Persons wishing to travel to the British Virgin Islands when the territory reopens to tourism in December are required to apply through the government’s newly-implemented online portal, BVI Gateway, to gain authorisation.
Premier Andrew Fahie who is also the minister responsible for tourism, made that announcement during a national broadcast late Monday.
He said: “Approval for travel takes the form of a BVI Gateway Traveller Authorisation Certificate which will be obtained via an online portal, called BVI Gateway. The portal is being set up at bvigateway.bviaa.com, and is projected to be live on Monday, 2nd November 2020.”
“Prospective travellers would be required to register on the BVI Gateway portal, and to upload their relevant documents. The application must be completed at least 48 hours prior to the intended flight,” he added.
A low-touch, high-tech environment
According to the Premier, the online portal will ensure the respective government agencies operate in what he described as a “low-touch, high-tech environment”.
As for BVI Gateway’s Traveller Authorisation Certificate, the Premier said it streamlines the process at the territory’s air and seaports and removes the need to fill out the paper versions of the same form.
“Immigration and Customs forms and all supporting documentation would be readily available online to the relevant authority by merely entering the certificate ID,” he explained.
Geofencing to detect unauthorised movement
In the meantime, Fahie said the system will also be able to facilitate “geofencing so that if a person ventures outside of the location authorised for their movement, this can be detected”.
The BVI Gateway portal, which is accompanied by a mobile app and wearable technology were all developed by Amber Group Limited — global technology company based in Jamaica. It operates in 23 countries, including India, parts of Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, and Canada.
“Their system has been tried and tested in a number of jurisdictions. This system is being managed by the BVI Airports Authority, which has entered into an agreement with the Amber Group, on behalf of the BVI,” Premier Fahie said.
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