Premier Andrew Fahie has postponed the government’s programme to regularize select expatriates, effective immediately.
The Premier made the announcement moments after a meeting with the Virgin Gorda community on the matter on Thursday night.
“In respect to the people of the Virgin Islands and for the process of listening to their views and reshaping our agenda, the submission days for the ‘Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme from May 27 to 31, 2019 has been postponed,” he wrote on his social media page.
He continued: “Applicants are asked to await further word and directions to apply. We regret any inconvenience caused.”
The Premier, however, advised applicants to complete the ‘preparation of all necessary documents’ required for the now-stalled application process.
Some locals were against the initiative
The indefinite postponement of the initiative comes days after the Premier suspended the amendments that were to be made to the Immigration and Passport Act in the House of Assembly. The amendments would have been critical to facilitating the regularisation.
At the time, Fahie said his administration decided to suspend the second and third readings for the amended bill because he does “not intend to run the country in a dictatorial manner.”
A group of concerned citizens had launched an online petition, staged a protest, and orchestrated social media blast in an attempt to dissuade legislators from voting in favour of the amendments. Notably, any legislation brought before the House requires three readings before it can pass.
The Premier has since held two community meetings on the matter.
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