BVI opens the door for expat residency and Belonger statuses

BVI opens the door for expat residency and Belonger statuses

BVI opens the door for expat residency and Belonger statuses

If you’re heading for a job in the British Virgin Islands, the process for getting permanent residency has just changed.

Prime Minister of the BVA Andrew Fahie is now giving weight to his proposal for regularising qualified expatriate professionals by allowing them a fortnight’s amnesty when applying for permanent residential or Belonger status. Those allowed to register will need to have lived in the British Virgin Islands for at least 15 years and can meet other criteria. The new pathway, according to the PM, gives a clear pathway to regularisation.

The new law will be debated in the House of Assembly on May 17 as an amendment to the existing immigration rules, thus ensuring it will pass through parliament without any problem. The PM insists the amendment gives the correct way forward for long-term expat residents uncertain about their futures on the islands, as well as improving the state’s overall security. He told reporters expats will be able to invest in their own futures without having a cloud of insecurity covering their heads. In addition, he said, those given legal status are far less likely to indulge in illegal activities in order to get by.

In the near future, information sessions on the new rules will be held on the state’s four main islands, with application forms available for those who wish to take up the opportunity and begin the process. Residence for more than 15 years, a clean criminal record and proof they are no danger to the BVI’s society at large are needed for the granting of both the full residency and Belonger statuses.

Bureaucratic requirements include two references, a birth certificate, a clean local police record, certified professional academic qualification copies, a bank statement, trade licenses and landholding licenses if relevant and a marriage license, again if relevant. The cost for those with residency will be $810 for Belonger status and $1,500 for those requiring both residency and Belonger statuses.

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