BVI News

Regularisation initiative won’t cause dramatic spike in local population

Natural Resouces MInister Vincent Wheatley.

Minister responsible for Immigration Vincent Wheatley is assuring that government’s expatriate regularisation initiative will not cause any sudden and dramatic spike in the territory’s population.

“There are concerns that we are going to increase our population by 10,000 people or 15,000 people overnight. The quick answer is no. Most of the folks who are going to be regularised, they are here already, they’re living here, they’re born here, their husbands, their wives, their cousins, their friends,” Wheatley said in a recent interview with BVI News.

The minister also said informative programmes will be made available to locals who may have those concerns.

According to Wheatley, the regularisation initiative is a step towards creating what he described as a more inclusive BVI.

“We are really trying to help persons who’ve lived among us, who’ve been here for long periods with absolutely no status. They are kids who have been born here, lived all their lives in the BVI and know no place else besides the BVI. We got to make sure these persons feel at home amongst us,” the minister said.

And while noting that other counties have faced similar Immigration issues within their population, Wheatley admitted that the regularisation undertaking will not be an easy task.

“Anything this large is a huge undertaking. If you look at the United States and Donald Trump, its all about immigration so it’s no light undertaking. If you look at Brexit in the United Kingdom it’s all about immigration. If you look at Europe, it’s all about immigration,” said Wheatley who noted that the BVI government undertook a similar regularisation initiative in 2004.

Wheatley, in the meantime, commended the Premier for tackling the issue within his short period in office.

He added that, if left unattended, the issue could create even greater problems in the future.

“I think we just can’t simply ignore it and just keep kicking the can down the road. At some point in time, we have to take a moment and address the issue … My mind as Minister for Immigration is to address this issue at the fundamental level and try to fix it to make sure it doesn’t happen again going forward,” Wheatley said.

Premier Andrew Fahie’s two-week regularisation initiative fast tracks the process of qualified persons — who have been living in the territory for 15 years or more — becoming a Belonger or permanent resident.

All deadlines for qualified individuals to capitalise on this initiative end on May 31.

Copyright 2019 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

48 Comments

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  1. E Scott says:

    I do not support VIP and I an very concerned about the decisions that has recently been made, however, I support this initiative as a progressive policy and being fair to people who have resided here and added to the BVI for years. All the immigration issues reffered to in the article re EU, US and the UK are due to racists and bigots so BVI rise above that and be true to your ancestors who fought and beat prejudice that brought our people to these islands in the first place. Do be bitter be better.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Racist and Apartheid BVI quoting the US and the U.K. How dare you. Both the US and the U.K. have a clear avenue for anyone to become a citizen of either country within a short period of time. The BVI has no such method and thus it is near impossible for anyone to join the Belonger Squatters in the Territory. It is only a matter of time before the Brits intervene and stop these racist shenanigans. You God fearing people should be ashamed of yourselves. You are totally opposite of what a good Christian is and should be. Your end is near.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Racist?

        The U.S is deporting CHILDREN who have spent their entire lives there.
        The UK is deporting people from the wind rush generation who have contributed more that nation than their own.

        Racist? Clear-avenue? Brits intervening?

        Neither of those ‘first-world countries’ care about immigrants. Merely what the immigrants can do for them with little to no reparation.

        The BVI ain’t perfect. But, don’t come here talking about racism, especially with us in comparison to the UK and US. Compared to them, we’re saints!

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        • Anonymous says:

          You are clearly an uneducated moron. The only people that are deported from the US and U.K. are illegals. There are laws and courts which protect people unlike in the Territory. Children have a right to stay. That’s why all of you Belonger Squatters on the Queens land have your offspring in the US. Why don’t you stay home and have your offspring in your own Territory? Everything is so wonderful in the Territory. In 200 years you have done nothing to better mankind. You don’t have an institution of higher learning. Your children have to use their fingers to count change in a store. All of you please enlighten us stupid people of how the BVI African is intellectually superior to the stupid white man that supports your lazy asses on a daily basis.

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          • @BVinews says:

            I really don’t know why the moderator of this site would allow such vile and nasty comments by this poster. This is getting out of hand now and needs to stop.

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          • You know why? says:

            Because racism, and bigotry, divisiveness sells – that is why they are happy to push it! Tragic I agree!

          • Unbelievable says:

            Why don’t you put your name to this tirade, Anonymous?? It’s precisely because of people like you who hold the opinions you hold why BVIslanders are fearful of throwing open our doors even further.

            Since your UK and your US are so much better, why didn’t you stay there? Or, better yet, why don’t you go back? The way things are with UKIP, the National Front and various assorted white supremacist groups on the rise, you will fit right in.

            Can’t imagine the disrespect you probably mete out to black people on a daily basis. Or, are you one of those who skin and grin to our faces, pretending you love us while all the time this racist hated is simmering below the surface?

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          • Stopit!! says:

            That one got to be a racist who came here and begrudging what the BVI African has achieved while he or she slept in the 300-year old croaking flat in Europe.
            Calling us lazy? Who was more lazy than those who enslaved us and couldn’t work for themselves? This thing going turn up, you know. Talking about a revolution — Tracy Chapman.

          • To anonymous says:

            Did you just say white people here support lazy black people on a daily basis? Dude you are higher than the International space station just about now. Dude when hurricanes Irma and Maria hit, every white person and their dogs evacuated. All of you left.

            It was the black people who stayed back and cleaned up the BVI and you all lazy ungrateful people returned after the black people cleaned up the nasty, to continue to reap what little the sweet bvi had left. You have some nerves calling black people lazy. Ever since slavery abolish and black people stopped working for free, you all call us lazy.

            What support you all give black people daily? Every fortune you all make here and it is no secret that you all make the most money, you keep and live like kings around here. Thank God you all “rich” lifestyles coming to an end. Pittance is what you all pay black people, peeing in their face and calling it rain.

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          • true says:

            So please enlighten us all as to why YOU reside in the BVI? If you think so little of it don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

            signed

            A white guy

          • @Anonymous says:

            Belonger squatter on Queen land? We have paid for every acre of land that we OWN with our blood and lives. Have your ancestors ever?? No your ancestors your ‘queens’ traveled the world in such if victims like parasites killing, plundering, stealing, and raping. Much of you are shameful human being with out basic humanity. You can’t live among any race of people with out systems of segregation. Let us hope then that you are successful in your quest to find new worlds of real estate in out of space. Mars is at your reach do travel safely. There you will find a place of refuge away from us so call squatters of Earth who you have victimized for centuries. What a party on Earth that day will be!

          • hmmm says:

            Rude

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        • Samuel says:

          The wind rush population did more for the uk than anyone lol no all they gave the uk is gangs of black youths stabbing each other . The wind rush issue was a paperwork error that certain streams of the media have twisted and lied about. The status issue in BVI is a deliberate act to discriminate and be racist .
          Have you noticed how often in all blogs it gets said BVI people lazy and racist? If true or not aren’t you ashamed that that is how so many people view you ?

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          • @Samuel says:

            I would be more ashamed if I was a white child reading history of the psychopathic, inhumane, racist lineage of my people. Especially recognizing that not much have changed throughout the centuries. As I watch the way they segregate themselves from society and care more for dogs than mankind.

      • TJ says:

        When you don’t have anything smart to say you call names. That being said the BVI is following third world countries. The US has nothing to with your third world country and Premier. Except they help your economy by spending time and money there. It’s the UN relationship that will bring you down

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      • What!!’ says:

        “Anonymous “ recently wrote that their only reason to blog is to “educate “ (their words) Us poor black people that he/ she wishes to educate are not only “house niggers” but we are “boot licking a•• sucking s••t eating colonial symphatizer (?) who are underdeveloped intellectually “. I for one sure do not need “educating “ from such an extremely prejudiced racist dark soul so full of hatred for anyone ,regardless of where they come from ,who do not agree with their views.

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      • And says:

        @Anonymous:Who gave and willl give the Brits the unanimous rights to intervene and do such?

        Do you not reckon we no longer live in columbus and colonial, gun boat diplomacy times, though some of it ills still remain?

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      • ReX FeRaL says:

        Both the UK and the USA are batches.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      This is a good move for the whole of the population of the BVI that will result in increased productivity and economic activity.
      I had doubted the VIP were as humanist a party as the NDP but it seems Mr Fahie does have a soul after all.
      Of course these people will also most likely vote for the party that made them citizens.

  2. Stupid says:

    I’m stupid if I should think that the population wouldn’t be higher. If I have 4 children in my home land and I become a belonger and my children are under 18 or whatever , am I not going to get my children in the territory ? I just don’t.understand, I would like to know the amount of people they are trying to give residents to. I know hundreds are already in and thousands are applying , what’s the target amount. I have no problem with people getting their papers but is the way it’s being done is the problem.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right. You are stupid. That is all.

      The initiative is done in order to fast-track the process for people who have been in the VI for donkey years without status. Living here, working here, contributing to this territory.

      In short, you DO have a problem with people getting their papers. We’re a blessed people and people come here for a better life and lay down roots here. Your people are probably from another place who just so happened to come here in the 1900’s and settle down.

      Let go of your bigoted, xenophobic ways. It’s 2019 and globally immigration is becoming too large a problem because of people’s own ignorance.

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      • Stupes says:

        I know of two people who went to school in Jamaica and they are still there after 18 years and they have no damn status for there. The BVI is not the only place where it takes time to get one status. The time was 20 years and now it has decreased to 15 for no sensible reason.

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    • son of the soil says:

      Then they will start using the loophole by adapting their nieces and nephews and bringing them here to burden the system which is already drained

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      • truth be told says:

        You are so right with that. I know a Trinidad lady who married a local and she has seemingly adopted the entire village she came from. Ask the guy who will soon be sentenced for r.p.

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    • Liz says:

      Yes the population will increase tremendously. It seems like the Minister have not given a lot of things his thoughts and that is why several heads need to come together to discuss the matter.

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  3. E Scott says:

    small correction be better not bitter, what an ironic error

  4. Just thinking says:

    Why should people that reach 20 years and over pay ? They already reach the time that was once a requirement so why pay again if you mean them any good. The ones that should pay is 15 years because that is new. Is this a money making thing? I just remember government is broke so anyway to get money them going to try and drain it from people

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    • vi says:

      Stop being a Dumbo. Any where in the world you have to pay for status. Why should we give it away for free? If you want a US Visitors Visa, you have to pay for it. Don’t even mention the green card. You have to cut a limb to pay for it. Naturalisation as a US citizen is not free; some who lived there for years have not applied because of the cost. So please stop showing your ignorance on the world wide web.

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  5. Not2Sure says:

    I am sure that is correct – if they are giving papers to people who have lived here full time for 15+ years, then by definition those are people who are already living and working here.

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  6. resident says:

    bvifor bvi people

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    • @resident says:

      The US for Americans. Stay in your Territory and stay out of the US. Get your food, clothes, cars, building materials, medicine, healthcare and the condoms and birth control you should all be using. Stop having your offspring in the US. You have a Territory stay in it and starve, no clothes, no homes no nothing. You are a racist pig.

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  7. @anomymous says:

    Why wasn’t this put to the bvi landers when they were campaigning, this is not what we voted for. One thing people curse Donald Trump but he was honest to the people from the get go.VIP wasn’t being honest and he disappoint the people. Something is up his sleeve. I hope it don’t fire back because much planning wasn’t into it

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  8. Hmm says:

    The fact that it is done when the immigration board is dissolved and that it will be rushed and have three readings on Friday’s house of assembly to be passed makes it an unethical and deceptive move by the Governor.

    Not to mentioned it was never brought forward on the campaign trail or is it listed in the party’s manifesto.

    The BVI is small and its resources are small. Vincent stop playing politics with peoples lives.

    You see this was setup by Ralph and the same Andrew when in 2007- 2011 term the decision was made that one can vote on belonger status.

    When in fact that privilege should have only been given to belongers who can trace their roots back three generations. Not those who were issued it.

    This is a serious and hot issue many persons are already expressing that these guys are a bunch of dictators where some of them have not changed and we need to go back to the polls not just a bi election.

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    • Hmm says:

      That should read deceptive move by Government not Governor

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    • Only Angels says:

      @Hmm. So someone who has lived in St Thomas for all his life, has never paid any taxes here and who votes in the USA and has US citizenship should have the right to vote in the BVI because his great great grandparents were born here? But someone who has lived in the BVI for 25 years, paid their taxes, obeyed the laws and supported the BVI’s economy should never have the right to vote?

      What you are saying is utter nonsense!

  9. let's make the bvi great again says:

    GET RID OF THE VIP IN 2023

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  10. V*** Censorship says:

    Please note that V*** appearantly seems to be censoring comments and only posting comments that are in favor of this regularizing. Many personally have written comments against and they have not been posted. They may allow one or two but not much.

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  11. vip heckler says:

    Was this in their manifesto or on the campaign trail??????

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  12. Sad says:

    How does Vincent know that there will not be a spike. Does he know what else there will be a spike on. Irresponsible, Vincent when you was a public officer you were more prudent and responsible. How can you be so callous with our territory

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  13. will never vote again says:

    I expected this from M—n not Andrew

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  14. reader says:

    I’m here reading the comments, some are down right racist white others are either for or against. That being said whether you are for or against can you at least offer a positive comment of what you propose the Government can do to address this issue. Mr. Wheatly said it himself the Government cannot merely go on as thought the issue of regularization does not exist. Common folks we’ve heard the both the pros and cons now lets hear the solution please. We all bleed red don’t we?

  15. Hmm says:

    I just hope they do their due diligence and ask for proper documents and that bank statements must show that the money was on the bank for a period of 6 months or more. That would certainly avoid people from going to borrow from friends to make their account look more favourable.

    Also, hope that they will look at whether or not the self-employed were paying SS, NHI and other taxes.

    Hope some of the locals get caught up for getting work permits for years for people they don’t know and who do not work for them and therefore have not been paying taxes etc for people who may otherwise qualify.

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  16. Solution says:

    The backlog that is already in I think they should deal with those and then deal with the ones here for 30 and 20years after and go down the line and I don’t think it should be rushed. Take time to study what next to do.

  17. Ausar says:

    There will be an increase in population.Its only natural.

    Do you believe that a newly minted Belonger will not try to bring more family members or friends here to improve their lives?

    Of course!

    How our immigration department deals with this newly influx of the populace is where the discouse should be headed.

    I am in agreement with the regularization of these immigrants. If we claim to be a people of laws, and we have regularizing laws on the books, with an agreed upon timeline,then we should be absolutely true to those laws. The Kingdom is paying keen attention to how we handle these issues.

    Whether there should be an annual cost for application, or the continuity thereof, I think we should look to the Kingdom for such information, lest we administrate laws not in keeping with true freedom that regularization brings!

  18. Sell bescote says:

    After reading all the comments I I think only one solution. All black on the island return to Africa, all White’s Europe then the whistle blows and the first 30,000 back get to stay

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