BVI News

Random and restricted operations at crowded Immigration

Persons gathered outside the Immigration Department in Road Town today.

Large crowds continue to descend on the Immigration Department in Road Town and have forced the department to restrict the number of persons it serves on a daily basis.

At least, that was the situation when BVI News visited the facility on Wednesday morning, February 14.

The department has been operating on a distribution system in which it dispenses a limited number of tickets to persons gathered outside the department.

Receiving a ticket essentially guarantees that a person would get served on that given day.

However, persons are complaining that ticket distribution has been disorganized and that the early birds who arrive at the facility first are not given first preference to receive tickets.

It appears that only the most aggressive persons who push their way to the front of the restless crowd have been consistently successful in getting tickets.

Today was no different when BVI News visited the facility.

At some point before midday, an Immigration officer appeared amid the crowd and arbitrarily distributed 30 tickets to the eager gathering.

The officer then announced to the remaining crowd that only the 30 persons who received tickets would be served for the remainder of that day.

Notably, inside the department was already stuffed with another set of applicants when those 30 tickets were being distributed.

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  1. Concern says:

    I don’t understand the issue – is it staffing, technology, due process – what????

    • Resident says:

      I think the staffs are trying their best. Its the process that is not working, one example: labour takes 3 months to renew a work permit, during that time you properly have to go immigration 3 times (or more)for extension. Imagine the frustration of being in this line every two weeks.

    • watcher says:

      How about a couldnt care less attitude, no clue what to do, people put in charge without the slightest relevent experience and the general view of non belongers as some kind of lower order human being. Does that help answer your question?

  2. Citizen says:

    Father I pray that you give my people knowledge and wisdom. The ability to think wisely and delete ignorance, take away pride and confusion.
    Help my leaders to be less corrupt and be wise also.

  3. Songbird says:

    Why are the British not taking over the entire administration of the BVI? Is the Governor blind?

  4. Why the hoopla... says:

    Not sure why this is news as I’ve been to other countries trying to get a visa; and if you weren’t seen by noon, they automatically told you to come back the next day. Why everything is so blown up in this place. What am I not understanding?

    • Really says:

      Where were you looking a visa to go? Timbuktu?

    • Have sense says:

      There are mass shootings in the US almost every week now. Does that make it right if it happened in the BVI? For God sake have some sense!!!!!!!!! These people can only be in the Territory if they are working, law-abiding residents – why should they be treated this way? Does this look like progress to us? Many Virgin Islanders seem to completely forget just a few generations ago we were treated with such callous indignity right over in ST. Thomas and now we do the same to people who are living in our apartments helping us to pay our mortgages, teaching our children, working in our businesses and even the spouses of our brothers and sisters.

  5. Hmmmm says:

    I saw a person get served, keep their ticket, give it to their friend and then get served, I guess I was wrong though because I said something.

  6. Disgrace says:

    They could more than find a better way to process people but I guess it’s a way to show who is in charge. It’s just downright disrespectful and the truth is they would never or maybe I should say would not dare try that with the locals because they know the amount of mother’s ….. they would get.
    Instead of having people lining up like beggars and pushing and fighting to get a little stamp, why not 1. Try to get some extra help and extend the opening hours 2. Let people come using an alphabetical system: Surnames between A and F come on Monday and so on. That would reduce the crowd and save time and money. 3. Those persons whose work permits are ready, why not call them or make an announcement for them to come and pick up?
    The system as it is now is time wasting, frustrating and dehumanizing. Madam chief, good leadership requires self and organizational evaluation. Put on your thinking cap and come up with something that will ease the stress that people are going through. Thank you mam.

  7. Dow says:

    These damn people complain too much.

  8. OLD NEWS says:

    The entire immigration system is flawed and has always been in a dis-array, from very mean and hoggish officers dealin with ppl, to the 4 and 5 trips u have to take because an officer did not clearly advise ALLL that is needed at ONE time, every time u go they send u back for something else. They need to be trained on their own procedure requirements, and they just move slowly and are inefficient. They can more than service more than 30 ppl in a day, but they CHOOSE to make it easier on themselves. For ppl simply renewing a time stamp or somethin like that, in my view, can be a walk up service instead of having to spend an entire day, and persons dealin with more elaborate issues take a number. They need to better organize themselves, expand their space and hire staff. IMMIGRATION department is suppose to be one of the most EFFICIENT AND ORGANIZED dept of the government. But then again this is the BVI!

  9. Appointment says:

    Another method that can be employed by the immigration department is to make provision on line for people to go on line and make appointment and they will come to the department at the allocated time ,rather than standing in the long line the entire day. Email can be sent out from the Labor Department to inform applicant that their work permit renewed and the labor department should send a list everyday to the immigration department of those work permit that have renewed and they can send out appoint dates and time for immigration stamp.
    Just new applicant and any other business should in those lines.

  10. Its simple says:

    Its simple take some of the experienced staff they have at the dock who knows what to do and put them back in there to get things done

  11. Get real says:

    Ridiculous and embarrassing get some of those lazy government employees that sit sleeping at their desks to step up and assist FFS this is laughable…

  12. Unimpressed. says:

    It’s a mess to be sure. Just a thought… Maybe send an immigration officer one day a week to the major out islands (Anegada, JVD, VG) to handle the people there?

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