BVI News

Revised Policy: New fees, students no longer qualify for work permit exemption

Legislators show off the new sign for the Department of Labour and Workforce Development

Expatriates who work and study in the BVI will no longer be eligible for work permit exemption now that the territory’s existing Labour policies have been revised.

Persons are now only eligible for a permit exemption by marriage, exemption by the Labour Minister’s discretion, or exemption by tenure. 

Under the revised policy, an expatriate qualifies for work permit exemption by tenure if he/she has resided in the Virgin Islands consecutively for 15 years or more. This 15-year tenure requirement is down from ’20 years’ which existed under the previous policy.

New Fees

The introduction of new fees which are non-refundable is another change within the revised policy. 

All persons applying for a new work permit exemption or a renewal are now required to pay a $100 application fee. Persons successful in their application for a new or renewed exemption will now have to pay the $400 for the Exemption & Card Fee. 

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley told BVI News that government will still be losing income despite the introduction of the new fees.

“The exemption fee is lesser than the work permit fee you would have paid so we are losing revenue. But it is the humanitarian thing to do,” Wheatley stated.

Exemption period now lasts up to six years, possibly less

With the revised policy, the indefinite approval periods previously enjoyed by persons who were granted a permit exemption have also been eliminated.

This means successful applicants will now be informed of how long their exemption period will last. Persons can only get a maximum approval time of six years. 

Minister Wheatley said that the new changes are part of the Labour and Immigration reform process aimed at tackling several long-existing issues, which he described as ‘problematic’.

“These things that we are doing will help avoid a backlog. That is the intention. This is part of the process to help prevent it from happening again,” the Labour Minister added.

He also said: “There are people in the territory who are here and still not sure what options they have for a change of status. This information is very, very clear about what the options are for when you want to change your status.”

Persons are being reminded that applying for a work permit exemption does not mean that applicants will automatically qualify since several factors have to be considered. 

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

54 Comments

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  1. What? says:

    This a wicked policy! Levels of exemption? where are the criteria listed? Or is this on the whim of the minister of the day? rife for abuse if u ask me!

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  2. Expat tax says:

    And YET another plan to USE expats to rebuild the V.I

    Expats: all they do is suck us dry the treat us like we lower than them, we contribute way more to the territory

    Locals: if u don’t like it leave

    Me: I did

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    • Pathetic... says:

      You left but you are still on here bawling. Wow. Get a life. Move on.

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      • Expat tax says:

        U mad because u ugly, u bet u shape like a case of bottle water

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        • Blah says:

          You left but still on BVI News that don’t make any sense like stop eating from a restaurant but still checking the menu.

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          • Expat tax says:

            Ayu just VEX bcuz U cant tell me leave… Hahahaha so stop act like what I doing is only me. Everybody keep track of the place they use to call home. Some of ayu watching American news on TV so bite me

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    • @Expat tax says:

      If you are not comfortable with the policies of the British Virgin Islands then feel free to find employment elsewhere throughout the world. You are all grown people!!!

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      • Understanding says:

        Guess you didn’t read what the expat tax said, if you did then you won’t make this comment.

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      • To @Expat tax says:

        The pride that you have may be humbled. Look at Bahamas now…no land to fight for now…they can’t tell me go back to their country. The little you think is yours can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Why don’t you live and let live. These policies are ungodly and oppressive. Remember when everyone was saying how Irma put everybody on the same level and remember how they were begging expats to stay then. This system is something like slavery…expats are what drives this economy…you CANNOT function without expats…yet you make expats feel as if you can do without them and that they have no worth or value in this Territory. Humble yourselves BVI and do right by people…just like how the prophetic word warned of the impending judgment that was Irma…the warnings have continued that judgement is not done unless you turn from your wicked ways…go and look on FaceBook and you will see that Bahamas was warned. The Premier started out well…but it is a wonder what is happening now…it seems that the expat is in for more oppressive policies…and soon they may leave and give you back your country that you keep telling them in words and actions that you don’t want them and they are not valued.

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    • Smh says:

      You are so dam right. They all and all for themselves and can’t work for their Island. We expats get treated like low class. This is indeed another way to USE expats.

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    • Local says:

      What u consider used expats?

  3. Question says:

    Does this apply to those who already have Work Permit Exempt status?

    The wording is not clear

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  4. Concerned.. says:

    The Government went backed on their word when Mr.Fahie promised exemption for 10 years and above. This is inhumane on all levels for the students .. lord be with the expats . The BVI could never move together as one.. That’s all history. GOD IS IN TOTAL CONTROL.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Does this apply for those who are government workers
    And are expat?

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    • government worker says:

      government workers do not need an exemption.

    • Facts says:

      This students exemption should have ceaseda long time ago.This was helpful when the BVI needed bright minds to help fill certain vacancies. i talk about this many many yrs ago that this exemption for children leaving school should stop because the bvi have more than enough children born of expatriate parent’s like myself to fill these positions now. This is something that has cause some of the problems we facing now when it comes to unemployment. You have children coming from wherever,get into the school system from as high as fourth form and then get excepted as soon as they leave school.so now the same children of expatriate parent’s that were born here who’s parents like myself was fighting for rights for our children because they were born here face another hurdle in the job market because these exempted children get our jobs.we cannot have it both ways. I went to my country of birth recently and a senior bank official told be they recently hired an accountant. So forgetting where i were i asked where is that person from.I was asked what do you mean where is that person from.Where do you expect that person to come from.so i explain that in the bvi almost every government department you go to people from the other islands are occupying top jobs.the bank official said well its not so here our people comes first.why can’t the bvi do the same.Every tom dick and harry marry someone from outside whether man or woman they bring them here and looking top jobs for them and not only looking but getting the jobs to.some of them straight out of college with no experience getting training on the job. Why can’t the bornhere children get the same opportunity. Why?. We have enough people now in the bvi to get these jobs.we expatriate parents want the same opportunity to get on the job training for our born here children. So we cannot have it both ways.one example you go to inland revenue and the first person you meet is a expatriate. So we couldn’t find some young or old person to fill such position??the past government has really stifle the bvi.I really think now that the most high God had a hand in helping direct the people to bring in this unconventional government. Expatriate parents look at it from two sides.the bvi is over loaded with children born here of expatriate parent’s. We need work for them .most if not all have rights here.thier future still doesn’t look all that bright but i see changes. Thanks to this government. If we want it look like a slum we would not see it .some of us would like to see every street corner have someone selling looking like where i come from and dont tell me your country is different because i been to many.for this country to look and feel the way it should grab the bull by the horn now and reign it in.

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      • East side says:

        This is too long why u did write a shorter story

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      • Curious says:

        As far as I know students cannot start in the high school and get exemption. Unless yours did. It is my belief that they would have had to start in the primary school and completed the high school before applying for exemption.

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      • Tallgirl says:

        Years ago, I told my friend that the expatriates wants everything their way no restrictions. They would not see how BVIanders or Belongers feel until they see their own children who are now Belongers suffer as a result of lack of laws that don’t support your own over others. Every other country does it but it is a crime if the BVI does it. Have you ever said something and it come to pass? Well here it is.

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  6. Snoppy says:

    All persons applying for a … renewal are now required to pay a $100 application fee.

    Hello!!!! WTF. Price suddenly doubled !

  7. What. says:

    Price doubled? Take expats for granted perhaps if this Carrie’s on we will all leave.

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  8. true says:

    If this means my indefinite is no longer valid it will mean I justness to become a belonger…….. very strange policy forepeople married to BVIslanders

    • Facts says:

      Curious i know of many students who came to the bvi get into high school and get exempted. It was suppose to be for those who started from primary school but it was never like that.and my children was born right here many yrs ago.this. thing with children getting exempted is what cause some of the problems with unemployment. The jobs available should first go to bvi lander and belongers. They should come first.this is one of the only small country that expatriate wife’s and husband’s get priority over the natives and belongers.

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  9. Expat says:

    Dorian pass by the next one will be worse than irmaria wicked set of people and it’s still the expats building the country they donate more of they time and energy to the country than it’s own God dont like ugly

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    • @expat says:

      Whatever you donate you make sure you get triple times back. You threatening a hurricane on the BVI if you donot get your way. Tell me who is the wicked one.

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  10. Father Time says:

    I can see the BVI will be full of their inbreeding kin when this government is finished clearing us all out.

    Feels like trump land now more than ever.

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  11. fact says:

    They should make this retroactive, no exemption should be indefinite.

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  12. Expat says:

    I wonder what the “qualifying factors” are…

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  13. Thankful says:

    Thank God I left that place. I’ve spent all my life in that place since I was 8 months old and now I’m 37 years. The BVI is for them self everything is money for them. And we expats is who rebuilt this country they call the BVI. They always say their island is bless …yes it’s bless with wicked people.

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  14. Expat says:

    Wicked place

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    • Facts says:

      GOD bless this beautiful island that i called home for the last three decades. This may not go as we would like it to but i would rather live here in the bvi than go back from where i was born.The bvi has one of the lowest crime rate in the eastern Caribbean and this is a fact.I still sleep with all my exterior doors unlocked and am sure many others do the same.Rules need to be made and enforce. Which country in the world don’t look out for there own people??.I don’t know of any.My opinion is it take to long for these in authority to act and up comes a government that is brave and wise enough to tackle it. It’s a bit late but better late than never. My gosh look how these good hearted bvi landers accepted us .we took away many of there jobs ,trying to take there culture ,taking there people to be our husband and wife’s and now the government in power is trying to acknowledge its on people and we expatriate have a problem with the people calling them all sorts of names .if i go back back to the country i was born and its full of expatriates i would be highly upset. A country can only do so much .I am thankful for the opportunity to live and work here and may God continue to bless the these islands and its

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    • Local says:

      Then leave

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  15. Facts says:

    GOD bless this beautiful island that i called home for the last three decades. This may not go as we would like it to but i would rather live here in the bvi than go back from where i was born.The bvi has one of the lowest crime rate in the eastern Caribbean and this is a fact.I still sleep with all my exterior doors unlocked and am sure many others do the same.Rules need to be made and enforce. Which country in the world don’t look out for there own people??.I don’t know of any.My opinion is it take to long for these in authority to act and up comes a government that is brave and wise enough to tackle it. It’s a bit late but better late than never. My gosh look how these good hearted bvi landers accepted us .we took away many of there jobs ,trying to take there culture ,taking there people to be our husband and wife’s and now the government in power is trying to acknowledge its on people and we expatriate have a problem with the people calling them all sorts of names .if i go back back to the country i was born and its full of expatriates i would be highly upset. A country can only do so much .I am thankful for the opportunity to live and work here and may God continue to bless these islands and it’s people.

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  16. It's God island says:

    We’re are the ones that stayed after the hurricane when the so call BVI lander’s left. But God is in control he always takes care of his people

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  17. ??? says:

    Why 6 years? Very weird number. Also was advised to apply a few years ago under the special circumstances and the lady in the office would not accept the application or even look at it as I hadn’t been in the BVI for 20 years although a downislander Friend of mine got theirs after 10 years. Guess again with the government its whether your face fits or who’s pocket you can line !!!

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  18. Time for peace says:

    The people of the Bvi have all right to protect their own home land in whatever way they see fit for the people.
    I see nothing wrong with this, it makes sense to me, the 20 years for exception, residency and citizenships made no sense all at once, this is a process, if you reach 15 years and over then you get excerpted, this should be the grace period to see what contribution that person is making in the uplifting of the territory, the same way they have 3 months on the work permit for probation to know if the person is qualified enough for the work/job or if they reach the requirements…… every country protect their lands from invasion and if the people feels treated or see a problem they will fight for the right, yes expats have help to build the Bvi, but it’s not for FREE, when thinking about the Bvi think of what would you do in your own home land with similar situation being a small territory. Come on people stop it, we all learn to look both sides of the street before crossing it. Time to open our eyes and ears, listen, learn, look at the facts and then talk gezzzz man STOP THE HATE

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  19. Warrior says:

    Why (6) that number speak is a symbol which is not good ,why not 7 ,we can see clearly that The toss master spirit of pharaohs is still very much around trying to re’establish itself ,the blood of Jesus , we need some Moses and Elijahs to rise up in this country,pray against it , pray for the government, it generally goes after the top ,the head and if the head is affected has an headache then the whole body will get sick feel the pain, when righteousness reigns country rejoice, But when when the wicked rules people mourns , But God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all We can ask are think, Jesus Christ is coming , whether person believe it or not its doesn’t matter he is coming back, for the earths is the Lord”s and they that dwell in it belongs to God, so we can argue all we want about this land it’s not ours , what we should be doing is loving each others as ourselves , nothing last forever people only true salvation which is in and through JESUS Christ will last forever.

  20. @expat says:

    Whatever you donate you make sure you get triple times back. You threatening a hurricane on the BVI if you donot get your way, tell me who is the wicked one.

  21. Think people says:

    The people with the high paying jpbs are always always white

    Never spent a day in the school system, never take part in anything as it relates to cultral activities and you people dont see that!!!!!

    Stop blamimg black expats, they are not the problem.

    You people rather a brit or a Swiss come in here with a starting salary of 14,000 a month and look down on you all the while training them and you say nothing!!!!
    Stop attacking these kids, these kids are more likely to want to stay here, make here their home…marry a girl they went to school with. GOD when will the division end
    All the while the whites down at watering hole enjoying their slice of temporary stay, money making lives.

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  22. Lady K says:

    It is sad to see how divided this small territory I call home is. There is need for a diverse country to forge forward into the future. We need to learn to work together….build together now. Not just in a crisis. We need Black…White…Indian…any ethnicity that decide to call BVI home to break this oppressive omen. We are all different but we share these islands as home. Let’s cut the BS and representatives we appoint you to figure out this mess going on for generations …you promise to fix it but now….we going backward….again…

  23. Expat Parent of 3 says:

    Let the Government do it Job.

    As a Mother of 3 living in the BVI near 12 years I will bring my Children for vacation. I have many Associate send for their Child this school year. Yet they rather them Child go to school Where we are from because the education is better but fact their child will benefit by getting exempt here n jobs if goes school here was their only reason for sending for them child. Now they are presently saying because of this new law they should send back their kids where education is wayyy!! better, to the government strive for your country some expats only here for the benefits they ain’t loyal to the BVI.

    Your next move should allow them the expats to pay for their child own healthcare.. BVI government should not have to pay NHI for None born in the BVI Kids health insurance leave it up to the said Expats some are very ungrateful n never paid since they themselves here. take care of your own and let them handle their self.

    And for those who came and went to private school shall remain in the private school without moving a year after.

    Good Luck And Continue Striving BVI Government

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    • Liar says:

      U are no expat parent of 3. You are just trying to stir trouble and give roro to chat bout.

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    • Expat mother of 2 says:

      I am strongly agree some expats need to allow the people to do what they think best. We cant come and expect the best in another man country. I live bvi 5 years now my 2 daughters came and going to school 2 years now n I am not looking for nothing from the government I brought my kids because I wanted them around me and they wasn’t being taking care of back home. When they complete school they look a job and go on permit or go off island further their education. I came to better my life not look rights like some of you expats just all about what papers you can get.

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  24. Liar says:

    U are no expat parent of 3. You are just trying to stir trouble and give roro to chat bout.

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  25. Expat mother of 2 says:

    I am strongly agree some expats need to allow the people to do what they think best. We cant come and expect the best in another man country. I live bvi 5 years now my 2 daughters came and going to school 2 years now n I am not looking for nothing from the government I brought my kids because I wanted them around me and they wasn’t being taking care of back home. When they complete school they look a job and go on permit or go off island further their education. I came to better my life not look rights like some of you expats just all about what papers you can get.

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  26. By Marriage says:

    Once a couple is married fine…. exemption applies, but if they are not together they need to go back on work permit!

  27. Chupes says:

    Y’all expats are so stupid, can’t y’all see they doin everything to get y’all out their country??? After Irma an maria they begged persons to stay to rebuild the bvi, now its rebuilt they coming with all these laws, they stated “don’t leave the bvi needs u” not once they say u need the BVI
    Keep tellin my mother get out of that place they don’t want expats, soon they will be like the cayman islands an if u don’t know wat I mean then u too young an dumb but rmr when the man above had enough he will show it again….. Now y’all come for me cause apparently igaf 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

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