BVI Approves New Immigration Policy.

Photo: Arrivalguides.com. BVI has new immigraton laws that will govern Belonger status.
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The Belonger Status and Permanent Residence Policy for the British Virgin Islands has been approved by Cabinet.

The policy addresses issues including the length of time required for being eligible for Residence and Belonger Status, the establishment of guidelines and criteria governing the award of status by Cabinet, and the process for determining quotas.

The policy recommends that persons must reside in the territory for 20 years before becoming eligible to apply for Belonger status and mirrors a previous controversial National Democratic Party (NDP) government policy introduced decades ago that was found to be unlawful during the Commission of Inquiry (COI) process.

Moreover, other issues addressed include children’s path to Residence Status and Children Born in the BVI to Non-Belonger Parents.

Premier and Minister responsible for Immigration Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley said that the policy’s foundation is focused on creating a balance between economic growth, cultural integration and social stability.

He said the policy will not only recognise the invaluable contributions of immigrants to the Virgin Islands community, but will also safeguard the interests and heritage of Virgin Islanders.

Premier Wheatley said, “The new Immigration Policy proposes planning and decision-making processes that will inform the sustainable management of statuses granted.

The policy was approved after a careful analysis of labour market needs, population density, the importance of fostering investment and availability of resources which will ensure balanced growth.”

This approach the Premier said will allow for a more controlled and beneficial immigration process, contributing to the overall well-being and prosperity of the Virgin Islands.

The work that has been undertaken in this area of reform not only address the longstanding issues outlined in Recommendation B33 of the Commission of Inquiry, but also speak to an immigration policy that transcends the original scope.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development Mr. Joseph Smith Abbott said the process of extensive public consultations was in direct alignment with the Public Service Transformation plan that prescribes that public consultation forms part of the public policy mechanism for all considerations.

Mr. Joseph Smith Abbott said this strategic approach to incorporating the feedback from public consultation into the formulation of public policies will contribute to enhanced administrative policies and procedures for legal, financial and regulatory compliance, digital access, business continuity, document management and disaster resilience.

Mr. Smith Abbott said, “This policy aligns with the Public Service Transformation Plan, marking a significant step forward in our journey towards sustainable development and prosperity for all in the Virgin Islands.”

The policy is now accessible on the Government of the Virgin Islands’ website. https://bvi.gov.vg/content/belonger-status-and-permanent-residence-policy-virgin-islands

Persons are also encouraged to tune into the “Table Talk” programme on Thursday, February 29, at 11:00 a.m. where the policy will be further discussed.

Source: BVI official press release.

 

 

 

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