BVI News

Special provisions made for work permit holders trapped abroad with expired entry permits

Government has implemented special measures for work permit holders whose entry permit into the British Virgin Islands expired while trapped abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley made that statement during Thursday’s sitting of the House of Assembly.

He said: “I’m aware that many work permit holders who are currently outside of the territory due to port closures are becoming worried as their entry permits may have expired during that time.”

“Cabinet has considered these types of persons and have approved the reentry of persons with expired entry permits, once the borders are open and allows the work permit holders to return. These persons would be expected to return no later than one month following the opening of the borders,” Wheatley explained.

The minister said leniency will also be given to persons who are currently in the territory but possess an expired entry permit because of COVID-19.

He said those persons will not be penalised as they will be allowed sufficient time to regularise their status.

Provisions for terminated permit holders of 5+years

Meanwhile, Wheatley who is also the Labour Minister, added that government has implemented provisions to facilitate persons who have been residing in the BVI for no less than five years, who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are seeking new employment.

He said: “Persons residing in the BVI who have been terminated and would like to seek alternative employment, would have the option to apply to the Acting Chief Immigration Officer for a conditional permit under Section 31, 1C, and 31, 1A, of the Immigration and Passport Act 2016.”

“[It] will allow a qualified person – that is a person residing for a period of five years and not have a previous conditional permit within the last three years – to remain in the BVI while seeking employment for a period of three months,” Wheatley further stated.

Employees affected by COVID-19

As at May 27, some 4,259 employees from 337 businesses have been reported to the Department of Labour as being affected by COVID-19.

Of that sum, 1,140 are BVIslanders or Belongers, 2,130 are work permit holders, 289 are persons granted work permit exemption and 700 of those persons are still being classified.

A total of 767 persons have been reported as laid off and 165 persons have been reported as terminated. 

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  1. son of the soil says:

    Why is the red carpet being spread for these outsiders while we locals here going thru all the red tape just to get a lil stimulus ??????????

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  2. Affected Business Owner says:

    “As at May 27, some 4,259 employees from 337 businesses have been reported to the Department of Labour as being affected by COVID-19.”

    We had 9 cases and 1 death, but put 4259 people out of work, and wiped 337 businesses. The economy is thrown back to the stone ages with the current policies.

    Its time for a common sense approach to the so-called “Pandemic”.

    Like 12
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    • Please! says:

      If the measures weren’t taken we might have had hundreds, maybe thousands of deaths, ever think of that??

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      Dislike 1
  3. Great says:

    God Bless Mr. Minister and his team

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  4. island man says:

    Good news for expats thank you Mr. Minister

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    Dislike 1
  5. Anonymous says:

    What about visitors who have been granted a work permit and due to the Covid19 has not been in the country and the permit has expired?

  6. I be dm says:

    Why so much focus on work permit holders. Chances are they are stuck in their country if origin. Lots of bv islanders are stuck abroad and the government where they are could not care less. They expect the government of their country of origin to deal with that.

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  7. Tongue Fu says:

    A better plan would be to give a date for their return. Having people in limbo is unconscionable as they too have obligations like rent, loans and other commitments. Give a date now for re-entry so they can plan their return to the BVI. Don’t see why they cannot he allowed back in July. I believe the Government is in a underhand way forcing people out of their jobs with this move. 3 months and counting out of work. They may not even be eligible for benefits as the money might run out by the time they apply. Ridiculous.

    Like 12
    • Hope not says:

      I read some airlines cancel because not enough passengers so that why expat should have been allowed to come in same time with locals. Its not much expats out there and all are not in one country so i think they will get a hard time getting a flight back to the BVI. I hope the ministers are looking into it this way.

  8. Hmmm says:

    Some of these expat cannot apply for simulus until they returned are provisions being put in place for them? If they are away on medical treatment is social security still providing for them especially if they are in a foreign country?

    • @Hmmm says:

      Thats a hard one, especially if they in a foreign country. If they are at their original homeland, they can try to seek help with their government their, and explain their situation.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank God

  10. Secret Bear says:

    How about letting them know WHEN they can return? These are people who LIVE HERE. Indefinitely denying them the right to come back is cruel.

    Like 5
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  11. @Secret Bear says:

    I hope this serves as a lesson for some expats. Try to make in your country if you can. Dont let the little US dollar fool you, its not always that easy to make it outside your native country. Some really dont have to be here, they just too greedy. I know some who here for years, now older kids grown and they up and down working jobs, for what, crazy. Others have school aged kids and trying their best with them and being in the VI helps out a lot.

  12. Only in the BVI says:

    When you migrate to a country on a work permit that is a chance you are willing to take and it could be problematic at times. This is one of those times. I was wondering if government in other countries are handing out free money to work permit holders? Is the BVI the richest place in the world? I am just wondering because it seems odd to me.

  13. Tongue Fu says:

    The cartoon is a depiction of the comment made by Claude Cline. It is political satire which has been going on a very long time. Now Claude’s comment was metaphorically speaking albeit, used at a time of racial hostility in the US as a result of George Floyd’s brutal murder at the hands of the Police hence the reason why some may think he was using the death of George Floyd to spark racial division among us. You can literally kill someone by placing their knee on the neck or metaphorically kill their economies by placing various restrictions and refusing to help in times of crisis.

    This is not the first time someone used it metaphorically as Sir Ronald Sanders used it in this article:

    Regardless I believe that Cline, VINO and the Government of the day are all pushing the same agenda:more self determination. However they are going about it the wrong way.

  14. Upset says:

    I hate when a islander behave like work permit holders does nothing for the country these ppl are ppl who come here to work to generate income into the country these ppl are ppl who help to build the nation am just tired of the darm ppl showing them self it pisses me off cause some of them lazy as hell that’s why you see foreigners have to come an do their job when they go to diffrent country they are welcome but when foreigners come here they are rude who built back the country after urma I really hate the way you ppl carry on its upsetting

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