BVI News

No progress! Governor concerned over hundreds of pending Belongership applications

Governor Rankin

Governor John Rankin expressed disappointment at the glaring lack of progress in governance reforms over the last few months, particularly in relation to the issuance of residency and Belongership status in the territory.

The sloth in moving this matter forward was among several disappointments the governor alluded to in his latest progress report on governance reforms agreed between the coalition Government of National Unity (GNU) and the United Kingdom (UK). 

The governor shared that, although he was encouraged by some of the progress made, including a move towards more open and transparent public procurement, more work was left to be done.

“I am concerned that the overall pace of reform is slower than expected and it is important that the public do not lose confidence. It is essential that together we step up our efforts to achieve these important and urgent reforms; committing resources accordingly,” Governor Rankin said in a statement issued yesterday, February 13. 

Key concern

In the meantime, the governor pointed out in his second quarterly review since the start of reforms, that the issue of residency and Belongership was a key concern of the Commission of Inquiry (COI), particularly given the open and unchecked discretion held by Cabinet to make such grants previously. 

According to Governor Rankin, in the framework document for implementation of the recommendations of the COI report, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley and his government recommitted to applying a revised policy in line with the law.

The BVI government previously applied a policy which was deemed unlawful by the COI that required 20 years of residency before an application for Belongership could be lodged. 

However, in the Framework Document which the GNU agreed to, it was stated that “Cabinet commits to follow existing legislation on residency threshold (minimum of 10 years) pending completion of the review under Recommendation B33”, with a deadline of June 1, 2022. 

Over 1,000 applications pending

That deadline has since lapsed by more than six months and Governor Rankin shared statistics that showed that applications for both residency and Belongership have only increased by a great degree since that time.

“According to statistics provided by the Department for Immigration, 1,102 applications for residency and Belongership have been made since 1st June 2022, after the Government of National Unity was established,” the governor said in his review. “From the information available to me, it would however appear that there has been little if any progress in dealing with these applications.” 

The governor contrasted this and showed that, at the time of writing his review, there had just been fifty-three prior applications for Belongership and forty-three for residency awaiting Cabinet decision.

Regarding steps he has taken to address the matter, Governor Rankin said he has sought assurance from the government that it will make this issue a priority. 

“I have written to the Premier to seek assurance that capacity constraints within the Immigration Department in dealing with residency and Belongership applications will be addressed swiftly in line with the Government’s Framework Document commitment to prioritise and allocate resources as part of its full commitment to reform.”

 In the meantime, Governor Rankin noted that a reviewer (Kedrick Malone) has since been identified to “lead a review of the existing policy and processes for granting residency and Belongership status, including the open discretion of Cabinet to grant such statuses and the length of residence required for Belongership, among other things”.

Governor Rankin said he recognised the sensitivities and public interest in this review and said the proposed date for completion has now been shifted to October 2023. 



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  1. Deception says:

    He is concerned because he want the UK citizens living here to become belongers. BVI people wake up from your slumber. These people are deceptive. This is not about our Caribbean brothers and sisters. This is about their UK citizens getting the same rights that we have. Then we you look they take over the country buying land, opening business with their deep pockets etc.
    BVI people wake up.
    And yes, they have their operatives blogging and pressing the dislike button to give the impression that it is local people doing it.
    Do not take these people lightly.

    Like 31
    Dislike 91
  2. Hmmm says:

    The Governor only looking out for his kind to flood the BVI so it can assist in the take over. People suffering and look what he is concern about. What about the many applications in his office for British citizenship that he has held up. SMDH.

    Like 22
    Dislike 60
  3. two of them corrupt says:

    when is the governor’s office going to be audited and that of the police?

    Like 18
    Dislike 48
  4. Citizen says:

    Ranking looking a way for more whites to come to the BVI so they can take over..What a wicked racist man.

    Like 20
    Dislike 67
  5. The Reality says:

    The Governor and the UK has placed unreasonable and unattainable time frames and deadlines on these pre-arranged COI recommendations. Also, the cost to implement them all at one time in a short time span and keep running the country is unsustainable especially in the wake of covid (where the effects are still being felt) and the effects and damages of the two category five hurricanes are still issues. They are setting us up to fight each other and they go free. It is a set up to fail. This is not a modern partnership at all. We agree some reforms are needed but not how the Governor and UK is going about it.

    Like 19
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  6. Salty Fish says:

    Hold on Cowboy – you are as useless as the rest of these dog and pony show actors! All of you are a set of talkers. NOTHING EVER GETS DONE HERE! NOTHING!!!!! Chatter, more chatter, and then a little more. There is no substance, no action, NO SINCERITY, on any side. At home here, or through the UK and its mandates!

    F-ING do something of go away! It is only the day-to-day people of these islands that get $hit on. Every one of you associated Government clowns with your agenda of hot air just talk to feel important while the monies are raided, the charges are incompetently prosecuted, and the promise of brighter days are met with the darkness of night.

    I am beyond pi$$ed with the rhetoric. Turn the light on and let us see what is going on!!!!!!!!! Because all these bad boys and girls are getting away with our money and our country.

    I want better for our home, our country, our people …………. give us some progress, make the changes, all of us voters know the issues, yet we sit down, look in the mirror and wonder what’s going on as we are run by amateur cartels and families that bicker and fight as they move in and out of power every four years!

    Yous spineless elected officials need to put referendums on the ‘floor’ and let us vote – then you’ll see what time of day it is!

    Like 39
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  7. Talk that says:

    All happen is that he aint seeing enough white people showing up infront of him for belongers

    Like 11
    Dislike 32
  8. Son of the soil says:

    Let us bring back the 7 year rule where outsiders are only allowed to stay 7 years at a time {exit after 7 yrs and reapply}

    Like 24
    Dislike 65
  9. We says:

    Rankin have one agenda and if it’s not clear by now then BVI people are really sleeping. BVI rep in office stand up for what is right . See the bigger picture and not be blinded. We don’t want this small island over crowded. Those 1000 application need to be cut down to 100. Rankin colors are slowly beginning to show. His only concern are those 1000 application . Hmmm ?

    Like 10
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  10. Gerry Mandering says:

    1100 probable voters cynically refused a voice.

    Like 28
    Dislike 4
  11. No progress says:

    He is right, nothing is being done , everything is slow, I’d they need help , call for it, they are plenty of government workers sitting down not doing anything and walking around to other businesses talking, why do you need 5 person to go to an hardware store with a purchase order, ….. give them work to do, what so hard in reviewing and stamping a few documents

    Like 44
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  12. Bad people says:

    These people only looking out for themselves. They want to flood the BVI with their own white citizens. This is what this is all about. Did you notice how much time the COI spent on the belongers topic? The uK citizens are lining up for their belongers.

    Like 8
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  13. What about says:

    the thousands of belonger/residency applications submitted to the Immigration department in the last 40 years that are still ‘Pending’. Mine has been pending in my immigration file since 1992!

    Like 25
    Dislike 1
  14. something is wrong says:

    from what I read the governor is sending out the wrong message about living here for 10 yrs and applying for residency and belonger status. the law stated ten yrs yes but the governor should let the people know that it’s not only ten yrs requirement it need to apply for status. there are other things that goes with it and quite a people need to know this also.i think belonger status need to halted immediately and the only how this can be done is that the people the belongers and bvi landers need to get up and realize that their country is slipping away from them.the governor can say all he want but the people have the last say.the governor does not own this country neither is Britain. the people of this country own these small Islands.

    Like 10
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  15. What? says:

    How does this make sense? You are asking for systems to be reviewed and be revamped while at the same time wanting applications to be processed before the review is completed? Guv thinks he is smart but the BVI people are smarter.

    Like 5
    Dislike 18
  16. Okay says:

    How is that a great cause for concern? As far as I know getting belongership and citizenship is a tedious process almost everywhere in the world because they put you through the ringer to determine your worthiness.

    Only here in the BVI it is expected to be a one and done so the same people always speaking down on the BVI and it’s local people could get a chance to feel like they are somebody in another man’s land. Not important. Moving right along…

    Like 5
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  17. British passport says:

    How you enjoying yours sir? Or you a US citizen as well?

    Like 4
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  18. WEW says:

    This is because the big old family belongers that have ruled for years don’t want anyone joining their ranks watering down their influence.

    Like 36
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  19. Hello says:

    BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORY, with an emphasis on BRITISH. The country is under their rule whether you like it or not. So stop behaving like spoil children, mine mine.

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
  20. Common sense says:

    Or, alternatively, have the UK suspend the Constitution, clean the place up and run it until it works properly. Of course, there is another option, make them independent with immediate effect and cut them completely loose. What we have currently is neither one thing or another, allowing the government officials that created this mess in the first place to sort it out is tantamount to giving the inmates the keys to the asylum.

    Like 22
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  21. ok says:

    exactly. them think we moo moo. look at the responses on this chat

  22. Me says:

    Yes I applied over six months ago and nothing, no call, nothing. Immigration Dept saying they short staff. Why can’t the Government put more workers in there..retirees etc if they can’t second workers from other ministries.

    Like 10
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  23. Hold on.... says:

    A MINIMUM of ten(10) years! That means that an individual can apply after 10 years living without interruption in the Virgin Islands. So, if legislators choose to put it to twenty…arbitrary, yes… but illegal?

    I don’t think belongership should be given to any of the present applicants because the process has been tainted.

    Like 3
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  24. Here goes... says:

    Yeah I think we can work out who’s the racist from your comment…

  25. Mestizo says:

    Ones you accept a person in your country to resides and work, contributes to your economy for more than 10 years, you have to grant a status to this individual. it is international law, or do you feel that people are just expendables. this individuals deserves benefit or don’t bring them. simple…

    Like 14
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  26. @Deception says:

    DWL ? isn’t this what our Caribbean Brothers and Sisters doing to Us already? How ironic you are saying to block the UK Citizens from doing the same thing. Except the UK folks might help improve and build up the Economy from whence they live and not run to WU/MG to wire elsewhere every penny they could.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  27. WELL SA!!! says:

    Well they need to do the same for us when we go to the US

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  28. Funny says:

    Why is that so many people think the UK wants to take over the Territory? The place makes no money, nothing works, educational standards are poor, all the labor is imported (recall that brexit was about keep foreigners out of the UK), and there’s lots of narco trafficking (11 tons seized last year alone). Without financial services (which are likely to disappear if UK were to take over), the only remaining industry is tourism, and we don’t do that particularly well. Plus the UK has plenty of problems of its own. If anything, BVIs is a burden rather than an asset.

    Like 19
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  29. HMM says:


  30. Gato Barbeieri says:

    Do like Cyril Romney. Grant none

    Like 1
    Dislike 7
  31. Believe their brains big says:

    There is no BVIslander that would be pressing dislike on the posts above that had to do with our country being taken over by people from outside. In this case it is the UK people who he is pushing for belongers for. This tells me that they have their own people blogging and manipulating the blogs for their own benefit. These people are nasty.

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  32. I am one. says:

    Here 40 yrs, cant even get an answer as to the status of my application..This need investigating.. People with that responsible need moving. They are taking their work personal and implementing bias and prejudice…

  33. Too much talking Gov. says:

    Just suspend the damn thing. Take over and fix these issues. Talking will not fix them..our leaders not interested in fixing the issues..

  34. Well suh says:

    It’s deliberate. Bout dem only having interviews twice for the year. How dem expect to ever get rid a da backlog? Dem in deh pussyfooting on purpose asking a set a useless questions.

  35. @ OK says:

    who asked you ? , you have filled your whole yellow site with you racist blogging , you calling down bvi news , and yet you are filling up the bvi news with the same racist rethoric , when are you going to do the same thing on platinum ? ( @ son of the soil we know its another one of your names ) is your dad from here ?

  36. Oh my says:

    Look how ayo on the Governor
    Why ayo not on the cocoaine pushers , the gunslingers who shooting in broad daylight and getting away
    What a society

  37. Resident says:

    Yeah, listen to all dem morons…

  38. @Oh my says:

    I do agree some of the comments are over the top, but I myself, as a local, was shocked by the Governor’s comments about all these applications. Why? Wasn’t it since just recently that the fast track application process netted over 1,500 new Belongers? I am not saying to throw out the pending applications, but this is a small place and when I walk around and drive around Town, I am not recognising many persons in the City. It could be that I dont’ recognise the generations behind me, but from the accents I hear, I know it is that this little country is overwhelmed by persons moving here to work. We are very small in comparison to many of our Caribbean neighbours. We cannot in a small two year span allow upwards of 1,000 new belongers. And we hve already had upwards of 1,500. Please, we will be overcrowded and very unhappy here.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  39. Resident says:

    What did he expect? The clique are expert at frustrating proper governance. That you could have the CoI and not see that makes me despair. The Brits have abdicated their responsibility. They are allowing a new Haiti to develop.

    Look what we have for the billions of government revenue paid in since the 1980s. Terrible infrastructure and poor public education.

  40. LAW vs Made up policy says:

    So, can someone apply based on their 10 years?
    They need to redo and pay everything AGAIN!

    Because the Fast Track cut the 15 years persons out?

    People should be able to apply per the LAW and not POLICY made up and have any needed documents retroactively appled and not have to pay for new documents!
    IF the police report and so forth the gov must take it from then not make people pay againf and agin.

  41. Disappointed says:

    What are his views on reparations. Is he disappointed at the glaring lack of progress by the UK government to apologise for the illegal transportation of humans across the Atlantic rom Africa and to pay reparations all across the Caribbean to compensate for this evil wrong. The colonial system was operating a criminal regime. Who should be charged for that.

  42. Common sense says:

    You make some excellent points, that may be why the UK has resisted suspending the Constitution and taken control in view of their own problems nearer home. Additionally, before pushing that button they would need an exit strategy that would require a very large crystal ball at this stage of the exercise.

  43. Rubber Duck says:

    Fewer than 10% of the Belonger applications are from white people

  44. Hello says:

    Deceiving or attempting to deceive the masses won’t work. Many of us in the BVI esp on Sister Islands are fed up

  45. Handel says:

    The racist, xenophobic comments are very disturbing. The so called natives so busy destroying themselves but so quick to blame the scary white man for their own destruction. The only people you need to blame is yourselves, for the deplorable state of the BVI, electing weak leaders who wouldn’t think twice to destroy their own for the almighty dollar.

  46. Be educated says:

    You all went and have children in the USA,and thereafter became USA citizens, and went on to live your best lifes…That’s Okay?…United Kingdom of Great Britain issue citizenship within lthan a year. Set of low minded locals from the BVI.

  47. Island boy says:

    People of the bvi have you stop and think of the people who help build up this country and are still hear doing the same, how about all of you who took island women and men to be in realationships haveing children both hear and overseas and yet you all fight agaist them getting residence and belonger,wat i notice is that in the day you all treat island people as unwanted people while in the night you all want to be ,,,,,,,,, wat kind of people are you all, no wounder there,s somuch strife among you all

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