BVI News

New immigration policy mandates community involvement

Community involvement has become a mandatory criterion for eligibility under the Virgin Islands’ revised immigration policy. 

Applicants for Permanent Residence and Belonger status must demonstrate active participation in community initiatives such as volunteering and civic engagement.

A section of the recent policy document adopted by the government states: “Applicants for Permanent Residence and Belonger Status must show a commitment to the cultural values and social fabric of the Virgin Islands, including participation in community initiatives and an understanding of our history and traditions”. Guidelines included in the policy document state that applicants should demonstrate a history of active and positive participation in their current communities. 

The document further noted that this can include volunteering, involvement in community projects, or other forms of civic engagement that reflect a commitment to communal well-being and solidarity. Applicants may demonstrate volunteerism through significantly sustained contributions to registered Non-Profit Organisations, Civic Societies, Community-Based Organisations, and Religious Organisations.

This requirement aims to foster a sense of solidarity and belonging, encouraging newcomers to contribute positively to the territory’s social fabric. The policy highlights the importance of civic responsibility and community integration in the immigration process.

The new policy also introduced a point-based system to evaluate Permanent Residence and Belonger Status applications. This system uses quantifiable metrics to provide a transparent and objective method for assessing applicants.

Factors such as employment history, community involvement, cultural integration, and environmental responsibility will be considered. The point-based system aims to ensure fairness and consistency in the immigration process, aligning with the territory’s values and development goals.

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley emphasised that this reformed framework aligns with the Virgin Islands’ national development priorities, balancing economic growth, cultural integration, environmental sustainability, and social stability. This policy ensures that individuals granted these statuses contribute positively to the territory’s economic, social, and cultural objectives.

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22 Comments

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  1. Fair & transparent says:

    Vague and open to interpretation

    Like 22
    • ? says:

      Basically the ‘get out’ clause for not giving either residency of belongership. The time means nothing now, as this development is basically at their discretion so can either halt the process of severely hinder it. This clause is too open and should not have been allowed without specific parameters.

      Like 15
      Dislike 2
  2. How??? says:

    Doing any other work than that stated on a work permit, is specifically prohibited for any work permit holder, or person holding a “Permission to Reside”. Thus volunteering, particularly holding an office in a non-profit organization, is prohibited.

    In order to show the relevant community involvement required under the new legislation will thus require breaking the law.

    Back to the drawing board guys.

    Like 48
    • --- says:

      i love this haha

      Like 10
    • CASE CLOSED says:

      THIS IS PERFECT!!!!!

    • Yep says:

      I was told the same thing on arrival a few years ago. Volunteering could be considered work and was therefore prohibited.

      Like 15
    • @How says:

      Do you know what the word Volunteer means? Try Webster’s Dictionary, then tell me if what you wrote made sense. If it does, please indicate how volunteerism is breaking Virgin Islands Law. Sometimes, we need to think before posting! Wishing you a blessed day, sir/madam.

      Like 3
      Dislike 10
      • @@ How says:

        You are absolutely correct about the dictionary definition of Volunteering. Unfortunately, neither Labour nor Immigration follow that dictionary definition when deciding what “work” is. I and others I know have been told that work permits are needed for temporary, unpaid and part-time jobs for non-profit organizations. A friend waited three months for a work permit to be processed for an unpaid job that would involve working 2 hours a month, acting for a non-profit. As usual, the “job” had t be advertised and a full permit application undertaken.

        So, Sir, whilst I agree that such community service is admirable and what many people living in the BVI would like to do to contribute to society, it is still technically illegal without specific approval from Labour and Immigration (which is sometimes denied).

      • Get Educated on Policy says:

        Please check your facts as you are very WRONG! “Residing with Spouse” statatus means you cannot volunteer. I was told this by Immigration. So the asinine policy needs to be updated.

  3. Disdain for Truth? says:

    A very good initiative this. However, and most do not accept the truth under any circumstance, yet the truth must be spoken when needed.

    The truth does not set mankind free, his mind does!

    The truth is this initiative will not sit well with the European for 1) he is a chronic naturally inclined segregationist, 2) a Black human disliker and 3) based on colonial history, deems himself entitled and priviledge to settlte wherever he choses without honoring local laws and rules.

    Last, the mandatory criterion for eligibility under the Virgin Islands’ revised immigration policy is a good first step in ensuring the viability, longevity and continued future existence of the Local African descendent population.

    Many were skeptical in the beginning with the individuals chosen to carry out this delicate work, fearing they would have sold out our/the country, fellowman, birthright and soul to the wishes of the UK and others.

    But, suffice it to say, they appear to have had the local in deep consideration when they crafted this policy.

    It is therefore hoped that it will not be circumvented, even though it will be, by those who want to be around us, but do not have within the normal humanness to live among us. Tough, but truthful words.

    We want to live in a VI’s free of racism and imposed EU political, social and economic values.

    And now, we sit back and watch the human disdain for truth take the form of a thumbs down.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  4. Jim Crow Anyone? says:

    …and you also have to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar.

  5. Roger Burnett says:

    But if you incur the wrath of a prominent Virgin Islander, all your good deeds count for naught.

  6. A Gestapo State? says:

    A very good initiative this. However, and most do not accept the truth under any circumstance, yet the truth must be spoken when needed.

    The truth does not set mankind free, his mind does!

    The truth is this initiative will not sit well with the European for 1) he is a chronic naturally inclined segregationist, 2) a Black human dislike and 3) based on colonial history, deems himself entitled and privilege to settle wherever he choses without honoring local laws and rules.

    Last, the mandatory criterion for eligibility under the Virgin Islands’ revised immigration policy is a good first step in ensuring the viability, longevity and continued future existence of the Local African descendent population.

    Many were skeptical in the beginning with the individuals chosen to carry out this delicate work, fearing they would have sold out our/the country, fellowman, birthright and soul to the wishes of the UK and others.

    But, suffice it to say, they appear to have had the local in deep consideration when they crafted this policy.

    It is therefore hoped that it will not be circumvented, even though it will be, by those who want to be around us, but do not have within the normal humanness to live among us. Tough, but truthful words.

    We want to live in a VI’s free of racism and imposed EU political, social and economic values.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  7. @How says:

    You need to read between the lines! LOL!

  8. Ausar says:

    While I agree that the initiative is a good one, to me, this topic can be considered suggestive!

    Who determines the kinds of “acceptable”, civic participation?

    Will there be a “laundry list”, so to speak, of organizations, that one can choose from?

    And, suppose, one chooses to volunteer for babysitting services, will such activities qualify?

    There has to be a comprehensive, and exhaustive approach, to this issue!

    A “cut and paste” approach,is not going to work!

  9. Norris Turnbull says:

    This is a farce. Our so so bull shit legislation. Most migrant workers do not like the bvi or bvislanders.

  10. Local says:

    Bull Sh**!!!!!
    Cost of living is very costly in the BVI.
    The people are hustling 2 and 3 jobs to make end meet!
    What time do they have to volunteer?

    I from here and feels like a expats!!!

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  11. Redstorm says:

    The expats should just go. It’s like building a nation on the sand. Twenty or thirty years later there is no benefits. And the silliness will continue.

  12. Forbidden Truth says:

    At Red Storm……stop talking froth. Many here the length of time you stated and did nothing for this country or themselves. They are just here being ungrateful.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  13. Anonymous says:

    I stopped caring to get my belongers through immigration a long time ago. It would be much easier for me to get status through the UK. I hate to say it but BVI has fallen. The entitlement of some elected officials have cause the islands economy and overall happiness of people living there has dropped. Spending any of my money there just doesn’t make sense to me anymore if I can’t have status. Thus I won’t be spending any money there for a while until I see actual change happen.

  14. Community service this says:

    The BVI govenment should be handing out belongership and thanking the people not born here that rebuilt the BVI after Irma. The people that made Covid food sales and delivery happen. The teachers.
    They ran the rescue efforts. They worked for free. They shipped in items from their countries that we could not get. They made sure the schools reopened and taught our kids.
    All this ‘what have you done for me now?’ stuff is just bad.
    When you see someone doing it – EXPIDITE THERE RESEDENCY!

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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