BVI News

More than 1,500 awarded certificates of residency, Belongership

Some 1,523 persons have now been awarded their certificates for residency and/or Belongership under the Virgin Islands Party administration.

The certificate recipients included persons from government’s Fast-Track Programme to regularise expatriate residents who had been living in the territory for more than 20 years. Other recipients were those who had backlogged applications from previous years.

“From the Fast-Track Programme, we have some 648 persons who will receive certificates of Belonger status, and 542 who will receive certificates of residency and Belonger combined. From the backlogged applications that were not fast-tracked, approved by the board, 129 for residency and 204 for Belongers,” Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Vincent Wheatley stated at an official ceremony held at the Multipurpose Sports Complex in Road Town on Monday.

Minister Wheatley also advised the recipients that as new ambassadors of the territory, their actions, attitudes, and behaviours will be a reflection of the British Virgin Islands.

“With this new status which you have applied for and was graciously granted, comes some responsibility. Accepting this new status should mean that you have accepted BVI values, BVI customs, and BVI culture, and these are to be guarded, protected, celebrated and shared with great pride and enthusiasm to be guarded zealously,” Minister Wheatley added.

Not a Political Move

In congratulating the recipients, Premier Andrew Fahie said the initiative has nothing to do with politics and that persons who now possess the new status have the freedom to elect whomever they choose to in the future.

“I want you to know that in no way, was this a political move. If it was done in the fourth year, yes, maybe the third, but not the first. You are free to do and vote for whoever you want, go where ever you need to go to make the BVI better,” the Premier stated.

More Initiatives to Come

He also said that his government will be embarking on a number of other initiatives in the near future to further strengthen the Labour and Immigration department.

“We are completing the harmonisation, streamlining and the digitisation of Labour and Immigration to provide for better monitoring and enforcement. This will include the full implementation of the online work permit system, as well as the jobs board to support our workforce development programme.”

“When these and other initiatives such as the Electronic Border Control System come together, we will have a complete system that will better serve the interest of our people,” Premier Fahie added.

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77 Comments

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  1. Meh Son says:

    I’m only here for the comments.

    Like 41
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Of course this is a just move and an economically sound move. People should not be treated like second class citizens and I expect that investment in the BVI will increase. The dead housing market will get a new lease of life.

      How it happened is debatable. Was it just coincidence that the British HOC Committee said the concept of belonger was undemocratic should be ended and shortly afterwards the current BVI government announced a major extension of belongership, thus making it more democratic.

      Whatever the reason this is a good move for the country.

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
  2. Fast Track says:

    You call having to live on island for 15 years fast? You get your women pregnant and then they drop the offspring in St Thomas or Puerto Rico and the little shit is automatically a US citizen which you all then use to reap free benefits from the US. You are all a sickening, racist, crime invested people. It’s no wonder though. You teach your offspring at birth to become a criminal and break US laws. Glad to see the financial sector in ruins. You all deserve what you sow.

    Like 21
    Dislike 56
    • Popcorn says:

      I’m here for the comments too. Thanks for not disappointing me. Good AM entertainment.

      Like 11
    • Jane says:

      @Fast Track: seriously just f*** off. You’re a terrible human being

      Like 16
      Dislike 4
    • Just unite! says:

      Are you calling God’s creation a “little Sh!t”. Wonder what that makes you. State your case without being bitter and vile.

    • Hello says:

      Why would anyone want you in their country for 1 day yet alone 15 years? You sound like a sick psychopath. Has your parents trained you to be a psychopath? I know these individuals are also heartless serial killers as well. I am sorry for whatever country you were born in.

    • Bush Tea Sipping says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way, but I am sure you came from somewhere better than the BVI, so why don’t you do yourself a favor and fast track back to where you can automatically give citizen ship in 10 years and not depend on the benefits our financial services offers you – Hypocrite?

  3. Gage says:

    And here comes all the xenophobic comments in 321???

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  4. Well Said says:

    HON. PREMIER YOU ARE A GOOD MAN. THIS IS A FAIR MOVE. SIMILARLY ITS ONLY FAIR TO PUT A LITTLE TAX ON THE MONEY LEAVING THE BVI. YES THOSE VIA THE BANKS TOO.

    Like 19
    Dislike 8
    • Beg to differ says:

      I assume that you are referring to expats who send their monies to their place of origin. Correct me if I am wrong… therefore with my assumption I would ask what of the locals who scrape to make it by and still have to send funds to their children going to school abroad? Don’t you think “little tax” will affect them too, and in the worst way??

      Asking for a friend.

      Full disclaimer.. I am in no way implying that expats won’t be affected.

      Like 2
      Dislike 2
  5. son of the soil says:

    I wonder if andrew fahie is looking out for bvislanders? Most of these people will be given trade licenses to compete against the indigenous bvislanders. Bvislanders are being phased out in their own country by a bvislander. What we need is a government who will look out for and preserve the BVI for bvislanders. We need to get rid of the VIP government next election cycle for sure. Let us come out in our numbers and remove them ASAP. Now this is the reason why we didn’t vote for myron walwyn because we had thought that he would not protect us but i am ashamed to say that it our own home boy who betrayed us. What we need is trump type premier who will bring laws to protect us and make the BVI great again.I remember a certain minister suggesting that we allow these people to stay for 7 years and had to exit and apply again but it was turned down by the narrowsited bvislanders. Now it came back to haunt us. I REGRET VOTING FOR A VIP GOVERNMENT. THIS COUNTRY NEED A COALITION GOVERNMENT SO THAT EVERYBODY DON’T SAY “YEA” TO EVERY STUPID IDEA. LASTLY LET US ALL VOTE AGAINST ANDREW FAHIE AND HIS REGIME

    Like 23
    Dislike 67
    • HMM says:

      you too damn stupid, if bvi islanders do not want to do nothing , and when they expat does, ayo vex, ayo is a set of selfish dogs.

      Like 29
      Dislike 23
      • see here says:

        ayo see wha dis one calling we ahready????????????

        Like 14
        Dislike 6
      • SMH says:

        BVIslanders having to compete for work in the Territory is a darn shame. Expatriates hire and look out for their own. Where does that leaves Us? To have people like you calling Us derogatory names and We must accept it. What a darn Shame! I beg You and yours to humble yourselves and respect our People. We Did not migrate to your Place of Birth and ridicule or offended your People.

        Like 15
        Dislike 8
      • Soo says:

        HMM is very disrespectful. You need to apologize for this rude distasteful comment.

    • LOL says:

      They were here 15, 20 and more years and could’ve gotten trade licenses so what’s the point?

      Like 23
      Dislike 2
    • Pound foolish says:

      You are nasty minded. They are now bvilanders ..pity you. That’s more than 1500 new votes. I’m sure Hon fahie slept like a baby last night knowing he did the right thing..step aside with your flithy self

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
      • No says:

        They are Belongers. Let’s just see what type of Immigration Reform the government plans to implement? The premier did state that he will be excepting our thoughts on the subject. He ask us about our thoughts earlier and most agreed to the 20 year and up processing, but we additionally added that no more should be excepted and everyone else should be placed on job rotating. Let us see if He is truly for his people’s standpoint.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
    • @son of the soil says:

      shows that you lack much information
      first of all a good many of these ‘expats’ already had their trade licence
      they also had houses and children and grandchildren BORN in TORTOLA!
      they also helped you build this territory since we are talking people who had to be living here from 1999 and before.
      you won’t vote for Andrew and VIP…don’t worry, we newly expat belonger Virgin Islanders will vote him and his Government back in because he put his words to action and got this thing done with less than a year in office. Andrew the real action man, everyone is just all hot air. nuff said

      Like 11
      Dislike 1
      • Zag says:

        You need to stop worrying about who is going to get
        trade licenses to do this or that. Let your knowledge protect you!Be creative and think out of box!Go watch some You Tube Videos and learn something new.Forget about the Premier,let him do his thing and you do yours! What Can you do for this nation? Can you teach the youth man anything that he can use to elevate himself? Go listen to that Ritical track about the “crab in the bucket.” Learn to live in love and unity and stop talking about things that bigger that you! And finally, have a merry Christmas!

    • Zag says:

      You need to stop worrying about who is going to get
      trade licenses to do this or that. Let your knowledge protect you!Be creative and think out of box!Go watch some You Tube Videos and learn something new.Forget about the Premier,let him do his thing and you do yours! What Can you do for this nation? Can you teach the youth man anything that he can use to elevate himself? Go listen to that Ritical track about the “crab in the bucket.” Learn to live in love and unity and stop talking about things that bigger that you! And finally, have a merry Christmas!

    • Nonsense says:

      Stop talk nonsense, that responsibility will be on Trade Department
      to ensure that the market do not become saturated and innovation is consistently encouraged.

  6. well meh boi says:

    Wow!!!!!!Look at this picture, we doomed!!!!!! I hate the VIP forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 24
    Dislike 48
  7. time will tell says:

    something is not right here. Where is/was the opposition? This was a secret/back door move

    Like 7
    Dislike 32
  8. National Pride says:

    “With this new status which you have applied for and was graciously granted, comes some responsibility. Accepting this new status should mean that you have accepted BVI values, BVI customs, and BVI culture, and these are to be guarded, protected, celebrated and shared with great pride and enthusiasm to be guarded zealously,” Minister Wheatley added.

    They should have made attendance at the 1st Premier’s Official Funeral a requirement. Shame, there are more persons in this photograph than those taken at the funeral which was held in the same location.

    Like 16
    Dislike 33
    • Hmm says:

      Stupidness comment in the history of commentary.

      Like 14
      Dislike 4
    • @National Pride says:

      You are so right. The first Premier of these Virgin Islands had a state funeral in that same location mere days ago and those persons were not there. I was and the empty seats were all around me. Can’t see one empty seat in that picture. To make it even worse, we were given a holiday for all to come, not only the persons mentioned above, but the soon extinct BVIslanders. Major no shows, all of them.

      Like 16
      Dislike 12
      • iSwear says:

        Wow, and some other a** agrees with this stupid comment. I swear some of you have no other reason, so you make up something JUST for the fun of it. Just to contribute to ignorance. Honestly. That is why you are out numbered now hehe

        Like 10
        Dislike 7
      • My two cents says:

        And many many Virgin Islanders did not attend either. They got on a boat and went to St Thomas to shop and buy KFC. In true Tolian form. Major no show among locals as well. You want to dispute that?

        Like 52
        Dislike 1
    • Oh Lord. says:

      Strupesssss Hear Where You Gone.

    • Jane says:

      Please appreciate that those persons being given status were told their attendance yesterday was COMPULSORY. As for Hon. R O’Neal’s funeral I believe many persons understood that attendance at the Multi-Purpose Sports Center was by invitation only.

      Like 18
      Dislike 1
    • WHAT? says:

      What are you talking about? What I saw was more people at Premier O’Neal’s funeral than these people.

    • @ National Pride says:

      and where was your fellow BVIlanders.
      National pride begins with its indigenous citizens.
      You did not turn up but looking at your fellow Caribbean brothers to make up the numbers. Foolishness!

  9. Things that make you go MMM says:

    If Myron half breed Antiguan behind had done this in his first term as Premier, he would have been died to a building and stoned. But….. Things that make you go Mmmmm.

    Like 26
    Dislike 7
  10. Unity says:

    Why hate? We are here to work together for the betterment of the Virgin Islands. Stop mental slavery. Look beyond – things that others know may help to improve the quality of life in the BVI – we must stop bad mouthing. Look out for each other and serve others to see your purpose in life.

    We thank God for our Premier, Hon. Fahie and his administration for the opportunity that’s was given here.

    We are deliciously proud to be a part of this beloved Virgin Islands. Unite BVI!!

    Like 29
    Dislike 7
  11. Me says:

    For thirty pieces of silver BVIslanders have been sold out.

    Like 15
    Dislike 16
  12. It's God Land says:

    The BVI is not for Hon.Fahie it’s God Land and he is doing the work of God for his people so let us all come as one and stop pulling down each other.we don’t kno about tomorrow. Let us live for today

    Like 12
    Dislike 3
  13. 12 12 says:

    come on . the premier is about votes. out 1500 a lot would vote for him next election

    Like 12
    Dislike 4
  14. BVI says:

    ANDREW FAHIE AND HIS GANG DID THIS TO US HOPING THAT WE FORGET WHEN ELECTION COMES AROUND IN A COUPLE OF YEARS BUT WE WILL SHOW THE VIP GOVERNMENT WHAT TIME IT IS WHEN THAT TIME COMES

    Like 17
    Dislike 13
  15. Snoppy says:

    “Minister Wheatley also advised the recipients that as new ambassadors of the territory, their actions, attitudes, and behaviours will be a reflection of the British Virgin Islands.”

    well, well, well… I just had an interaction with one of the recipients and I’ve NEVER heard such rudeness and aggression. I actually wondering if they would normally speak like that BEFORE they received their belongers!!

    I hope we have not just opened the doors to this island-man rudeness?

    Like 6
    Dislike 15
    • An expat says:

      You sound like a snobby bvislander. People who have been her for 15+ years paying taxes, work permit fees and all kinds of extra bills on top the typical bills everyone has to pay. Some of these people OWN BUSINESS you support everyday. GIVE PEOPLE A BREAK. Nobody more RUDE AND OUT OF PLACE THAN black people.

      Like 5
      Dislike 5
    • @ Snoppy says:

      You sound like your name. Snoppy Ra$$

  16. Ausar says:

    ‘Bout time, Premier Fahie that you regularize those individuals that have been here a decade and then some!

    It’s only fair!

    And that’s why I’ve stated going forward, that if ancestral BVIslanders dont want newly minted Belongers to share in all of the benefits of Belongership, let it be stated in law!

    This is why these conversations must continually be had, on this subject,if this country is to move forward properly!

    This is just the beginning! Let us not lose sight of these conversations or else all will be lost!

    Like 7
    Dislike 3
  17. Hurt says:

    My only consolation is that Residency Status and Belongership are privileges, not rights.

    That said, it is most unfortunate that the powers that be chose to have this function in the same place where, less than a week ago, the funeral was held for a man considered a father of the Territory. It is glaring to see that the ceremony yesterday had waaaay more people than who came out, on a public holiday, mind you, to pay their final respects last week. Leaves me to wonder if any of the new ‘loyal’ citizens were at the funeral service..

    All I would say is that time longer than twine.

    Like 3
    Dislike 11
  18. smh says:

    Watch how all of them going get land and house fast same way..Poor Islanders

    Like 4
    Dislike 13
    • RD says:

      @smh will they get such for free?

    • LOL says:

      who stopping you to get house and land?at least the money will be spent back here in the B.V.I, Paying taxes, insurance ect, its a pity some of ayo islander can’t own nothing, and when the expact do, ayo vex, all some ayo want to do is gamble, and some a them man, run behind woman and spend them money, so stupid,

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
  19. Yea says:

    I happy for those who got their residence and belongers. But why cant the government or whoever contact people who have been here living in the B.V.I for more than 25 years. Why do they have to go through all those procedures it’s not right. People whose been living here after all those years deserve to become a belonger, they left their country and decide to stay here for more than 25 years than people who came into the B.V.I for less than 6 years and end up marrying an belonger and getting their rights through that person it’s unfair. But congratulations to those who was rewarded.

    Like 10
    Dislike 4
    • @Yea says:

      as a former expat, I cannot agree with you…if they want it they will apply for it…no other country give hand out citizenship…no one would value something like that…let them apply

  20. One BVI says:

    Whoa! What a beautiful sight! VIP, you’ll have done well here. Pause…This does not negate some of the nonsense you’ll been doing, however.

    The good well be acknowledged and supported, and the wrongs will be met with equal and countering fortitude of unleashed expressions of free speech, fearlessly and unapologetically, for justifiable accountability of you’ll actions.

    And if all fails and corrections not taken, energy will be placed towards clearing the deck once more. With that said…Congratulations to ALL.

    Like 7
    Dislike 3
  21. Oh ok. says:

    Been here for a while now and had gather some information. Base on what was told i got a few questions to ask

    1) how many are really bvilanders.

    2) where did some of those person who kicking bad born.

    3) Is there any bvilanders in America living who was not born In America.

    4) Is not there persons from the bvi wrking and living in others countries around the world and hav status of that country and was not born their.

    5) does people from the bvi goes to st.Thomas just hav there child/Children.

    6) persons born in St.Thomas are they BVIlanders?

    7) why is it that a child born in the bvi whom one of his/her parent from another caribbean country does not hav the same rights as a child who was born in St.Thomas and are claiming to bvilanders.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • @ oh ok. says:

      And I have a question for you… who give you the right to inquire on the rights of another country’s citizens? Do you not have a country of your own to concern yourself about? Are you this envious of the Virgin Islands citizens privileges?

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  22. joke says:

    Them bvi islander complaning, all some of them do shop overseas, them dont support them own one here in the BVI,and them talking crap, a bunch of selfish people, alyways get someting to say about the expact? where were the bvi islanders when irma, pass, most of them hop on a plane and went away, only now some of them came back, it was mostly the expact stayed and help in the community, and i am a bvi islander, i stayed and observe, we are one people. STOP BEING SO NEGATIVE.

    Like 9
    Dislike 7
  23. Keep calm says:

    The big man came throught with his promise. Some will grind there teeth as their tongue and mind get better.

    ONE CARIBBEAN PEOPLE. ONE LOVE.

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  24. Famous says:

    All we Real Tolians have to do is don’t sell them no land or house!

    Like 4
    Dislike 8
    • Yes! says:

      Put covenants on your family inherited land passed down from generations to be only sold to other family members at original cost!! Bypass most of these real estate scammers.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  25. Weir D. Playne says:

    Thank you Premier. Some of these people here so long you swear them was Tolian. Some of them people went through their entire school life from pre primary to Highschool in the BVI. It’s not something we can do every year especially if it’s this large a group but I have no problem with this.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  26. two cents says:

    wow!!! listening to these comments, it seam expats did not appreciate receiving Residency and Belonger, because they feel they were entitled to it long ago. What amazes me is the negative talk and they are still here and still want status who didn’t get. But Waite Bvislanders they plan to stick it you all. As for taxing monies leaving the BVI, it should have been done long ago.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  27. Wow says:

    What a shame!! Myron is a good man. You people did not support him because you were so afraid he would not support BVI locals. Injustice has gone on for too long. What al yo were afraid of just took place in front of the nation eyes. Some ah them blue but fraid to talk. They talk behing closed doors. Tek dat and smoke it in your pipe. Hon Fahie has more to give. Andrew would be in position as premier there for a long! long! time. If NDP had done that you would not have herad the end of it. Great and serious political move Andrew. Let the racist locals sh**t in their boots. Even the christians are the same dey no different.

  28. Load says:

    Hahaha. In your face! I from here!

  29. MH says:

    Those people with negative comments remember these are the same people who were here with us during and after hurricane irma and Maria, these are the same people who go to church with us. My God where all this heat coming from, come on BVI people you all can do better than that, Andrew I was at the ceremony and your speech was genuine. I believe you when you say it’s not a political move those people deserve this. It’s a good move Andrew no one nation build a country.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  30. Yardfowlism says:

    The deposit has been made on the votes to be purchased.

  31. CHILL says:

    I am not looking for confusion but after surviving Hurricane IRMA, in my country we do not have hurricane so I were at my wits end after seeing this I still remain, a lot of EXPAT came and build back Tortola so why are you all still persecuting us, as for the funeral of the late great Mr. J.R. O’Neal even my neighbors didn’t attend they replied they wouldn’t been miss so why. “We recognize you as a member of our community and as a person that is a Virgin Islander now,” Premier Andrew Fahie said during the ceremony. “This recognition comes from you having lived amongst us for so many years, … and you have made special contributions. For this we are grateful, and we encourage you to maintain the spirit of BVI love. Thank You Mr. Fahie

  32. Sister Island says:

    Please have these folks move over to Virgin Gorda (I live there). 1,200 new belongers would put the VG population to about 50% belongers. Would be great to get some new blood here. I am getting sick of ‘I barn here’ mentality that is sucking the life out of reconstruction. We need some people with vision to get this economy back on track.

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