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Gov’t proposing 'extended' stay for persons to work remotely from VI

- Premier Fahie said remote workers would not be able to compete in local job market
With more and more people working remotely as a result of the pandemic, the first of the programmes is one where persons would be able to work remotely in their home country from the Virgin Islands, and at the same time spend on the local economy. Photo: Internet Source
Premier Andrew A. Fahie announced the plans during today's November 12, 2020, Budget Speech for 2021. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Premier Andrew A. Fahie announced the plans during today's November 12, 2020, Budget Speech for 2021. Photo: HoA/Youtube
DUFF’S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI – The Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) is looking to capitalise on COVID-19 opportunities through new programmes aimed at attracting remote workers to the VI, while also encouraging foreign investments.

The proposals, if successful, would mitigate the effects of lost tourism dollars on the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and would follow regional countries like Barbados which has implemented similar programmes.

Work from home from the VI 

With more and more people working remotely as a result of the pandemic, the first of the two programmes is one where persons employed in their home country would be able to work remotely from the Virgin Islands, and at the same time spend in the local economy.

“Your Government is developing the terms and conditions for BVI Instay Programme which will allow persons to come to the BVI and stay for an extended period,” Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said during his Budget Address delivered during the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) held at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola, today, November 12, 2020.

The Premier emphasised that such category of persons would not be competing in the local job market as they are employed in their home country or elsewhere.

Invest & Stay in the VI

Moving a step further, the Premier said his administration will also bring foreign investors through another programme called “Invest and Stay Programme,” aimed at attracting persons looking to capitalise on various areas of the economy.

“They will be allowed to live in the BVI but they will not be afforded the benefits that go with belongership; however, they will be mandated to employ an agreed number of persons in the BVI based on the size of their investment,” he said.

With both programmes allowing for persons to move to the territory, the Premier said spending would mean renting accommodations and patronising local businesses, while at the same time enjoying VI tourist experiences and making added contributions to local economic activities.

While both programmes sound appealing on paper, a possible bottleneck could be the territory’s expensive and poor ICT services, which could force the government to step in and address the long-standing internet woes.

22 Responses to “Gov’t proposing 'extended' stay for persons to work remotely from VI”

  • miss (12/11/2020, 19:30) Like (56) Dislike (1) Reply
    With what internet??
    • @miss (12/11/2020, 20:52) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      there has been speeds up to 800Mbps for yearsin the BVI.It just costs a fortune andisused by business. In Road town you can get 200Mbps thesepeopleneedto rentunitsin Tortola that have these bandwidths available and should be locked in to rentalagreements for the timeperiodof their visa,nomoving,just like workpermit holders. Oh wait did no one know you are supposed to stay.
  • Nice (12/11/2020, 19:58) Like (3) Dislike (15) Reply
    Very good initiative, Premier
  • Observer (12/11/2020, 20:00) Like (39) Dislike (0) Reply
    Im all four the idea but specifically when it comes to the BVI this could potentially be a disaster. Work from home or remote working programmes hinge on one key factor. Internet service. It has to be consistent and stable and fast or else that webex or zoom call will just be a waste of an hour. The internet in the BVI is just not great to put it bluntly and it is EXPENSIVE as hell!
    • Peng (13/11/2020, 20:31) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      not only internet...We need to have a sound infustructure...No electriclty especially for days...means no NOTHING!!!
  • whey hey (12/11/2020, 20:10) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am interested in coming to work remotely from the BVI. How is your internet service?
  • facts (12/11/2020, 20:21) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    With POOR and Costly internet access?
  • My Take (12/11/2020, 21:58) Like (2) Dislike (22) Reply
    Good move VIP Government
  • ReX FeRal (13/11/2020, 05:05) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    You have to check and think things out before jumping to conclusions. Whose idea was this?
  • Rubber Duck (13/11/2020, 06:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    You can invest and be allowed to live here. With a work permit? And using digicels useless phone based internet because Slow will not bring a wire to your house. Right. Form an orderly queue.
  • Huwawei (13/11/2020, 06:27) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Get them in now. Sack the useless Flow.
  • west (13/11/2020, 06:36) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    He and the health minister needs to go swing in that same hammock
  • game (13/11/2020, 08:25) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sir this is no game. Talking what we do not have in an attempt to bigup yourself is insulting.
  • Nic (13/11/2020, 09:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If those Visitors are only using FLOW broadband I am all for this initiative rather than CCT or Digicel. Overall, telecommunications is garbage!
  • AOC (13/11/2020, 10:19) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    A brilliant program initiative and would attract a great many international business of great variety. Two things are critical for this to be attractive and sustainable:
    1. Stable electricity - BVI power constantly going down - not stable!
    2. Reliable internet service - too slow and intermittent - is critical and have to be up and running with back up
  • Work in Barbados (13/11/2020, 11:27) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Premier A. Fahie needs to go work from Barbados for the next few years.
  • Bob (13/11/2020, 12:18) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    What about trying to take care of people that are actually here, first? Work permit holders already go through hell and you want more people to come?
  • No One Will Come (14/11/2020, 08:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Besides the internet, remote workers often research the country they intend to visit, and seeing how the Minister for Immigration is on the record making one anti expat comment after the other they will get a great idea. With Vincent the Divider In Chief in charge of Labour no one will come. He is the xenophobic poster child and already there was an article about how he is looking to find more ways to make the remote workers pay, since he says he is not convinced the BVI will benefit much from them visiting otherwise. What a wonderful start. I am sure as soon as he creates more Caribbean expat torture strategies he will get right on to making the BVI unattractive for this lucrative market of visitors.

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