BVI News

Immigration department told to open weekends

Persons standing outside the Immigration Department in Road Town.

Operating on weekends and opening longer hours are being suggested as solutions to the overcrowding problem plaguing the Immigration Department.

An expatriate resident who has been living in the British Virgin Islands for last 11 years made the suggestion yesterday.

He was among the masses that flooded the Road Town-based department at the time. He told BVI News that he has been trying without success to renew his Immigration status for the last two months.

“Of course it was unforeseen that things would have gotten to this. But now that we have this issue, deal with it. Make adjustments, work on weekends, open extra space that is not used … do something,” the resident said as he waited outside the department.

Lines longer every day

The resident said he believes the problem will continue to worsen if it is not urgently rectified.

“The lines are getting longer by the day. Every time you come here the whole place full! It is really serious,” he said.

“I came here this morning thinking I was early. I came about 7:30am. When I came the line was curved from all the way around yonder,” he added.

Another resident among the gathering also spoke to BVI News anonymously. He said he was visiting the department with hopes of extending his remaining time in the territory while his work permit is being processed.

“My work permit is ready but they give me until the March 20 to collect it. That’s the appointment that they give me. It’s not easy,” he said, adding that he has been in the territory for 21 years.

Noticeably large crowds have convened outside the entrance of Immigration every day since the department reopened after the September 2017 hurricanes.

These crowds often become exposed to sporadic rainfall and scorching heat from the sun.

Random and restricted operations at crowded Immigration

Persons gathered outside the Immigration Department in Road Town

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25 Comments

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  1. Concerned says:

    Agree that there’s a problem, but who is going to pay the employees to work extended time? Government does not pay overtime to that office maybe those at the Ports. If you are in the BVI for 21 years, why not apply for residents status. It
    would sovle that problem.
    ? Where are these people working and living when so many businesses and homes got damaged by the storms.

    • watcher says:

      Apply for resident status? Do you have any idea how long they sit on such apllications without doing anything? It is years. There are even business owners and employers of large numbers of people here who cannot get their own status determined and who cannot legally reopen their businesses until it is. They might have to leave the islands. So unemployment and the economy will suffer because of the backwardness of the BVI government and its Immigration and Labour departments. . It really is a complete mess.

      • For Real says:

        unemployment and the economy will suffer. For Real. If there are no expats here we will suffer. Pure Jokes. Please go where you from and let us do our process. If you cant wait please go. I have been to most Caribbean islands and I dare not make stupid comments like you guys make. If you don’t like the way we work go back please.

        • You sound like a idiot says:

          To for real, you sound just like an idiot. Stop your nonsense, people like you let the BVI look bad. If you have nothing constructive to say then hush your mouth and pick up a book. Let me ask you this, after both Hurricanes what have you done to help your Country? Not one thing

        • watcher says:

          Trust me , many of the major employers are thinking of doing just that. No doubt you will be stepping up and providing jobs.

    • It's too much now says:

      Follow this…..20 years to apply for a work permit exemption. If you get through, then can you can apply for residency. You must be exempted first. Then they’re going to lose the documents and you will NEVER get through. So that option is out of the question.

  2. For Real says:

    These expats need to go home until we a ready for them. Where are they living and working in the BVI? I think the weekends should be for the officers to check the place of residence and confirm their place of work.

  3. Hmmm says:

    Eh eh. well look how that was so not nice. We tax paying money suppose to pay them 🙂 And yea we apply for the status like, you know, plenty plenty years ago, but they not working fast enough. They should employ some of us ‘outsiders’ in Labour and Immigration – long since the work woulda been finish child.

    And as to where we living who knows must be in one of your relatives’ apartments – that they don’t want to fix but tek we money. And we working man, we does work. Even if we absent one day at the immigration, we make up for it the next day. That’s how we outsiders does wuk.

  4. Sam the man says:

    The immigration department is a total utter disgrace its not improved in the past two decades, if anything its got worse…it’s the incompetence, laziness,arrogance, rudeness and a sense of utter importance unfortunately….which everybody knows and witnesses but the NDP “No Direction Party” continue to turn a blind eye to….Expats I know are not returning and I can’t blame them….

  5. For Real says:

    Why do you expats expect from us what you don’t give to us when we visit your country. I visited quite a few countries in my life, but my worst experience was visiting Jamaica. Its like once they saw the BVI passport they went crazy making things hard for me, twice. I asked not to be sent there ever again. But I bet you are going to hear a Jamaican here in the BVI demanding treatment like he or she thinks he or she should get. We cant do this by you, don’t do it by us.

  6. I stood in that line says:

    While it is tough to stand there in the sun and when it rains, it requires a lot of patience, especially when you have to go back on multiple days, but if you stick it out, the immigration officers get the job done and they deserve some appreciation. I am very happy to be allowed to stay and work here. Thank you BVI!

  7. 21 Year resident says:

    If you have been here for 21 years…apply for an exemption from work permit.

    • Exempt says:

      Even if you are work permit exempt, you still need to get a yearly stamp from immigration each year! So, it doesn’t really solve the immigration wait issue.

  8. Smh says:

    Immigration officers have families and a life just like you people. Dont be an a$$

  9. SIGH says:

    YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT WITH ALL THE COMPLAINTS AND LINES AND IRRITATION THAT NOTHING IS STILL BEING DONE??

  10. Bye says:

    My company employed many bvislanders and provided significant business to other companies in the territory. The unfriendly atmosphere towards foreign enterprises and amateuristic governance by the various authorities (which for example included the steep rise in work permit costs) made us decide to move the business to another country. Personally, I feel very sad having to lay off hard working staff and say goodbye to many friends. Professionally, I feel very sad for the business community, which will never come to a mature level due shortsightedness of the local decision makers, taking a bright future away from the BVI. I really think that only very few people understand in which poor condition the territory is. So sorry.

  11. Insider says:

    The man who used to work there suggested this but like usual nothing doing once it comes from he. Keep spitting your face bvi.

  12. West End resident says:

    Why not station immigration officers in the various districts just to deal with volunteers and extension. At least we should treat those who have our interest at heart better than we are doing right now.Hurricane season is a few months away….we may just need more volunteers

  13. Ichabod says:

    Is there anywhere on this planet that has not been damaged by folks arriving as ” dogooders” condemning ctricizing devaluing rearranging to fit their image and unquenchable wants?
    If a people on a few acres they own and govern are doing things their way let them be and go elsewhere.. stop meddling. Your meddling has the world’s destruction just a press button away.
    This is a good time to sail away far away and go interloping elsewhere.

  14. Let me tell ayu the real problem says:

    We locals bring in some of tou expats. Some are needed and some are just here.. currently there is an overflow of persons here i the bvi! Thats why immigratiom comtrol is currently being inforced. We are being pressured.. some will have to go while others stay.. by law when a expat come into a country, their allowed a certain amount of time. And when that time expires they should leave and reapply giving other expats an opportunity. Because of the corrupt politicians, expats are allowed to stay here, more and more are being bought in, the laws that govern immigration and labour are disrupted causing havoc throughout the place.. and then we have to answer to you expats at the end of the day because you guys think we’re doing everything wrong to you..

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