The public is invited to tune into 90.9FM for “Our Territories Talk” live from Bermuda on Sunday, June 16, 2019 from 7PM-9PM: follow online live please call 1-284-499 7815 and be part of the “live” conversation

'Why are expatriates being asked to leave?'- Hon Fahie to Premier Smith

- says expatriates are being asked to leave the territory when employers are saying they cannot find workers
Leader of the Opposition and Chairman of the Virgin Island Party, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, told Premier & Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, in the House of Assembly on March 1, 2018 that expatriates with skill sets and who have lived in the Territory for years are being asked to leave then their work is complete but Government is still seeking to bring in more foreigners to do the same jobs. Photo: VINO/File
Members in the House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Photo: VINO
Members in the House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI –“ If persons that are here are leaving because they have completed their task and they are looking work and then told that they don’t have work now based on how things went with Irma and they have been here for years and we know them. Why are we bringing in more than we put out to come to get work, isn’t something wrong with that formula?”

Opposition Leader and First District Representative, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie was at the time posing a question to Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, during the First Sitting of the Third Session of the Third House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on Thursday, March 1, 2018 about why expatriates are being asked to leave the territory.

In response, Premier Smith said, “Expatriates currently residing in the territory who were offered engagement with companies requiring employees for the hurricane relief work with the employer are not being asked to currently leave the territory.”

Not satisfied with his response, Hon Fahie suggested that the Premier should look for the skill sets that are needed within the territory first rather than bringing in persons and questioned if there are mechanisms in place to monitor the influx of persons to ensure that they leave the territory after they have finished working.

He said, “I always want to be fair because this country belongs to our people and we have to be fair who come among us, so that there are those who are here for years have been working and we have to be fair to them versus bringing in new persons when the skill set is within those persons that we are shipping out. Why are the persons that are here not allowed to deal with some of the work that is here and why are we bringing in more.”

He continued, “With the influx of persons coming in, how are we going to monitor them to make sure that when they are finished working that they go out because we are bringing in more than going out and we have no mechanism I’ve heard of how when they are finish doing the work how would they leave.”

Premier Smith reiterated that expatriates are not being asked to leave while explaining that “everyone who comes into the territory must go through the immigration process so that there is a record of when they come in and who they are going to work for. We are also now putting in place an electronic application system where there will be a permanent record of these persons and we will be able to monitor them as they move from different employments.”

Reality on the ground

A number of expatriates have expressed to our newsroom that they are being asked to leave even though they have been offered jobs and have been residing in the territory for more than five years.

The government recently implemented a policy that allowed persons who have been working in the territory for more than five years and are changing jobs to be able to remain in the territory while their work permit is being processed, while persons who have been working in the territory for less than three years would have to depart the territory.

One young lady, a Jamaica national, told our newsroom that she lost her job because of the hurricane and found employment with another company but was told that she had to leave the territory while her documents are being processed and she has been in the territory for more than three years.

Another expatriate from St Vincent and the Grenadines, who has been in the country for more than 15 years, said he was told that he has to depart the territory during his change of employment.

“I went there and they told me that I have to leave but I don’t not understand why because I have been here for over 15 years. I have decided to just go home because they are doing all manner of things rather than enforcing the policies implemented,” he said.

23 Responses to “'Why are expatriates being asked to leave?'- Hon Fahie to Premier Smith”

  • home boy (02/03/2018, 17:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Immigration (02/03/2018, 17:18) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    I understand the three year but come on now my people. 15 years??? And even want to stay after hurricane Irma? He should have been given an exemption rite away.This person is one of us. Be kind BVI. Use hurricane Irma as an example in how fast things could change for us, another hurricane season is up on us!
  • Rubber Duck (02/03/2018, 17:41) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    We have an employee who has been here 35 years and worked for us for 27 years who is going to be told to leave.

    Its inhuman.
    • tash (02/03/2018, 21:10) Like (12) Dislike (18) Reply
      Why is it that after all these years, some people have still not saved enough to go home and contribute in their own homeland?
  • 1 (02/03/2018, 19:03) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    I hope the island people see the ndp don't like them
    • No likey (03/03/2018, 06:33) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
      In generall, "island people" are not liked anywhere and for good reason. What's there to like. Not even in their country are they liked .They are deported by the hundreds in Europe and America This should be a clue for them to stay in their country. Degrading their host country with murders etc might be one of the reason they are not liked. In the BVI, a crime wave an overflowing prison and thousands of imported policemen from their islands. They protect and hide the criminals while complaining about immigration procedures. Beyond disgusting,some of these aliens.
      • like this (03/03/2018, 07:35) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        There is a word for what you suffer from-zenophobia
      • oUCH (03/03/2018, 21:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        This is bollocks. I'm from UK. I've been here over 10 years. "Island People" is a ridiculous generalisation. If we said "black people" or " white people" there would be an outcry and rightly so. Don't generalize, especially now in a post disaster. It's wasting effort and resources.
      • Bow Street Runner (04/03/2018, 09:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Such an divisive comment. Perhaps you need to look at yourself in the mirror and ask if you truly like yourself because I suspect that many people who are both local or so called 'island people' do not.
        At this time when all, irrespective of where born need to pull together to rebuild natures little secret, your comments are ignorant and discriminatory. Like yourself and more people will like you.
    • wize up (03/03/2018, 08:04) Like (1) Dislike (14) Reply
      @ 1..are you serious, under this administration more caribbean folk were granted naturalization
  • i not from here (02/03/2018, 19:42) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Put back in the VIP the only hope for the island man
  • Ichabod. (02/03/2018, 19:46) Like (5) Dislike (18) Reply
    Perhaps some info regarding the murders and shootings by their friends or family ,their children and policemen and countrymen could help the VI but otherwise very little are they contributing . The VI, in order to survive must revamp revise and reshuffle the demograhics with urgency. Irma has offered the opportunity and to not seize it would be even more disastrous .
  • The Workers (02/03/2018, 21:39) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
    The workers at Labour and immigration have their own laws when it comes to expats. Most of the workers are so happy to harass expats.. That's how their boss rate them as doing a good Job..
  • fahie (03/03/2018, 02:36) Like (0) Dislike (7) Reply
    All of them is one .. Look how they sweet greeting
  • wize up (03/03/2018, 08:12) Like (0) Dislike (9) Reply
    I will understand the political things because some of out here picking sides while the politicians living high on the hog most of them only know you a few hours before an election after that you don’t see them....before voting day them hotting up your place and all over your community wanting to shake your poor hand out of place and talking you to death: when you done cast that vote all of them suddenly disappears now you to make an appointment to see the same group you just voted for(tell me bout it)
    • To wize (03/03/2018, 10:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      You know what you are saying is not so. Generalizing will not work. The picture used is a very old picture. Also nothing wrong with greeting each other whether we agree or not on issues. You need to stop spreading lies and Just stick to the issues at hand.
  • wize up (03/03/2018, 12:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ TO Wize: you sound like you falls in the category of special interest political groups: one of the one who gets hand down from verifying administrations....I stand by what I said and said what I write(you serious know I don’t need any validation because I don’t give a dam if vip, ndp or any other p is in power: please keep the faith and don’t send your scooter crew after me!!!
  • watcher (03/03/2018, 15:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Social Security Board has tens, maybe hundreds of illions of dollars they use to buy lamd and shares in banks. Social Security is for the times when people need help, thats what the name means. Why are the Social Security Board and the government not using the huge amount of money the board has to help people. The people and their employers paid the money in the first place. Some of the people being thrown out have paid Social Security for many years and now when they need help get nothing.

    The government should hanf their heads in shame.
  • time will tell (07/03/2018, 16:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everybody jumping up and talking but no one stopping to find out what the law says!! No minister can suggest or create no policy that trumps the law. If they wanted the law to be relaxed, it must be d one the correct wayin the house where laws are made and cganhed. Immigration only doing their job and if I were them I would do it until the law is chnaged. Politicians need to stop pandering to the masses and do their dam jobs. While some think it and fraid to say what's on their minds, the fact remains that some expats do need to go home. Everybody crying out that this and that scarce but still want to stay and live in such misery? Either things bad or they are not!!

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.