BVI News

Visa exemption for all cruise ship passengers


The government has taken steps to allow all cruise ship passengers to enter the British Virgin Islands (BVI) without visas for up to 24 hours.

That is being done through a Cabinet Order that seeks to amend the Immigration and Passport Act.

The Order is dated March 8, and was published in the Virgin Islands Gazette on March 9.

Under the Immigration and Passport Act, Cabinet may temporarily or permanently exempt any person or class of persons from the requirement of being in possession of documents such as a passport or visa.

“Therefore, the Cabinet, in exercise of the power conferred by section 37(4) of the Immigration and Passport Act, do hereby exempt a person arriving in the Territory on a cruise ship and who will remain in the Territory for a period of 24 four hours or less, from the requirement of a visa where that person would – but for the exemption – require a visa,” said the Order.

The move comes less than a year after the National Democratic Party government also implemented a visa exemption programme for holders of a United Kingdom, United States, or Canadian visa.

That programme allows persons requiring a BVI visa to spend up to six months in the territory if they instead hold visas from any of the other three countries mentioned earlier.

When the visa exemption programme was being implemented on September 1 last year, the government said it was part of the labour and immigration reform efforts to further streamline entry and facilitate economic growth for the BVI.

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