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Amnesty for expats applying for ‘Residency Status’

Scores of expatriate workers in queue at the Department of Immigration. Photo: VINO/File
The announcement was made by none other than Premier and Minister of Finance and Tourism, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), during a worship service venued at the Cyril B. Romney Park, yesterday, March 6, 2019. Photo: Team of Reporters
The announcement was made by none other than Premier and Minister of Finance and Tourism, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), during a worship service venued at the Cyril B. Romney Park, yesterday, March 6, 2019. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The recently elected government of the Virgin Islands (VI) will be offering a period of amnesty, for all expatriates and other residents residing in the Territory that have reached and satisfactorily satisfied the requirements to be granted, ‘Residency Status.’

The announcement was made by none other than Premier and Minister of Finance and Tourism, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), during a worship service venued at the Cyril B. Romney Park, yesterday, March 6, 2019.

According to Premier Fahie, there are many persons, whose applications have been tucked away for reasons unknown.

As such, amnesty will be granted to those with a clean criminal record.

“Ladies and gentlemen in short order we shall consider having such friends, brothers and sisters with no police record or with no security concerns, regularized through an amnesty for the period.”

He said his government is urgently setting up a committee to look at the issue, “a vexing issue for some, but I’ll not be charged by God for not doing what he send me to do...For we believe such a policy is better for our economy and its better for our society and it would significantly assist in cementing unity.”

According to the Premier, “there are people here who have lived and worked successfully for 15 and 20 years and more, who have met every criteria, residency but whose applications are stuck somewhere for no obvious reason.”

According to Fahie, in order to fix the economy, government has to fix people’s lives first, “the time has come to look at the residency issues of thousands of people here who continue to live in the shadow…It is both urgent, economic and moral issue.”

He was adamant, “there are children who are suffering also, severely limiting their opportunity for growth and limiting our ability to access their human resource potential…They are not new persons…They are persons who have been here for years.”

Premier Fahie opined that by denying such persons residency, “we are investing in an underclass that is a detriment to the society.”

“These people are our neighbours and our friends, the people we worship with, who we fall in love with, the brothers we play ball with, the mothers who work in the service industry, men who build our infrastructure who help us maintain a way of life, live and work here.”

According to Premier Fahie it’s because of the uncertainty of their lives, “they send all the money away back to the country of origin…We are not benefiting from their potential to invest in this economy.”


The recently elected and sworn in VI Premier, used the occasion to also thank those who kept him in politics for some 20 years—the people of the First District.

Hon Fahie has held the position of 1st District Representative for his entire political career.

"I am the Premier for all the people of the Territory, (but) you don't have to remind me… there is a group of people who have kept me in politics for 20 years, my people of the First District."

39 Responses to “Amnesty for expats applying for ‘Residency Status’”

  • ... (07/03/2019, 10:18) Like (41) Dislike (20) Reply

    now we see that it is the VIP that loves the island people booo to myron with his sh1t

    • The rock I (07/03/2019, 10:27) Like (17) Dislike (17) Reply
      Let go the damn man u idiot!
    • Yes (07/03/2019, 10:41) Like (13) Dislike (13) Reply
      I bet if it was NDP Doing this the blogs would of been full by now lol
      • @LOL (07/03/2019, 13:05) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
        You so right. I thought they said Myron was for expirates not looking out for BVIanders.
    • wize up (07/03/2019, 12:28) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      @@...VIP looks out for people the other crew paid particular attention to foreign investors....
    • Septic Hate (07/03/2019, 16:13) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      Really? You are obsessed he lost the elections give him a rest. Don't let your hatred fester and kill you.
  • Virgin Islander (07/03/2019, 10:44) Like (24) Dislike (28) Reply
    He said Residency not be longer status. I heard him say people feel like they don't belong and therefore, send their money out of the country. Giving residency does not in itself stop that from continuing. Even persons with that status, send their money out. You hear them say all the time, they just want to have to stop paying for work permit, which is a revenue stream for government, think about that when making this move, sir. Check to see how many of those persons that apply for residency status have a bank account here, and if they do, what activities have transpired with that account over the course of their time in the country. Also, how else are they demonstrating they wish to make BVI a permanent home.
    Let us be very mindful of what we do, because not every good intention is for our good.
    • Child of God (07/03/2019, 11:59) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
      What about those of us who paid fees for residence, belonger and even Naturalization and some of us have paid since 2015, some 2016 and 2017 and up till now cannot get any status and still paying work permit.

      The Premier is doing the best thing to free God's people. We are all the children of God and indeed, brothers, sisters and even significant others.

      God bless you Sir. Who God bless no man can curse.
      • VIslander (07/03/2019, 14:17) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
        If someone has paid the residency fee of $300.00, or the be longer fee of $500.00 [issued through the Immigration Department], then they have already acquired the status, so I don't understand what they will be waiting for, there is a short waiting period after payment, to receive the certificate and ID card but that doesn't negate the fact that status was granted.
    • Hmm (07/03/2019, 12:35) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
      Indeed work permit fees are a revenue stream, but that should not be the basis for saying to someone who has been here for 20 years that they cannot gain residency. Doing those 20 years, they have been paying rent, electric, taxes, and have been spending some of their earnings on local businesses.
      • VIslander (07/03/2019, 16:13) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
        Hmm....Much should be taken into account when considering permanent status in any country, especially one as small as the Virgin Islands, that's all i am saying. Also, it behooves us to remember the it is a privilege and not a right.
  • sadie (07/03/2019, 11:11) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    In the process you will be making life long appreciative VIP supporters and voters. Change & opportunity should be your party motto.
  • Blessed (07/03/2019, 11:29) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    To God be the Glory for great things he is doing and about to do
    • Questioning (07/03/2019, 14:03) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      But God blessed the previous Government too and the majority of people who elected them, so why are you now invoking His name?
  • drain the swamp (07/03/2019, 11:50) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    People who are living here for 20+ years can't get simple residency but a set of residency for the rich white folks were rushed for approval one week before elections.
    Premier drain the swamp on ALL these statutory boards please.
    • Well (07/03/2019, 18:28) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
      Those rich folks put in positively , unlike the others who trek tek while creating negative quality of life for decent folks and can never get enough. They have Nada and even less gratitude.
    • Really? (07/03/2019, 19:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Um. I am obviously not rich enough as I didn’t hear this but then it would have been the NDP rushing it through..
  • Hodges (07/03/2019, 11:57) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    be careful with immigration. There are experienced persons who can be consulted or rehired.
  • Amen (07/03/2019, 12:39) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus.
  • ReX FeRal (07/03/2019, 12:55) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    What Amnesty is the premier talking about? Applying for status does not draw an amnesty policy. Persons are legally here benifiting from being here already. The problem with applications is Cabinet taking forever to grant/approve status to persons the Board of Immigration has recommend. This is smack inthe Premiers lap to deal with back log and all. I'll encourage the premier to prioritize this. Seize the time.
  • so right (07/03/2019, 13:10) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    Virgin Islander. I told someone this yesterday and they curse me out saying I just hating on the VIP. Giving then this is no guarantee that they will stop sending thier money back home. A few that I spoke to say that would not stop them. I am a VIP supporter but that does mean everything they propose I will agree with. It’s not about hating it’s about being able to have my opinion.
  • Elizabeth Mylan (07/03/2019, 13:12) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thank you. I am touched.
  • Anonymous (07/03/2019, 14:23) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
  • VIslander (07/03/2019, 14:37) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    I am not about party because truth be told, persons go into political office well intentioned and do things to secure votes for the next election. I am about what in my opinion is best for the country. I will say that I did support the Virgin Island Party, in this 2019 election, so my views come from a place of concern, based on what I see and hear many expatriates say, with my two ears. All I am saying to our new premier and his team, is as well intentioned as he may be, take time to really count the cost. Ensure that the proper checks are done before a rushed decision is made on many applications.
    You promised us transparency and accountability, and that is to all of us. I will respectfully hold you accountable because for far too long, our leaders have done things and made decisions on our behalf, without asking us whether we agree/support those things.
    That is one of the main reasons why the National Democratic Party government was fired. GOD BLESS!
    • i second the motion (07/03/2019, 15:30) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
      Well said, VIslander. I ask that this move be thoroughly thought out and properly executed so that it does not come back to bite us where it hurts most.

      And while they are at it, I ask that our leaders look out for the sons and daughters whose roots are deeply buried in the soil, so that they no longer feel like second class citizens in this Territory.
    • Expat (07/03/2019, 16:03) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      I understand and respect your comment but not all what some expats say is the same sentiments share by all. So im asking not judge all the expats the same... Im all for transparency and FAIR.
  • good (07/03/2019, 14:44) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Very good, cabinet needs to clear the backlog that have gone through the immigration review board and just waiting on cabinet approval. Get those cleared quickly and then move onto these new plans.
  • Real Talk (07/03/2019, 15:11) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    I am all for persons living in the territory a long period of time having the opportunity to gain status with the hope that they will assimilate. I am also for work permit reform as it is a wide gateway for persons to immigrate and balloon the population, while locals are left unemployed
  • cromwell (07/03/2019, 16:52) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    It should not have escaped everyone's attention that the UK is looking for belongership to be discontinued, that means BV Islanders will be British as against belongers. One may therefore conclude that individuals with British passports will have equal status in the BVI along with British people that are born in the territory. The new Premier might want to consider this and other regulations the UK have in mind for the BVI when considering new residential regulations.
  • Patriotic (07/03/2019, 17:00) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    immigration and labour is the key to these islands sustainable developments ,in order for NHI AND SOCIAL SECURITY to sustain itself we have to have a certain amount of contributions per month and this can only happen if we strike a balance with the working population,therefore the virgin island need more people to live and work . And to make sure those law abiding residents that come to work , work for a long time and reinvest in the bvi whether socially,economically or otherwise ,they must see some sort of benefit on the horizon like RIGHT TO VOTE AFTER 15 YEARS, RESIDENCY AND BELONGER STATUS ETC.
  • Amen ..Medical workers first (07/03/2019, 19:13) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope he starts where Ronnie and Doc failed miserably. With Nurses and Doctors who has serve for more than 12 yrs with distinction
  • Phoenix (08/03/2019, 08:58) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is SO refreshing to see a relaxed, reasoned discussion here on VINO- it’s been years (well before Irma) since I’ve seen such respectful discourse. Now that we have made the change we clearly needed, it is our duty to keep questioning, keep talking, keep listening and keep it civil.
  • Amnesty???? (08/03/2019, 10:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have had to consult my dictionary very often in the few months in regards to some of the words being tossed around in the political arena.

    For the record:

    Def 1: an official statement that allows people who have been put in prison for crimes against the state to go free.

    Def 2: a period of time during which people can admit to a crime or give up weapons without being punished.

    Not sure the description provided in the article fits the name of the program...

    Also, there is no guarantee that residency will lead to there money in the country.

    But to each there own.
  • Child of God (08/03/2019, 15:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Premier Fahie God is touching you in such a mighty way. It doesn't matter what any one day. Just continue to shine your light before men that you may glorify your father in heaven. Just love the great work that you and your Government is doing. Thank you Jesus.
  • ReX FeRal (08/03/2019, 15:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ Amnesty????... on point. Check my opinion. I feel you bruh/sis whom ever.
  • truthseeker (09/03/2019, 18:43) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I always found it strange why they have to hold on to an application so long such disrespect years on years an then nothing come on people should just sit down on years of their life just waiting for an answer ridiculous rubbish ! Then you notice in this country the people who born in the country to parents outside blah blah can't get nothing to show that's sick but the rich White folk get a free pass and can be pompous infront the true bvilander they don't even ask the white p@g* where they born .check out all the people who get naturalized 99% of these people are so old the collecting so social security lol. Check it out waste all your time waiting for no answer the fact an application take so long for an answer is ridiculous and a waste you could have three babies born .life keeps moving while they have you stuck waiting
  • Hurry (10/03/2019, 21:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is the most promising line to come out of a BVI politician for years. It’s brave because in any country, making foreign nationals permanent residents or citizens is always going to attract criticism. It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. BVI competes for its economic survival with Bermuda, Cayman, Delaware, Channel Islands, HK and Singapore to name a few. Cayman is way ahead of the game in this area. perfect? no. of course there are all sorts of positive and negative comments but nobody can deny the economy and the opportunities within and outside of finance for Caymanians has exploded over the last ten years. It also has a generation of Caymanians born to foreigners now who are becoming proud young adults, shoulder to shoulder with classmates who have one or both parents from Cayman. The economy there has not just grown but broadened and they are far less concerned than BVI and Bermuda about these ridiculous EU regulations that some crooked ministers in the UK are pushing for their own political agenda. It serves Cayman well for BVI and Bermuda to continue to make it difficult for people who have given everything to here and there and have children born in the islands because as economic substance requirements bring any opportunity, it may as well be in Cayman where the international clients will be able to attract their senior staff to set up office and to stay, with decent education and healthcare. Easier to send a BVI company to Cayman than try to start in BVI #crossroads

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