BVI News

Wheatley working to give non-Belonger homeowners more stay

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley (Forground)

Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley said he will be seeking Cabinet’s approval to amend the the Non-Belongers Land Holding Regulation Act to give homeowners who are non-Belongers more time in the BVI.

Under the Non-Belongers Land Holding Regulation Act, non-Belongers who own homes and property in the BVI can stay in the territory for a maximum of six months per year.

But as the government searches for ways to attract longer-stay tourists to revive the COVID-hit economy, Wheatley said extending the stay of foreign homeowners is one avenue his ministry is interested in pursuing.

“If you’re a [non-Belonger] homeowner here, you’re only permitted to stay six months a year. I’m going to take that to Cabinet to try and extend that to at least eight or nine months. There are many homeowners here who would like to remain in the BVI for longer than the normal six months because it’s so safe and beautiful here,” Wheatley explained on the Honestly Speaking radio programme earlier this week.

On that same radio programme, Wheatley announced that the government is also considering a ‘work from paradise’ initiative which encourages tourists to move their home office overseas and vacation for longer periods.

Additionally in the short-term, the government is seeking to offer an extension to tourists who can only stay a maximum of 30 days in the BVI.

Attracting longer stay tourist is a trend that is increasingly being explored by Caribbean countries with low COVID-19 numbers and economies heavily reliant on tourism.

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21 Comments

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  1. HelpEconomyNow says:

    They’ve invested in the BVI and own a home, spend money, and can’t vote. Why not 12 months?

    Like 46
    Dislike 3
  2. vg resident says:

    Good idea but I would like to see a 1 year stay.

    Like 31
    Dislike 1
  3. already 6 months says:

    If I am not mistaken can’t a tourist already stay up to a max of six months with the understanding that they must have a return ticket on arrival and need to extnend their stay with immigration every 30 days until the 6 months is up?

    also you would think that if a non belonger owned a home that it would be best to have them stay indefinitely as their presence will bring income to goods and services? I can’t see what the negative impact would be??

    Like 32
    Dislike 1
  4. What a mistake! says:

    So let me get this right Hon. Wheatley. So you told the Caribbean expats to go home during corona period. You locked them out of the country even though they had work permits and exemptions and have their families here. You said that you were going to flush out expats but now you want to provide extended stay for non belonger home owners?
    I guess now you miss your rich, white friends. You miss your drinking buddies so you are allowing this. Hon. Wheatley is worse than 10 Kedrick Pickerings.

    Like 23
    Dislike 8
  5. Doh says:

    Such a infantile policy. Someone buys property, pays their taxes, yet can only enjoy for less than a year. So stupid. If these people were allowed to stay a full calendar year imagine what they add to the economy with what they spend. Simple math our i***t leaders don’t realize.

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
    • @Doh says:

      Exactly! The only condition should be proof that they can financially support themselves while on island, no restrictions should be put on anyone owning property in the BVI.

      Like 28
      • @@Doh says:

        First, the expat who bought or built a home in the BVI already provided monetary ability to support themselves to the government First time when they sought their non Belongers license and second when they spent hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars into their property. If these expats couldn’t support themselves then how the h**l do you think they were able to have a second home in the BVI. Try removing your head from your a** for a few minutes to breath some fresh air and see some light.

        Like 11
      • Doh says:

        If someone can afford the astronomical prices in the BVI, then you can bet they can afford to live here and support themselves.

        BVI

        Brainless
        Vacuous
        Inept

        Like 11
        Dislike 1
  6. LG says:

    why have a limit on the time, Dont we want the money it brings in????
    the home owners can never get a work permit, just by owning property so what exactly are we afraid of ??
    its much easier to keep people that are already here than to get new ones in.
    let them stay if they can afford it, why on earth not. and down Islanders if you want to come and spend money , by all means please come , rent villas and stay at hotels and eat at the restaurants.
    we need to be more open and welcome all that want to stay and spend money!!!

    Like 16
  7. Reality Check says:

    Why can’t they stay and spend their money here year round?? If they can afford to buy property and pay the stamp tax they have plenty of money to spend in the stores ans hiring people to take care of their property. Make it year long!!

    Like 13
  8. No Job in the BVI says:

    Thought the Gold seal tourism trainig program would be reserved for Bvi landers and belongers in the first instance, then add others later on as you go along..

  9. Rubber Duck says:

    Long stay tourists are a possible savior of our hotel and Villa industry. We need six month tourist visas for them.

  10. REAL says:

    It you want to help make it rea. These home owners should only be required to renew their stay with immigration quarterly so the government could get a little more tax.

    • So BVI says:

      So you’re saying that the BVI doesn’t already make money from these (2nd) home owners? They pay taxes, and hire gardeners, cleaners, mechanics, rent boats, buy food, eat at restaurants…… THESE are the people with discretionary income to spend, not the poor sods who can barely make ends meet.

      Why ask them to come back and waste a day in the immigration department, clogging up an already overburdened system? Let them pay a flat 1-year fee, come and go as you please, and let a friendly immigration officer at the point of entry greet them with a broad smile and a cheery “welcome back, sir/madam. Great to see you here.!”
      Shaking head (oops. caught smokin the dope again)

  11. Disinterested says:

    The BVI political system is flawed with and where the ‘Peter Principle’ seems to blossom in full bloom.

  12. Bigger Issues.. says:

    These people buy Their homes because they love the BVI and want to live here..They are paying their taxes, This is only go target blacks Caribbean people..How about all these cocasions managers working without approved work permit and no one saying nothing and the owners have them working knowing they don’t have time or approval to work… We need to start going after these owners.

  13. The restrictions says:

    On non-Belongers are not beneficial to Belongers. People who have non-Belonger licensing & homes here have proven not only financial security, but a love for the Country.
    We take nothing but pictures & jump through hoops to stay. We follow the rules, honor the traditions. Any division between us & Belongers is not of our choosing. Once in a while, it seems too much. Until the next rainbow.

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