BVI News

Premier stepping in to fix Immigration mess

Persons standing outside the Immigration Department in Road Town.

The government will be rolling out ‘changes’ to remedy the ongoing dilemma at the Immigration Department in Road Town.

“These changes that are due will definitely result in reduced waiting times, removal of those long lines from Immigration, and much more efficiency in what we are doing,” said Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

He said he plans to announce the changes today when he concludes discussions with the Immigration Department.

Large crowds comprising mostly expatriate workers have been descending on the department since the hurricanes last September.

Immigration still competent

Dr Smith said the crowding is as a result of the hurricanes, adding that Immigration is not at fault.

“The Immigration Department is going about its work in a normal way and because of the disaster, because of the need to have many people come in to work and for rebuilding and reconstructing, it’s become a little bit excessive,” the Premier explained.

He was speaking at a press conference at the Central Administration Complex in Road Town on Thursday afternoon (February 15).

New online application system for Immigration

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30 Comments

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  1. Unimpressed. says:

    So now you know how squeaky the wheel has to get before the gov’t pull their finger out. About time! I just hope it’s not lip service.

    • Cut and paste says:

      Anytime the top has to step in to help with ur job…….u need to go. Creating dumb policy that give staff more work and make it difficult for the customers. Get it right.

  2. Nothing to see here says:

    What are the changes going to be? When are they to be implemented? “Expatriate workers” well yes this is the immigration department and not a port of entry. Please provide specifics BVI News. Orlando, these people are here because of Labour, not Immigration: so what you say is true. Stop the tick box mentality and fix the system. Is isn’t hard. Renewals should be a rubber stamping exercise and that is why most people are lining up at immigration. Nobody is taking local jobs. They are just renewing their existing permits albeit at 10x the cost for 10x less service.

    • solutions says:

      true labour is an area where a lot needs to be fixed and modernised but immigration is where one wastes a whole day of productivity simply to pay a standard fee and collect a stamp. Hopefully, this is also an area to be fixed.

      3 year permits after year one is another no-brainer to alleviate work at these departments to focus on more involved matters and the get 3x the money in in 2018 and early going forward. This also helps government in budgeting

  3. Maggie says:

    ‘A little bit excessive….’
    It is always bad and people were regularly treated with disdain before the hurricanes.
    The protocols in place just do not work!

    How is it that the passport office is friendly and helpful (though tough) and this attitude doesn’t quite happen in immigration?

    • @Maggie says:

      “How is it that the passport office is friendly and helpful (though tough) and this attitude doesn’t quite happen in immigration?”

      Different Leadership styles…

  4. idea says:

    and blame it on the hurricane.

  5. Ford says:

    The Immigration Department is being run by locals so this shows them up. They can’t even run their own house much less a department. Might as well let expats run the show. Would be a Big difference.

  6. citizen says:

    These expats forgot that they are the ones that destroyed the Immigration and Labour departments after the hurricanes. I just do not understand how doctor Smith is so quick to jump when expats cry out, but when locals called on him for representation, there no answer to their calls. Who is Dr Smith?

  7. It’s raining today says:

    Let’s blame it on the hurricane…

  8. Now Happening says:

    I hope the Honourable Premier will announce similar changes to the Labour Department to replace the ineffective and complacent not to mention lackadaisical and incompetent people there. (All who believe they are Ministers too). @Everybody is a Chief sah.

  9. PLEASE! says:

    MAKE IT AN ONLINE PROCESS, RECEIVE AN EMAIL FOR AN APPOINTMENT TIME TO GET YOUR PASSPORT STAMPED. DONE. LESS TIME, LESS COST TO THE GOVT, HAPPY WORKERS.

  10. PLEASE! says:

    Also, talented, great people who would contribute significantly to the BVI on all levels may be diliberating over which territory to choose and the fact that labour and immigration is so tiresome may just mean the BVI loses out. The hurricane has already pushed some amazing people out of the territory as they work in other territories such as Cayman. Lets make it as easy as possible to bring these people back and additional talent to try and push the BVI forward. Immigration is an integral part to the BVI’s recovery, lets make it a pleasure for people to deal with. The better the people we have here, the better the BVI. Lets compete!

    • Agree says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with this. The number of people who have told me they’re considering not coming back to the BVI because of the issues with labour and immigration is frightening. They are being welcomed with open arms by other jurisdictions who recognise how much they could potentially bring to their own economies and are slowly being lured away. The BVI and its people (and its economy and future ultimately) will miss out on so much talent because of this. It’s heartbreaking and so easy to fix with an attitude adjustment and revaluation of policies and procedures that no longer apply in a post-Irma world.

      • @ Agree says:

        I don’t see that as frightening at all. It is fascinating. That so called talent that they boast hasn’t done BVI any good. All they did was enrich themselves.

      • Tolian to the Bone says:

        You know what, maybe some of these talented workers should find some place else with more land space. Tortola is full. Somebody got to go out before new ones come in and that is not happenkng.

    • @ Please says:

      Truth be told, the place was lighter when they left for Cayman and else where. We were happy they gone and wished they could stay gone. BVI could now start a new leaf and trade up for better to take this place forward but alas they coming or came back.

  11. Sam the Man says:

    Please don’t get involved Mr Premier it’s bad enough and only yesterday you were quoted as saying you were more than satisfied with the pace of recovery… Well I and many don’t share your celebration of incompetence and mediocrity…no doubt the inept immigration dept will be expecting overtime payments from the tax payer and you’ll give it to them…

  12. Agree says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this. The number of people who have told me they’re considering not coming back to the BVI because of the issues with labour and immigration is frightening. They are being welcomed with open arms by other jurisdictions who recognise how much they could potentially bring to their own economies and are slowly being lured away. The BVI and its people (and its economy and future ultimately) will miss out on so much talent because of this. It’s heartbreaking and so easy to fix with an attitude adjustment and revaluation of policies and procedures that no longer apply in a post-Irma world.

  13. Blaming it on the Hurricane ..smh says:

    I thought the Honorable was actually going to step in to alleviate the poor work flow at Immigration Department until he blamed it on the Hurricane.

    Many of the people in the daily long lines are there for annual renewals. They have been in the Territory. The process is not working and needs to be reviewed from start to finish with an honest attempt at rectifying.

    We don’t need political grandstanding on this. We need immediate action.

  14. Hmmmmmm!! says:

    My thing is half of them run back home where they from cause no work no place for half of them to live especially on JVD then they heard we rebuilding and them coming back still no place to work and live what is the Government doing about that?

    • Wise says:

      Then why come back under those circumstances? They are only burdening the country. Obviously they left knowing they could get better where they went. After the hurricane some countries went as far as sending planes for their people, not BVI people. Yes we felt betrayed but we sucked it up. While they were away, where ever they were they were being taking good care of. Stay there. Let VI get fresh people who will be with us through the thick, and thin, not fickle who run at the sign of trouble.

  15. Seriously says:

    Please don’t get involved Mr Premier you’ve presided over too many utter fiasco’s already the whole department needs replacing and bring in some external resources that know how to work hard, be courteous and actually Make a difference rather than the bunch of rude, arrogant better than you locals that just delight in making it as difficult as possible and hand out threats as if they are God…. Exasperating – no wonder people are leaving and not returning….

  16. Sam the man says:

    A Typical arrogant, ungrateful response you need to totally change your whole attitude to those that come and help you rebuild the Island and run your hotels/finance institutions providing much needed employment….Thank goodness not everyone here is as dumb as you….

  17. upfullness says:

    The woman… got to go. Let that be the quick fix.

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