cause a back and forth debate but the truth be told as we may know it’s unfair to brand all locals with such, yes a whole lot are lazy and just down right don’t want to work and we could go around the territory an Identify them.. the locals who parents are not from here are the most hard working and go getters once their parents from here the mindset is way different and we see it in the work place everyday an even in the school system because the mindset is the ministers going give me this and that, and many children who had the opportunity to come to the BVI young grasp the same mindset of the locals who don’t want to work but just hang out on corners..

    The next big thing is training for the various jobs is not everybody going be a jacket and tie employee, we going need mechanic,builders, waitress and lots more but these are jobs that locals look down on if anyone remember solid waste 15-20 years ago it was full with island ppl now it’s dominant by locals so it took us all these years to realise what we was losing out on. Look at the prison and police workforce why are we not preparing our youths for these rolls, instead of making them think it’s a must for business places to higher them encourage them to become skilled implement mandatory courses in school such as ,woodwork, plumbing,electrical, home ec and not just the cooking clothing and textiles art and craft so every child from grade 6 up to college.. for every child to be promoted they must have passes in atleast one technical subject.. barbering and cosmetics, housekeeping can be added to hlscc curriculum…

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  18. THINK GOVERNMENT! says:

    Did they forget that many of us locals are a mixture production of expats?? I, a born BVIslander personally work alongside many other locals and many are not willing to actually work. Many remain unprofessional and lazy. The government presenting a situations like this will only worsen the problem especially in a critical time like this and cause some of these lazy locals to feel even more entitled. Do they even care why companies rather go through the stress of applying for work permits instead of easily hiring locals??? Does that not speak volume?! If positions are filled with unqualified and unprofessional persons just because they are locals what will become of our BVI??

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  19. Local businesses says:

    Local businesses can double their profits if more locals are employed,they will spend more money locally,where as the expats spend just for the mere necessities because most of their money goes back to their homeland. You local businesses think you have everything figured out. You think
    you are gaining if you employ expats because you have more control you pay them less wages ect. If locals who will spend their money locally are not gainfully employed then not much money will circulate in the local economy. Then if your company is not making money you cannot pay tax, SS AND NHI. You may think that this practice of locking out the locals out of the workforce is good but in the long run it will hurt you as well. I do not see where the local companies are any better off for doing this when you still cannot pay tax,SS and NHI and stlll looking to the Government for help in times of trouble. Some people have all the advise for Government but you all calling down Hon. Wheatley for the ideas he put forward because your eyes are closed with the greed that you cannot see your nose. Keep it up it will get worse. If the BVIslander have nothing to loose because of this practice then we will all suffer. If this continue BVIslanders will loose and so will everybody else.

    Like 11
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  20. Unbelievable says:

    Says the Government that dismantled the YES program and other initiatives that the NDP Government had in place to train locals and get them ready to take up employment in the private sector. The program worked well as both private enterprise and government were in a partnership and many persons still have their jobs to date and others went on to start their own businesses. The BVI is F***ED with this set of cowboys. What business experience does Vincent have? Government worker all his life and aspiring politician is out here telling investors and business people what is best for them? If they don’t bell this cat it will make them a half-term government.

    Like 42
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  21. Rubber Duck says:

    Every employer would prefer to employ locals because the work permit procedure is a pain in the butt and a total lottery with rules changing according to who you are talking to.

    But, there simply are not enough qualified or interested locals to fill vacancies. If we want high end businesses from sophisticated finance or IT companies , high end restaurants and hotels, and a sophisticated boat charter business we need outside expertise as well as people willing to engage in basic labour.
    Otherwise the economy will shrink and with it the standard of living locals have come to take for granted.

    Like 42
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  22. Finance says:

    So here we are entering the realm of Economic Substance to ensure that our financial services product remains viable and become an even more valuable part of our economy and now this? Why would any professional want to come here after hearing this nonsense? Does he realize why financial services consists of INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS? Does he realize what that means?

    Like 43
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  23. Green Cup says:

    Until there is a proper education system, both academic and vocational, this is pure bullf*ckery. Kids are leaving school without basic knowledge of English and/or Math, without a proper trade, and without any idea of how to operate in a workplace.

    If you want to empower your people, and have them be competitive in the work environment, you have to EDUCATE and TRAIN them. Not make them more entitled than they currently are by idiotic rhetoric and policy..

    Like 51
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  24. @Ausar says:

    And nowhere in yours or Vincent’s rant did you ever talk about the Belonger’s or Government’s responsibility as it relates to education and proper training, just give them the jobs. Keep it up! Look at he Trust Companies that used to hire many students annually fresh out of school, the ones that had 70+ people now have 20 people and dwindling. Keep it up and you all will be fighting each other for fishing and beach cleaning jobs as that’s all will be left as this short-sighted bullshit will also negatively impact local businesses.

    Like 39
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  25. Sinfin says:

    They want to get paid for doing nothing. Show up late,then take a break, borrow money,want you to give em ride home!

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  26. Belonger says:

    Who is going to rent our apartments. The banks will be doing a lot of repossessing.
    What will happen to our children that we have with expat. Government needs to do so serious rethinking

    Like 35
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  27. Nice says:

    I can see LOTS of investors coming here now to pump $100 million dollars into a resort project, only to be told by persons who never ran a business in their lives, who they should hire and for what posts. Keep up the good works!!!

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  28. laffable says:

    Mr. Minister, I am looking forward to seeing your children being the housekeepers at your resorts and your lazy young men sweating on the construction sites pushing wheelbarrows, and being bartenders and waitresses at the little bars and restaurants where mosquitos and sandfly bite all day and night.
    Show our vegetables and fruits from our backyard garden, all the locals push out their hand to beg, I want, I want, me, me, me but they not going put their expensive fingernails in the dirt.
    Go ahead with your divisiveness. Hope you still in office when the result start to show

    Like 40
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  29. Cayman does better than BVI.... says:

    Because it seeks to attract high net worth individuals to go and live there. Like many other Caribbean islands from Antigua to St Kitts, buy or build a substantial house or invest in a business and obtain rights of residence.

    Not like BVI where you build a house and can only live in it for 6 months a year after paying punitive taxes. Or found a business and they want you to pay through the nose for a work permit even as you bring in jobs.

    Truly the racism and xenophobia of the BVI as exhibited by Wheatley will be it’s undoing.

    Like 50
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  30. Anonymous says:

    Hahahahahaha – says it all! My God!

    “While expressing that it is not the government’s intention to force the hand of local businesses, Wheatley warned that government will take whatever measures are necessary to achieve its goal.”

    We are not going to tell you what to do but you will do what we tell you. 😉 Love it!

    Roll on Cuba!

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  31. Reply says:

    The ministers’ position is a recipe for financial and economic disaster. Specifically, it will damage the economy significantly or what’s left of it after covid-19 with the extended shut downs locally, regionally, and globally.

    How? Many businesses will shutter and relocate to less hostile places leaving the very same locals without work, drive up the unemployment rate, and eventually, decrease the government revenues.

    Government should not be in the business of forcing private businesses to hire locals or any particular individual. They should not be attempting to force private businesses to hire who the government wants in what so pose to be a free market economy.

    Rather, the government should be working with those businesses in a collaborative manner to hire as many qualified locals as possible without threatening.

    More importantly, the government should be preparing a workforce that has the requisite skills that can compete on any level for any job in the BVI rather than perpetuating this notion that ones birth place entitles them to a job qualifications or not.

    Ones place of birth should not be the only qualification when applying for a job in the BVI.

    It’s dangerous and unwise. Now, the government is within it’s right to hire as many locals it wishes within the government proper, but telling businesses they have to hire locals or else will prove counterproductive at the end of the day.

    This mindset and thinking just lends credence to the growing thought that the BVI is an unfavorable and hostile environment for any investors. Investors are advised to proceed with caution.

    IMO, our country has gone done the wrong road on this issue for a while now. It appears to be on an anti-expat trajectory that will not bode well for it’s future.

    It may win the battle, but loose the war in the end.

    As a BVI Islander myself, I am dismayed with this mindset. As someone who has worked my @ss off all my life to get the education and credentials needed to compete for work, I must say it has paid off quite well.

    Nothing was given to me by the government or any one else. I spent years in school, and various jobs until I got what I wanted. Today, I sit well, very well.

    I have never sought a job because of my place of birth or skin color. What has worked for me, and work for most people that I know, is getting the pre-requisite education and experiences, and having the right mindset.

    No one hires you without qualifications anywhere. If a BVI Islander has the requisite qualifications for a job, they should have ab equal non-discriminatory opportunity to compete for any job in the BVI, but this should not be done under government treat.

    All that does is set people up for failure, and cause good businesses to shutter damaging an already weak economy.

    A good working relation with the private sector to place those seeking work is the way to go rather than threats.

    The previous government had a good program under the former Education Minister. The current government should consider restoring it rather than going down this ill advised path.

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  32. bewildered says:

    Vincent is a major disappointment. You can tell he has no understanding of the economy, labour matters etc. The answer to our work problems is not attacking the expat community.

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  33. Guest says:

    Look hard at some of those trust companies, they seem to have a favorite color……….

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Whenever Black people, in any aspect of their lives, put their foot down, and begin to look out for their interest, and say enough is enough,especially economically, then all of a sudden they become racist and other unfavorable things/beings. Why is that?

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  35. Crazy says:

    This is a hard slap in the face of us qualified locals who are gainfully employed and also have our own businesses. Where did this victim nonsense come from? Which data is Hon Wheatley using to come up with this stuff? The Education Minister said years ago when he was a Lecturer at HLSCC that in his experience, the quality of students coming out of the Secondary schools was horrible and something needed to be done. So we should just ignore the issues in the education system and force businesses to be responsible for these issues? Good luck!

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  36. @ Local Business says:

    You are “on point”. This should have been done a long time ago! The VIP Government is finally taking the “bull by the horn”.

    The Virgin Islands has been so generous to the outside world over the years and you rarely hear gratitude extends to the Virgin Islands for their hands of friendship.

    Like 13
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  37. HAHA!! says:

    If it’s one thing we learned from COVID is to do more with MUCH LESS! Businesses realize that they do not need as much physical space or staff on hand to complete certain tasks. More and more we are seeing IT, accounting, data entry and other tasks being outsourced from the BVI. These are the jobs that entry level locals were able to get fresh out of school and they are no more. So keep adding pressure to businesses thinking you are doing locals a favor and see what happens in the end. Now is actually the time to promote BVI as open for investment and business. Yes there are terms but this heavy handed approach is nonsense. Look at what Barbados is doing, they have extended their hands and implemented a 1-year permit for persons wanting to stay long-term, rent villas, rent cars, contribute to their economy while working remotely. This is the stuff we should be focused on, getting the economy back on track slowly while maintaining safety measures.

    Like 23
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  38. ByeBye! says:

    Mr. Minister, where are all your belonger attorneys and belonger accountants, the ones to fill all the trust company jobs?
    Or, what you are saying is you want to give financial services a big good-bye. Same with the luxury yachts based here, off to STT with you!
    People are good at taking their money and spending it elsewhere.

    Like 28
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  39. @Anonymous says:

    Explain how this BS that Vincent is spouting helps one single local in the BVI? You know what helped locals? When H.L. Stoutt was Chief and the businesses were buzzing. There was a balance and as a result, locals were given opportunities not only with jobs, but being able to have their own businesses, rent properties for lucrative amounts which enabled them to enjoy a certain standard of life and send their kids to college etc. How does Vincent’s rant help any locals right now? Please explain! Only idiotic people think that the answer to local issues is to punish non-local elements.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    “his ministry plans to meet with a consultant before year-end”

    lol – I bet you a pound to a pinch of s**t that this consultant is ‘outside talent’.

    Bunch ‘o hypocrites

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  41. Hmmm says:

    This is all talk!! This man is constantly preaching in the news about one thing, but overriding decisions made in his departments that are according to law. Nonsense! But its VG ppl put him in there and in reality he ain’t studying them (at least not the little ppl that voted for him)

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  42. Claude SK says:

    I think we all know who the “consultant “ will be.

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  43. I AM A HARDWORKING LOCAL says:

    Mr. Wheatley

    1. You cannot force locals to work in a position they are not interest in

    2. You cannot force locals to work where they lack experience (I AM NOT SAYING ALL LACK EXPERIENCE; BUT REALITY IS SOME JOBS REQUIRE WORK PERMIT HOLDERS)

    3. You cannot force locals to work in a position that they believe is beneath them

    4. You cannot force locals to work who expect hand-outs rather than hard work

    5. You cannot force employers to hire locals who would would not be an asset to an organization

    (IT GOES BOTH WAYS. A WORKPLACE MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT FIT FOR AN EMPLOYEE AND AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT FIT FOR AN EMPLOYER).

    I WILL ASK THIS AGAIN – HOW MANY LOCALS HAVE DUAL CITIZENSHIP?

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  44. Never had a proper job... says:

    This is what you get when you put teachers and the like in charge. Clueless.

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  45. Vincent says:

    Vincent needs to go on a one way ocean cruise on a 3 log raft Man talks s**t all day but doesn’t realize he will soon have to clean his own toilets…

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  46. Anonymous says:

    The rapid population growth of the BVI took place around 2000 And 2020. The BVI was more successful and prosperous around the 90’s so the people that think expats “made the BVI” should look at the history. People only came to the BVI after our success and low crime rate was flaunted as a gem in the Caribbean. Things changed for the worse when our population jumped from 10,000 to 30,000. Up until the 90’s, The BVI was a tight knit community, Doors were often left unlocked overnight, everybody knew and helped each other, that’s when the BVI was a real Christian society. A lot of people came to the BVI with the sole intention of making money and leaving but they brought bad attitudes and dirty ways and contaminated the BVI with negativity. Then the BVI changed.

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  47. NO says:

    NOW I HAVE MY GOD DAMN APART MENTS RENTED 1 FOR 3,000 THE OTHERS FOR 2,500 EACH PLUS MORE WHEN YOU CHASE THESE PEOPLE AWAY WHO GOING TO PAY MR MINISTER PLEASE PUT YOUR THINKING CAP ON. OR TURN OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING PLEASE.THIS LITTLE ISLAND IS FOR ALL OF US.
    THANK YOU.

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  48. On point says:

    The Honorable Minister is on point. Whenever it is something to benefit expats oh the atmosphere is peaceful but as long as something is in the interest of locals all hell broke loose. Those of us who work with expats know that they are not as sintelligent, qualify, experience and hardworking as they claim to be. However, they know how and when to kiss up.

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  49. @no says:

    I do not get it this little Territory suppose to be for all of us but only the expats suppose to be working. The BVI was much better off 20 years ago. It is a different set of expats coming for the last 20 years. Things cannot continue as present or else this little place will sink. I remember the days when BVIslanders use to help each other build their houses and those houses have withstood many hurricanes. Yes we had hurricanes before you came and we build back and you were not here. It will take us longer time but we will not have to hear you all throughing it in our faces and that alone will be a blessing. Our children will learn to work hard again because they will know if they do not do it it will not get done. It is all about adapting and we can adapt. Hon. Wheatley it is bad now for us do what you have to do.

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  50. Turn around says:

    A few short months ago our government was asking people to apply for residency and citizenship, now the tables have turned and there now not interested in the expats. A very very slippery slope you are on. Hired many belongers over the years, they don’t turn up to work on time, but managed to walk in with sandwiches and coffee after having the time to stop for that, they clock watch they will not do a second more time and paid for, long lunches and handouts and rides home and religiously take all sick paid days paid every single year normally surprisingly enough on a Friday or Monday. Our expat staff, don’t show entitlement, turn up early to work,work extra hours when needed without grumbling or hesitation, want to learn want to get ahead and are polite. Not that I’m saying we don’t have some that are. The youths of today worldwide are spoilt, have no discipline, have very little work ethic and want to make a quick buck without learning the ropes.
    I really fear for the future ..

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  51. madness says:

    I wonder of Vincent understands what will happen to the Real Estate market in the country. So I guess locals will be living in our apartment buildings too.

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  52. SMH! says:

    This man is sinking the BVI into the abyss with his divisive and xenophobic political tactics. I am happy for the day the Lord gave me the strength to take my money and turn my back on that place. I never accumulated much in possessions. I did not have friends. I saved my money. Since leaving the BVI, I have seen the most light in my life. The moral of my story is that you never know when you will overstay your welcome, so prepare for the future. Moreover, things might not be so bad back in your own country. Be brave enough to take the plunge. After all you were brave enough to leave your home to move to the BVI, why is the return journey so difficult?

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  53. Angry national says:

    Im disappointed in Vincent.He came to anegada begging votes. We voted for you now you are chasing our workers. What will happen when the tourist start coming back. Will you leave office and help us

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  54. eyes wide opened says:

    So we finally see who are the ones who did not like the expat community. I swear every policy from this government is intended to tell the expat community that they are not welcomed in the BVI.

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  55. Belonger says:

    From my understanding, one could become a permanent resident in Cayman after 7 years. I understand that it is now 9 years. I understand that this corresponds with work permits so if u want and u meet the criteria, after the 9 years are up u get to live permanently.

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  56. So says:

    What about persons living here for over 15 years and have kids born in the BVI those kids would have been in school if you kick out the parents would you kick out the kids too. Some of those very kids you are talking about that need job have expat parents.

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  57. Just my 2 cents says:

    I really cannot believe I have read this from the Minister. Utterly disturbing! This is definitely not the way forward for the BVI. Encourage the locals to accept some of the pisitions filled by expats and most importantly, have them qualified in the various fields.

    Dictating that private sector employers employ belongers over expats is crude and will lead to investor resentment. The BVI laws are some of the most discriminatory with its anti-expats sentiments. Stop making matters worst for this territory. To some it appears as if the Minister is seeking the best interest of the locals, however, it far from that reality.

    Finally, I am most certain that the consultant will most likely be the ‘radio host’. If not, then an expat!

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  58. Jorge expatriado VG says:

    Hello, good afternoon, this is the most s****d minister and politician, eh hypocrite, that I have seen, this is insisting the population to hate, I remember Hurricane Irma, we were all united helping each other, you think you’re very careful if God comes back and hits your island and the leave worse for your bad deeds MR Wheatley s****d

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  59. Builder Bob says:

    Nice one brother.

    So I can employ someone to be a lawyer in the BVI who has less expertise and costs more or I can employ them outside the BVI to do the same BVI work for less money, no work permit hassle, ability to hire and fire etc.

    I am sure your workforce of 3000 belongers is going to do a grand job of filling 70% of the labour market of 10000 plus. Good luck.

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  60. Common Sense says:

    Try the Commission basis if the locals that lazy. That way when they work, they get paid. Get everyone off of a flat salary. Pay according to productivity. Productivity in service industries can also be quantified.

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  61. facts says:

    That is true, the current population should be around 30,000 (33% locals and 66% expats). if you want a 70-30% you would only need 4,285 expats (out of 20k) and 10,000 locals on island. That would decrease the population in the BVI by half.

    Also, look at the work permit revenue per year, let’s say 20k are expats and on average they pay around $800 on work permits, that’s 16 million USD already for the island.

    Are you saying that we should kick 15,715 people out the island? and leave 14,285 to manage it?

    Good luck!

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  62. Here is an idea! says:

    Here is an idea! why don’t the government hire these locals to set as an example. e.g hire more cashiers for immigration and labor department… or more manpower for the road works that takes forever to finish..

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  63. Lol says:

    I wonder how the health care system of the BVI will be If all expats who are here for more than 5 years and asked to leave because of that policy you have in mind… how many specialized doctors, nurses, etc are here and 90% of them are expats?

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  64. Concerned says:

    VIP been putting the cart before the horse ever since they entered office. Mr. W. Your people got a problem with work, that is why your very own don’t want them. 1st find out what their problem is the ‘BH’ degree maybe. So select a team to find the few with ambition for all sectors of the economy and then maybe u can try increase your local percentage otherwise businesses will start closing.

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  65. down2earth says:

    The clock needs to be reset! The way we are going is indeed unsustainable.
    Government, you understand what’s happening? Based on statistics even you as a government could be in danger. Do what you got to do!

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  66. Island man says:

    For your information Cayman island work permit rule is 9years and then you can apply for permanent residency or you can leave the territory for one year and come back. Please check properly before leave any statements to the people of BVI. You are misleading the people. Very sad….

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  67. :) says:

    Expats need to stop overvaluing themselves. What I have learned is everybody is replaceable and money makes the world go around. There is always someone willing to put up with something that you wouldn’t put up with.

    Too many comments saying if expats leave the country will collapse or whatever. Realistically When one set of expats leave there are lots of other expats that will gladly take your place. There will never be a time where all expats will leave unless it is against their choice. If you leave today your brother or sister will gladly come tomorrow as long as the money is right.

    There are a lot of profitable businesses in the BVI. If the laws change they wont move their business just to protest the changes they will change their practice to continue their business to be profitable.

    A lot of people said they would leave the USA if Trump was elected due to his racist and xenophobic behavior. Almost 4 years later many still remain in the US because the US have much to offer. Similarly, the BVI attracts a diverse group of people because of its climate, low crime rate, beautiful beaches, some prefer the slower pace from the larger Islands, and other Caribbean nationals prefer the access to the US dollar.

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  68. stupid dicisions made day by day says:

    I dislike the idea that Government is on a discrimination plan and not focus on a solid Covid 19 combatting plan and not any plan one that works cause nothing so far has been proving to work even the very highly qualified experts they so praise cant get it wrong. back on track now what happen to the 5 10 15 and 20 years of expats contributions to this country. stop creating problem. you call his yourselves a religious nation and it has so much unnecessary hate. and imagine your all just had a BLM march few months ago and you here attacking honest working people of colour.

    I keep saying to these leaders stop following bigger and greater country and trying to be like them for them have and will always be in a better situation than here. what here have that make it compete on the global market the US dollar which is a privilege I so want the US to discontinue and then you will see the fruit of your dirty games.

    suppose tomorrow we all decide to leave what will happen well I will tell you. BVI will drop faster than a tired striper on a Monday morning. you people out there need to wake up and stop allowing these minister to lead you down the path of destruction.

    education medical law enforcement is any country leading professions. you want facts listen here, go to any medical facilities in the bvi 80% and higher are expat they leave it problems, education locals educate themselves to fill high paying jobs well then who will take up the smaller jobs tell me. law enforcement mainly the police a local haven’t fill the highest rank since Frazer and the more expat than locals so your see the problem your brewing up labor minister keep this up and the stupidity virus will cause a economical pandemic.

    born here rather than hate on people with the same skin tone as you because they willing to do jobs you wont and not educate yourselves to stand a chance of being the candidate companies require and see where that leave you.

    a hand full of local kids who works hard check who raise them expats. the other just believe in working until they can afford a scooter and weeks down the road they damage themselves or even kill themselves because the wanna live life not truly knowing how life is lived. that what u wanna tell people to hire bunch of fast live thinking and lazy people you have no right to tell people who there can or can not hire considering how your don’t know how there start their business in the first place.

    but I will love Mr. Hire Locals to answer this. How many Locals you employed when you all had it? I thought so but you here now trying to infringed of the companies rights.

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  69. 👀lander says:

    For all WP holders and even expats who have belonger status, please prepare to leave. It is termed ” BELONGER” but in truth and in fact, do you really belong? Or else we wouldn’t be reading some of these hateful comments. Only patronize places as needed and save. Sell most of your stuff and live simple and clean. So when you are told that you’ve overstayed your welcome, there would be no worries. Pack up and leave. Leave the country for their people!

  70. Is that so says:

    Can we go back to the polls soon. We need to vote him out!

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  71. Get gone says:

    It have a islandman from Montserrat down at bviec pock wood pond trying to get all locals fired.Mr Weathley can you check him out please

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  72. Who are the people says:

    Who are the people you fighting for? How many ‘indigenous” islanders actually exist? Less than 10%. So it’s obvious that who you speaking of fighting for includes at least one foreign parent. When those same kids see you fighting to deport the parents what are they supposed to assume? Who do they choose to represent them. My kids mom is a foreigner, do I let her leave with my kids? Do I marry her just to give her rights? Do you think she would leave the kids the same ones you claim to be fighting for with me? Be careful how we spew? Global market, plenty of other islands competition for future investors. It’s not a one size fights all. When trying to attract businesses and qualified people to enhance the country’s attractiveness and ability to compete be mindful of the verbatim.

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  73. The Nation says:

    But your people don’t want careers here…the stay I USA etc after finish6their scholarship that you the Government pay for or soon quickly return to USA. You yourse6in Government ain’t hiring your own people.

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  74. The Nation says:

    Truth be told, we want the BVI to hire more locals. That way there would be less employee victimization in the workplace. Let the Minister and the Labour Dept investigate how employers use the work permit to victimize work permit employees…

  75. Tell the king says:

    Mr. Minister I’m a say this to you let the government lead by example,so let’s start tackling the problem from head down, look around at all government place of business and start ridding out, incase U don’t know let me start identifying some for u.. BVIAA, BVI HMP, BVIPA, RVIPF, SWD,PWD,WSD,BVIEC, let’s get the total figure and then terminate them and replace with locals and let’s see the service quality.. Once U have done that and satisfy every company in the BVI shouldn’t have a problem to follow suit… But until then stop pressure the business places to do what the government not doing kudos to U. I already see a 1 term government with some of these laws trying to force on ppl…

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  76. Norris Turnbull says:

    @no.. you are responsible to pay your dam mortgage. No expat or other persons name is on you dam loan. Sick of some of you.

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  77. ReX FeRaL says:

    Mr. Wheatley for your information.Government is not hiring locals either. Talk that.

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  78. That's Why. says:

    BVIslanders are the only people who don’t need a work permit. This means months of delay and frustration etc. ,while permits are issued by government could be avoided by hiring a local.
    That means they’re easier to hire and can start tomorrow.
    They should be the most sought after employees for that reason alone.
    Instead everyone tries to avoid them, because experience has taught employers that they are the absolute worst employees you can have. Rude, lazy,and entitled, plus you can’t get rid of them as the government protects them.
    It’s funny several previous posts mention ” I don’t know why people think Tolans are lazy, then next sentence is sure lots of them are lazy… Well that pretty much explains where the opinion came from. My apologies to the actual hard workers out there.

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  79. Fallacy of statistics says:

    Every society should seek in earnest to maximize the employment opportunities of its indigenous people. However,in the process we need to be wary of engaging a destructive form of nationalism, which declares war against foreign businesses by demanding that they privilege the local workforce. Have we adequately prepared our local workforce to replace the foreigners? Moreover, besides quoting the statistics which suggest that locals are outnumbered, have we done a serious study to determine whether we have truly prepared the local population to replace foreigners? Do we have enough masons, carpenters, electricians, accountants, teachers, nurses, doctors, technicians etc? Such a study might embarrass us into the realization that while we have spend millions on training locals, we did not first consider the needs of the society. As a consequence, we find ourselves with too many persons with business degrees who are not ready for the praxis of business, while we have been sadly neglecting other crucial areas such as nursing and teaching. A self study will also suggest that successive governments have failed us in this crucial area of equipping our people with the right skills and expertise. However, I guess it is easier to blame others than to look at ourselves in the mirror. For the same reason the BVI is timid of political independence, it ought to be timid of declaring independence on the workforce. The truth is we are not yet fully prepared. So in this hard guava season, we engage restrictions on work permits,which bring us millions without having a clue as to how we can provide that source of revenue. Don’t get me wrong, we do need to strive for balance in the workforce. However, we are dependent on a number of large businesses. And they do have options outside of the BVI. Wisdom dictates that as in the case of political independence we move with caution in declaring independence for the local workforce. Thinking of if there is a reason why people do not trust politicians. They have a way of twisting the facts.

  80. Anonymous says:

    WHILE YOU STAND AT THE PODIUM THROWING HATE TALKS AND BLURRED IGNORANCY TOWARDS OUR BELOVED ISLAND PEOPLE,YALL HAVE LOCALS BRINGIN IN COVID LIKE WILDFIRE STUDY THAT!!!!…RIDICULOUS MINISTERS WANNA DIVIDE THE COUNTRY DURING THIS TIME.THE MORE YOU DIVIDE THE NATION THE MORE YALL GET COVID.WATCH OUT GOD DONT LIKE UGLY.

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  81. That's my cue says:

    Wow…I have been an expat for over 20 years living in various countries and I think the BVI is truly a great place to live (living here 5 years now)…and I am happy to leave because…… FXXX OFF! Didn’t your parents teach any of these government people to be gracious and humble? Do you have any empathy? Do you recognize the reality of your environment and include that in you decision making process, or is the orange syrup dripping from your pores obscuring your vision? Maybe loosen that necktie to allow the brain some oxygen?

    So many excellent points being made already, but here are a few more:

    1. why are so many people on facebook replying to politically charged posts with “I want to reply, but these replies are being watched and I don’t want problems with immigration”?
    Hello and welcome to China.

    2. How can a logical human-being even consider a statement like “some expat coming to BVI and building a career for 20 years and then getting citizenship…yeah that is just bat-shit crazy and unfair to locals!”.
    When I envisioned my future plans when I lived in the US I don’t thing there was anyone there thinking that would be crazy. You contribute to the economy and try to build your life there…just like you would anywhere else where you..you know….live.

    3. So what does describe “the perfect” expat for BVI standards to be acceptable? Clearly not anyone with a family or thinking of having one because after 5 years or so….adios amigo…get off our island…

    4. Let me explain some basic math to all those people commenting on how Tortola was so much better 20 years ago……I agree……but then again I also hate cell phones and think social media these days is absolutely bonkers and not a positive contribution to our overall well-being so yes the last 20 years hasn’t been “all good progress”. What the hell does it even mean to be an “influencer”?
    Anyway my point is, BVI was build on a foundation of tailoring to two specific industries: boating and offshore finance. That has been a very successful venture so far and has brought a lot of wealth and more exposure to the island. If BVI now wants to rebuild the foundation of the economy without having any surface level disruptions, you are all in for a collision with financial gravity. The offshore and boating industry are pretty specific and word gets around. If BVI was worried about losing out to other islands before, get ready to embrace some new competition.

    5. So for me…I will take my local BVI job and my US dollar income and move to a country I can relate to more in terms of how I want my kids to grow up and I can actually partake in a process of blending into my immediate surroundings and accepted.

    6. Remember…no one is born hating anything (except maybe Brussels-sprouts)…hate is taught by those closest to us and only when we accept a construct of conversation where no topic is off limits then the possibility of positive change arises. Until that time….ADIOS AMIGOS

  82. Expat says:

    Locals lazy expats working their butts off some the employers not even paying social security for their workers..some of us holding the s**tty end of the stick….thanks for the time spent…God is still merciful.

  83. Focus on education says:

    Practically every country in the world needs workers from other countries. Just like Belongers go away and work so too do other people come here to fill jobs.
    There has been many years where locals have taught their children not to take up “lowly” positions or those they deem to be servitude rather than service and this leaves the territory devoid of labourers, tradespeople and hospitality workers. Someone who loves the sea and grew up around boats would rather work as an office clerk than in the marine industry.
    Our children need to be taught that all jobs have value and that every person can get a job with dedication and hard work. They need to be trained for jobs, taught a good work ethic and not guaranteed an income just as their birth right.
    We need to provide proper training facilities, a hospitality training hotel, apprenticeships etc. Being paid a small wage whilst doing an apprenticeship is not slave labour but instead should be looked as paid learning. But the kids would need to commit to such a program rather than signing up and dropping out after a few weeks. These programs and training are not a one month course with a sweet participation certificate but should be a complete training platform from which students can then enter the work force and competently do their job.
    There will always be a place for locals and Belongers unless the BVI wants to close its borders to tourism and finance!!

  84. Wahh??? says:

    Another chaos coming for expats?😌

  85. Fungus says:

    Another chaos coming for expats?😌

  86. Ty says:

    In all that is going on. Tjere are some desperate people coming here to yo work and live. There are some locals who exploit some. Dog eat dog in this.

  87. What a time says:

    MR Wheatley your permit in the 9 district will be up in the next 4 years hope it don’t get Renew u are showing your true colors at least you real about it. And not hiding

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