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‘I was not born here’- Chief Immigration Officer Ritter-Freeman

- The top Immigration Officer said she has Belonger status obtained from her parents
Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mrs Geraldine Ritter-Freeman (inset) has disclosed that she is not a born Virgin Islander. Photo: Youtube/File
Mrs Geraldine Ritter-Freeman, the Acting Chief Immigration Officer, appeared as a guest on the International Morning Ride Show with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’ (inset) on July 10, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
Mrs Geraldine Ritter-Freeman, the Acting Chief Immigration Officer, appeared as a guest on the International Morning Ride Show with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’ (inset) on July 10, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mrs Geraldine Ritter-Freeman dropped a bombshell this morning July 10, 2017 while appearing on the International Morning Ride Show with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’.

Mrs Ritter-Freeman, who was appointed to act in the post of Chief Immigration Officer last year, was at the time answering questions about the statistics of Virgin Islanders verses non-nationals on ZROD 103.7 FM.

‘Not born here’-Ritter-Freeman

When asked about the number of expats in the Virgin Islands as opposed to locals she said you always hear about the number 60-40 meaning 60% expats and 40% locals “someone like myself, I have Belonger status, I was not born in the Virgin Islands, therefore I will be lumped into the pool of an expat, as opposed to someone who born here….but I will like to think of myself as a BVIslander…”

Mrs Ritter-Freeman has acquired her Belonger status from her parents, however, the officer who is at the helm of advising the Premier on immigration polices did not disclose where she was born.

Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Immigration Officer sought to clarify that when persons visit the Territory they can get up to a six months stay in keeping with other Caribbean Community countries, however, this is not automatic.

You can get 6 months but….

She said “when you come to the ports of entry you are given one month but you can get up to six months through the Processing Unit at the Immigration Department, so it’s still akin to what’s happening in the region…”

Mrs Ritter-Freeman also explained the conditional permit. This is where persons who have been working in the Virgin Islands (VI) for over 5 years and have lost their jobs can remain in the VI and seek new employment or change jobs after paying  a fee of $250.00 for a conditional permit, but is given 90 days to find a new job.

However, if the 90 days has expired and persons did not find new employment then they have to leave the Territory, according to Ritter-Freeman. “Once that 90 days expired again your entry permit becomes null and void so you need to leave the Territory, until you get another employment opportunity.”

The Immigration Department falls under the Premier’s Office and Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is the Minister of Immigration.

44 Responses to “‘I was not born here’- Chief Immigration Officer Ritter-Freeman”

  • right (10/07/2017, 14:58) Like (20) Dislike (7) Reply
    She born across the water like many BVIslanders. Anyone born in USVI to BVI parents are considered non-belongers hence the flawed statistics.
    • Oh Really! (10/07/2017, 15:45) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      That is not a true statement. My children are born in St Thomas and are.all Belongers.
    • You sure? (10/07/2017, 16:37) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      BVIslanders are born in the BVI not across the water...others who are born elsewhere (across the water and other places) are deemed to 'Belong' depending on parental status and status gained through marriage, hence the term Belongers.
    • what (11/07/2017, 08:52) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      She is not considered an 'expat'. I Don't where she get that from. She is running the immigration department, she should know better.

      If her roots - grandparents are from BVI, she is a BVIslander. I also noted she said that she got her rights from her parents.

      I was born here, daughter was born in Puerto Rico (Medical reasons) and she is a BVI Islander not a belonger, because has my rights.

      So Geraldine have me 'confused" about her statement.

  • i from here (10/07/2017, 15:09) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Only in the bvi
  • cdc (10/07/2017, 15:36) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't study them U are a full grown belonger with both parents born in the BVI
  • And So What?!? (10/07/2017, 15:42) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    What difference does where she was born make?
  • facts man (10/07/2017, 15:55) Like (16) Dislike (6) Reply
    You can be born in the north pole and hold any job in the bvi
  • tola (10/07/2017, 16:02) Like (20) Dislike (7) Reply
    Please don't get mixed up in Virgin Islands meelee. The USVI and us are one. Doesn't matter if you're born on st. Thomas or Tortola. We consider ourselves one.
    • Hmm (11/07/2017, 08:13) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Maybe so culturally but there are important differences in nationality, status , and rights. Born in US side, you get a blue passport, and the rights to work in the US along with the obligation of filing an annual tax return after age 18. You do not get any rights in BVI side unless your parents are already belongers. Born in BVI, unless your parents are belongers, you get no rights at all in either US or BVI sides. If your parents are belongers, then yes.
  • vi (10/07/2017, 16:06) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    this woman want to be in thing, her family is from the virginislands
    • You like to be in thing (10/07/2017, 17:40) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Please be specific on which part of the Virgin Islands. I know you see her Parents as in mother and Father from Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
  • IRD1 (10/07/2017, 16:19) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    She ain't had to be bron here to be from here just like you some of you who born here ain't from here lol let's see if I get 10 dislikes by 6.
  • pat (10/07/2017, 16:21) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    either is the first lady.
  • So What! (10/07/2017, 16:23) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Holliday was chief immigration once before and he born Antigua
    • @So What (10/07/2017, 20:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Holiday from Nevis
      • @So What! (10/07/2017, 23:54) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
        Those were the days when expats had a different mentality. People like him were real and cared about the country unlike many today who are just here for the dollar and couldn't care less about anybody else.
        • orrrrr (11/07/2017, 08:53) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
          the BVIslanders don't give two rats a** about the expats hmmmmm questions questions....thoughts thoughts...when you all appreciate your country like how they do, then you can speak..... until then take several seats...
    • ... (10/07/2017, 21:14) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
      Go on and do it, give the job to a Russian next
    • Marvin (11/07/2017, 03:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not. Holliday was never a chief of immigration. Top tell lies.
  • Stargo (10/07/2017, 16:28) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Does this woman knows the meaning of Expatriate? Hmm
  • BoSang (10/07/2017, 16:29) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    "if the 90 days has expired and persons did not find new employment then they have to leave the Territory, according to Ritter-Freeman. “Once that 90 days expired again your entry permit becomes null and void so you need to leave the Territory, until you get another employment opportunity.”

    That is not totally so. She needs to speak the truth here on this.
  • voter 6 (10/07/2017, 16:31) Like (45) Dislike (1) Reply
  • OMG (10/07/2017, 16:34) Like (14) Dislike (35) Reply
    This is total crap! How the hell a non indigenous BVIslander running the immigration boarder affairs of my country???????????

    You will never see this in no other country. These political appointments by this NDP administration is total rubbish. We have qualified BVIslanders who are prepared in this field for this job.

    The Premier needs to be fired for such a sleepy move!

    This is really total CRAP!
    • Hmm (10/07/2017, 20:15) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      please go read the article
    • @OMG (11/07/2017, 18:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      She needs to be removed from that job....!! Hill still have to sort out everything for that dept and FSC and others. Don't know why NDP treating this young man like a dog...

  • Concerned (10/07/2017, 17:05) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    A serious point was trivialized. The recent amendment to the Constitution attempts to address this issue by defining a Virgin Islander; and yes, she would qualify as Virgin Islander. But the point she was making still stands; to obtain citizenship by inheritance you must be born in a British Commonwealth Territory. Thus, persons born in the USVI or Puerto Rico must apply for Citizenship and would be counted with Non-Nationals - the point that was being made.
  • island man (10/07/2017, 17:32) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Hill is born right here give the man the job
  • crucian (10/07/2017, 17:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't mind deh noise. We gah you!
  • king (10/07/2017, 17:56) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Correction, Winston Halliday was never Chief Immigrantion Officer neither was he born in Antigua. He was an Immigration Officer in the BVI and was born in Nevis.
  • mi rass (10/07/2017, 18:34) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Where are thoes on this who are saying "Where you born is where you from?"
  • Rasta Lady (10/07/2017, 19:13) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    I like this lady..she must have some Rssta blood in her...She is a conscious, Fair, fearless Lioness..She is like that shinning light that shines through the darkness that covers the BVI...Much blessings my Sister, stay true to you and Jah will never leave or forsake you! I know she and that little evil Street name lady won't get along...Good and Evil..Is like Oil and water..
  • ting to talk (10/07/2017, 20:31) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
    As Barry say don't talk it all. If u ask me the whole government is made up of expacts is time we bvi islanders put a stop to it and fight back for our country this is hilarious. Way too many expects trying to take over our country I had enough the ndp gov need to go I am rallying for this From now enough is enough
    • Daisy (10/07/2017, 22:17) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
      I agree with you to an extent. It has nothing to do with the NDP though. when was Halliday an immigration officer?

      Let us start with the Miss BVI show?
  • Concern Citizen (10/07/2017, 21:26) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Sigh, I realize this is a fantasy and that Ms. Ritter will all still be on the job in the morning...
  • open wide (10/07/2017, 21:34) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME...! not even a local we can find to run our immigration department, we have a person we had to acquired her status from daddy
  • leave (10/07/2017, 21:41) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Oops, the secret is out- they're ALL born their children in St. Thomas and PR, and greedy. A pox on all their houses.

  • jab (10/07/2017, 22:26) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    Is she trying to justify giving everybody stay to walk about and sit in front of the supermarkets drinking cheap beer and making shoppers uncomfortable. Stupes!!!
  • ................ (11/07/2017, 18:08) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Usvi girl runs things
  • ...... (11/07/2017, 22:50) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    The children of Americans born on foreign soil are still Americans. The children of Bvislanders born abroad are still considered Virgin Islanders. Her point was that statistically she would be considered a foreigner, even though the constitution considers her a Virgin Islander. Which is weird because people born in the BVI to foreign parents are not considered Virgin Islanders until age 16, if at all. (Eg. MVW).... What a backward little place buddy....
  • john John (12/07/2017, 20:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A next one where is the comptroller of customs from jus asking
  • ndp (12/07/2017, 23:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do as I say but not as I do!"

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