BVI News

New Belongership report will be ‘bedrock’ for immigration reform

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley. (GIS Photo)

A recent report which recommends making it more difficult for work permit holders to become eligible for residency and Belongership status is expected to form the basis for the BVI’s immigration reform.

After assessing the BVI’s current residency and Belongership processes, former Permanent Secretary, Kedrick Malone proposed a separate process for work permit holders to attain status; ensuring that the process for attaining citizenship is neither guaranteed nor automatic — an issue that locals have complained about for years.

Malone’s recommendation has found fertile ground with Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley.

In a recent statement, Premier Wheatley said the new report gives the government an opportunity to shape the BVI in a manner ‘grounded in respect for the law’ and ‘recognition of the privilege’ granted to individuals who make the BVI their home.

“The independent reviewer’s (Malone) report will serve as the bedrock upon which we will base our proposals and recommendations for the necessary amendments to our legislation and the creation of relevant policies,” Premier Wheatley said in a recent statement.

He argued that these proposed changes must reflect the evolving needs and aspirations of the BVI’s people and the challenges faced as a society.

According to the Premier, the government will shortly engage the community in an extensive consultation process that is expected to forge a path which preserves the BVI’s heritage, strengthens the society and ensures the territory remains a welcoming and thriving community.


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  1. Good says:

    I love it! BVI is a small place and nobody should come here expecting anything to be automatically granted to them. Time to get serious! Protecting our place doesnt mean we hate anybody.

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  2. SIMPLE says:


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  4. Local endangered species says:

    We need somebody with ball$ to protect us.

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  5. Styles. says:

    Natalio, our co**upt leader, calls this report independent.

    We all know it was orchestrated.

    Please indeed send all expats away and discourage investments by foreigners. I am sure you can run Tourism and Financial services yourself.

    Also, once the expats are gone who are you going to rent your overpriced properties to?

    Once again, short term vision by the leaders again.

    Like 28
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  6. Fortunately says:

    the UK takeover next year will defeat this xenophobic reform.

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  7. @Styles says:

    If you don’t like it you can make your exit and leave us to determine our future…

    Tired of the entitled nonsense. Dr. Wheatley make the law retroactive.

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  8. Really says:

    Running scared the voter-pool will have too many voters not related to you?

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  9. TurtleDove says:

    There should be standards but we should not make people feel that it is imposible to attain.

    No country want people who does not respect the laws of that country.

    The proposal is on point!

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  10. Reaper says:

    Kedrick and Natalio time will come and when it reach there will be rolling thunder for how they treat other nationalities.

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  11. hello says:

    Imagine BVI without Immigrants!!All businesses must be closed, BVI without Immigrants is ZERO.

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  12. Stupes says:

    BVI grant any and everyone residency. I know some one who came here as a hairdresser over 10 years now he is a real d–head and a burden. Another very good carpenter, nothing but a nuisance, are we saying the BVI should make them citizens. Check the gheto and tell me why they should even be in the BVI. Somebody need to make tough decisions.

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  13. HonestTruth says:

    ‘Belonger’ status: make the application process harder. It is too easy, and many ‘Belongers’ can barely speak English. On top of that, many use it as a stepping stone to the UK.

    Work permits: make the renewal process smoother, there is no reason to make life hard for people living and working here simply because they are not ‘Belongers’.

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  14. HonestTruth says:

    These islands will one day be overpopulated, that is a certainty. The issue I see with some people is that they would prefer the islands to be overpopulated by ‘particular’ people. Hence the calls to “close the gates” but of course not to all, only those who beam in the sunlight.

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  15. Wow says:

    Everything has boundaries and balances . The BVI must be protected but the hate and evil that exist because people are so jealous of each others progress is unbelievable and unbecoming of us as a society. This is too much on either side . The monster of division that exist us will devour us as a people both locals and expats

  16. @Hello says:

    Where did you read that BVI did not want expatriates here? This is about attaining status in the BVI, not about the right to live and work, don’t get it twisted. The BVI will ALWAYS need expatriate workers, ALWAYS!

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  17. @Styles says:

    Could not have said it any better. They have no clue how the BVI will crumble. Make it harder for persons to gain status, yes! The BVI is small, but getting rid of expats? LOL. Your entitled local men and women don’t want to do certain jobs. Who will rent our overpriced apartments and houses is a great question. If they only know how many persons build houses with rental income expecting the rental to pay their mortgage. I can see the foreclosures now. 90% of these international firms are ran by expat, send them home let’s see how many unemployed individuals we are left with. Set of talk talk without real analysis!

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  18. Citizen says:

    No work permit holders , no workforce and consequence is one buddy holding 4 positions for last 3 years in one sector as no qualified locals, where is quality , unfortunate

  19. Lawyer says:

    Which fool would come and work in a place where no human rights applied to them , end of day only incest survives here

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  20. yu says:

    you are a real idiot for true. it seems you consume the entire word imbecile.

  21. Settle!!! says:

    What I don’t understand in the last days all men shall go to there own countries stop curse and fight to leave the people country. Mr. Wheatley one thing I can say this is the right thing to do It’s not a mistake. Was working with a expact he was my supervisor and he had me like a slave so one bad individual makes the countries look bad not our flaut.

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  22. Tola Vibes n V I Marrow. says:

    BELONGERSHIP………I have red the Immigration Laws of the Virgin Islands and I have not seen that Word in it. Where did the Word
    BELONGERSHIP came from? Who made up that word? Is it a status? What is it meaning? Help me.

  23. As an expat says:

    I am fine with this. Of course there should be clear requirements and procedures to grant residency or status. Same as any country. They just need to be clearly defined and written up so that those that are hoping to stay can work on doing whatever is nec salary to satisfy them. The vague “who you know” approach doesn’t work for anyone.

  24. @Styles says:

    The Bvi will find others means of income. After expats called down the place, why are they looking rights by the way. Rotatión pls!!!!

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  25. @Lawyer says:

    Whyare you here then? Seems as though you are eatig and sleeping here better than you did else where.

    Ungratefulness, do you know, is an individual disease, and it usually produces serious ilnesses in later years.

  26. Concerned VirginIslander says:

    As a 5th generation Virgin Islander, I am passionate about immigration and protecting the interest of Virgin Islanders such as me. I have nothing against expatriates and get along well with all of them I know. But I also believe our current immigration policy is not good for the Virgin Islands and no one coming here for work should be allowed to stay for ten years. It should have never had happened. This has resulted in Virgin Islanders becoming the minority. This is not about hating or not no appreciating anyone. It’s about preservation of our culture and values. This issue is long standing and should have been addressed 20 years ago but instread the can was kick down the road by previous administrations. I look forward to reading the recommendations of the forthcoming report of Mr. Malone. The problem needs to be fixed.

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  27. Dumber says:

    Good Idea for an administrative nightmare, send their social security to their home countries same time and oh, get locals to take up the jobs and the apartments they rent in the interim, if that’s not possible ask the Banks to put moratorium on the mortgages please.
    If the expats choose not to come back, then the locals will keep the Jobs and the banks can foreclose on those apartments.

  28. Concerned Virgin aIslander says:

    We are saying let them work fora period of 6 or so years and then they must leave. They are free to return and work for another six year but none expat should be allowed to stay in the BVI long enough to qualify for status. No exceptions. I say this without fear or favour.

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  29. @ FORTUNATELY says:


  30. lol says:

    Until they need a wash of expats to get naturalized to win the next election. These cats cant be trusted

  31. local business says:

    we should be saying this about our miserable shower of politicians

  32. cookiemonster says:

    yes, put an end to that easy automatic attainment of status. It has been way too easy the past 25 years!

    said nobody who has ever been a resident on a work permit.

  33. BVI ISLANDERS says:

    Yall looking for slaves, work for a period and pay taxes to build the place yall call home only to be thrown out after a period. God don’t like Wicked. When the place yall call home facing challenges yall quick to get and run though. Dotish

  34. Redstorm says:

    Concerned Virgin aIslander,

    Have, you ever hear the story of a man who work for his father in law for seven years for a precious damsel, he was given another,then when asked why he tricked him he was told that culturally he cannot get her that the older one has to be married first. And if he do, another seven years he had to work.

    I believe those expat should be given three years and go. Don’t get corrupted by a culture factors of generational struggle by old folks.

  35. Funny people says:

    Talking about your people but still importing all the ASIAN people to take the jobs from the young people as a result of cheap labor. people don’t want to stay in the BVI. They want money, the same money BVislands needs. That is your issue. The BVI can accommodate 20,000 more people we have lots of land unoccupied. what we don’t have is work because of ASIAN takeover. These Premier advisers are so dumb I just can’t stand them. Mister let’s take back our jobs and deport some of the little people. Or give them a 3 year contract. Belongership what;

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