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Immigration Dept. processed 2314 visitors’ extension in 2010 alone!

- Labour Dept must properly scrutinise & investigate work permits more thoroughly-Immigration Dept
Chief Immigration Officer Dennis Jennings, in his 2010 Department annul report, was concerned about the number of persons still entering the Territory seeking employment. It is Mr. Jennings' view that if applications for annual work permits are scrutinised and investigated more thoroughly by the Labour Department, the numbers of work permits could be justifiably reduced. Photo: GIS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While many countries around the world have been complaining about a severe financial downturn, a recession, and lack of jobs, it appears not to be the case in the Virgin Islands.

According to the 2010 Immigration Department’s annual report laid before the House of Assembly by Minister for Immigration and Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith at the 9, October 2012 sitting, the report paints a different picture.

Figures for 2010 show that some 865 persons were processed via clearances at the Headquarters on Tortola for the purpose of employment and residing.  On Virgin Gorda in 2010, another 173 were processed for the same purposes, for a total of 1038 in 2010.

At a time when Virgin Islanders unemployment is at an all time high in 2010 another 904 clearance was processed by the Immigration Department for the purpose of temporary employment where persons are employed for a period of six (6) months or less.

According to the 2010 report, this category of workers leave the Territory on completion of their assignments, however, what should be alarming to Virgin Islanders is that many of the temporary expat workers were retained throughout the years “especially in the areas of auditors, barristers, technicians, yachting, banking and trust”, areas where locals are still shut out or doing the bottom of the scale work.

2314 visitors seeking extensions of their permits

Another issue, and interesting numbers raised by the Immigration Department in its 2010 report, was the number of visitors seeking extensions to landing permits.   In 2010 there were over 2314 requested by visitors for an extension on their visit to the Virgin Islands.

Of that number, 1838 were made on Tortola and another 476 visitors applied for extension on Virgin Gorda.  The report stated that it has been discovered that a high percentage of visitors who seek further extension are in fact seeking employment. The report said that because the economic situation in the Territory in 2010 was among the best in the region it was extremely difficult to control illegal employment.

Immigration Dept calls for Labour Dept to properly investigate & scrutinise work permits

In an interesting rebuke by the Immigration Department in their 2010 report to the Labour Department, they have called on Labour to review its work permit processing procedures.

It stated that the above figures indicated that in spite of the recession, persons are still entering the Virgin Islands at a fairly consistent rate.

However, the Chief Immigration Officer stated in the report that, “I am, however of the view that if applications for (especially for annual work permits) are scrutinised and investigated more thoroughly, the numbers could be justifiably reduced.”

6 official Ports of Entry recognised by the Immigration Department

Meanwhile, according to the 2010 report and in accordance with section 49 of the Immigration and Passport Ordinance Cap 130, there are 6 ports of entries recognised by the Immigration Department.

They are located at Road Town, West End, Beef Island, Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke and Anegada.

13 Responses to “Immigration Dept. processed 2314 visitors’ extension in 2010 alone!”

  • long look me come from (22/10/2012, 11:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    wow!! that is why we locals can't get work!
  • Jules (22/10/2012, 12:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No, that is why you local can boast about your economy go ahead and send us home you'll have nothing to boast about.
    • love boat (22/10/2012, 13:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I am shocked by this story. How is it that these people getting work permits and extensions to say and looking for jobs and so much locals are unemployed???? Many of these expat companies have gotten away with treating locals like garbage?
    • common sense (23/10/2012, 16:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      u sound stupid!!!!
  • Buh-Deh (22/10/2012, 12:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's a lot of people to monitor for such a small department.
    • Vex (22/10/2012, 18:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The issue is lack of planning, poor planning or no planning at all whichever is your pick, has us in this labor force mess that we find ourselves in!!!!
  • jj (22/10/2012, 14:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI I beg you fight for your country, fight to keep jobs for your people. The BVI seems to be the only Caribbean islands that have an open arms policy where they can come on a vacation then three months later they have a work permit and a job!!!

    We need more people like Mr. Jennings to speak up and stop Labour from giving away our country
  • Natli (22/10/2012, 15:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr Jennings is correct. The Labour department must stop acting like simply a rubber stamp. If they conduct real checks they will find out a lot of things, but they simply stamp all work permits coming their way. I could tell you people realize that the Labour Department in the BVI takes everything as they appear on paper and fail to thoroughly check things out. It is time they start checking those schools and degrees people claim to have Trust me, they will be surprised to see what they will unearth.
  • wow (22/10/2012, 15:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    immigration needs to intervene at TUI MARINE\MOORINGS, too much shuffling goin on over there with foreigners, foreigners that we bvi islanders have to turn around and train, they need to be hiring locals and stop with the shuffling....somebody from labour needs to intervene....we have folks where the work permit say one thing but at TUI MARINE they doing something other than what their work permit be continued
  • Recognise (22/10/2012, 19:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is only the beginning! When you have government officials getting their kick backs from certain development/property management companies for certain privileges such as bringing in expatriate workers while tell the locals that nothing is available, what do u expect? VIP or NDP the country has been sold, our children and grandchildren will never be proprietors of business, they will be doomed to work for the uneducated and foreign for $4 an hour...if they lucky. The sad part is that ppl know of the injustice, they see it, they live it and aint a dam thing they can do cause the very ministers they elected to serve and protect their rights are the ones selling them out. I say to take heed because we think we know the half of it but there is sooooooooo much more than meets the eye. Just remember that what is done in dark will always come to light...but it may be too late by then.
    • castro (22/10/2012, 23:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      There is some merit in what the CIO said but when the clearance comes to his desk he can also not approve them!!!! So he can help get the situation in order.
  • debate (22/10/2012, 22:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Jenning needs to get his own department together from talking bout labor…try calling immigration… they don’t even pick up the phone!!

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