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'Formal decision' on visa waiver for Guyanese likely in 2nd quarter of 2024– Hon Smith

- said decision has to be taken by Cabinet
Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL) says discussions are continuing on a possible visa waiver for Guyanese to travel to the Virgin Islands visa-free. Photo: GIS
Hon Lorna G. Smith last led a delegation to Guyana beginning Monday, July 31, 2023, to engage a number of government and business stakeholders on collaboration and investment opportunities between Guyana and the VI. Photo: Facebook
Hon Lorna G. Smith last led a delegation to Guyana beginning Monday, July 31, 2023, to engage a number of government and business stakeholders on collaboration and investment opportunities between Guyana and the VI. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL) says discussions are continuing on a possible visa waiver for Guyanese seeking to travel to the [British] Virgin Islands (VI).

“In terms of the visa waiver, we are continuing to have our discussion with the Premier’s Office and, in fact, it has to be a decision that's to be taken by Cabinet,” Hon Smith told reporters on the sideline of conference on Thursday, November 9, 2023. 

The Deputy Premier in August 2023 had announced that she had been authorised to say that the VI is considering lifting the visa requirement for Guyana and that it was expected to happen soon.

She added, “If we are serious about doing business with Guyana and a partnership with Guyana, that is the first thing that has to be lifted.”

Decision to come in 2024 

In the interview with the media last week, Hon Smith said even with the visa restriction, there were probably one to two persons from Guyana who were not accepted into the [British] Virgin Islands in terms of getting the requisite waiver.

“So I don't see why it cannot be granted. We are in discussions and we hope that by the beginning of the second quarter, there will be some formal decision taken,” she said,

Hon Smith reminded that the decision is for the local Cabinet to make and it must be led by the Minister for Immigration and the Premier.

Guyanese make up the third largest foreign population in the VI and have been supporting the country’s development since the 1960s.

Hon Smith last led a delegation to Guyana beginning Monday, July 31, 2023, to engage a number of government and business stakeholders on collaboration and investment opportunities between Guyana and the VI.

43 Responses to “'Formal decision' on visa waiver for Guyanese likely in 2nd quarter of 2024– Hon Smith ”

  • . (12/11/2023, 07:51) Like (16) Dislike (7) Reply
    Don't do it.
  • asking for a friend (12/11/2023, 07:55) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
    What about our brothers from Haiti?
    • Migoman (12/11/2023, 10:01) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
      Well they dont have oil or anything to give us so waiver for them
  • Common Sense (12/11/2023, 08:13) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Hope while in the UK you all speak out about the ongoing genocide renamed coi report
    • Fada help (12/11/2023, 11:10) Like (14) Dislike (9) Reply
      Dear Common Sense, you have no common sense. How is the COI a genocide? Don’t you see it is bringing to light all the injustice and suppression done to you by your very own? Or do you like to live that way with no progress in your own homeland? Ayo is something else messon.
      • @ fada help (12/11/2023, 11:31) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
        Boss racism and white supremsy cannot never be justice and light very much the opposite
        • @ @fada help (12/11/2023, 11:58) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
          Sorry dislike by error! Totally Agree!
        • Well then (12/11/2023, 14:48) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
          Well then continue to suffer at the hands of your own people. We really are our own enemy.
  • She needs to Go! (12/11/2023, 08:37) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
    We’re up to our capacity. Immigration must be handled properly! We need statistics on the population and we want it now!!!! The traffic in town is often wall-to-wall. Everyday, a new face. Enough is enough Lorna!!!
  • Really? (12/11/2023, 08:45) Like (32) Dislike (2) Reply
    Can’t keep the water running, electricity always off, tourists are taking pictures in potholes, 4+ people living in one bedroom apartments, the place is clearly overcrowded and she wants to bring more people in the VI. You’ll keep electing these educated fools to run us into the ground!
    • NB (12/11/2023, 11:06) Like (17) Dislike (14) Reply
      @Really: I agree with all you are saying about the current status of these beautiful Virgin Islands. I know of more that 8 people living in a small place. Maybe it’s their choice, maybe it’s a sacrifice to save so they can provide better for family that are not here. Maybe cost of living will kill them (may kill all of us soon). Now on the visa waiver subject, it’s just to let people visit on holiday without going through all the hassle. Besides, for the Guyanese people who have Canadian, US and UK visa (well UK recently grant visa waiver), they were exempted from visa to travel here to the BVI’s. Now we know in some cases people come, look jobs, exit and do the paperwork to return to work and that’s not limited to Guyanese alone. I believe it’s just extending courtesy to the country to foster better relations. Many countries who didn’t even know Guyana exist now wants to jump in bed with us. So don’t be too concerned. A lot of Guyanese have left to go back home because it’s now better for them to start over in their own land. So us Guyanese will not contribute to overpopulating your beautiful Virgin Islands. But there is BIG trouble here and visa waiver and Guyanese people are the least of your concern.
      • @NB (12/11/2023, 12:36) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
        Every expat is of great concern when living on such small lands…where leaders are incompetent at managing social ills and infrastructural maintenance matters. It is against building code regulations to allow that many individuals in such small units. It is also a health risk. However, these violations continues and corrode our society. Persons care more about making a dollar than the care and well-being of others and others risk their health and well-being for financial gain. Politicians are more concerned about votes and therefore, there is no inspections or limited inspections. No immigration inspections, housing inspections, infrastructural inspections, health safety inspections, etc. We’re living in a Cowboy Town!
  • Tick Tick (12/11/2023, 08:49) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply
    This waiver decision getting fix faster than we roads
  • Xxx (12/11/2023, 09:02) Like (4) Dislike (12) Reply
    Lorna is our girl she in our corner
  • Still asking (12/11/2023, 09:05) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Please let us ( V. ISLANDERS know , does this mean that the young man who killed the elder Lady at STEVEN'S correr,,that their Ass ociation rushed and send home) would be allowed re entran.ce this terittory again?

    We have not forgotten who he is NOR how he robbed her breakthrough her hand, killed her and tried to buen her in her House.
    Up to now her Daughter is afraid of coming back Home.
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (12/11/2023, 09:27) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    For everything there is a time. True there are number of issues on the table that is under consideration, a every smart person will put greater concern on the most important on the most important ones first.

    Is it of a truth that we need to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars asap? And that we need to only barrow the amount that we will be able to pay back to the lender within our financial ability in this time of rising cost of necessary goods, particular food cost.
    If true, Hon. Deputy Premier, Mrs Lorna Smith, can we at this time rush to burden our further our weak, mismanaged economy and further because of Guyana's large population? Guyana has gold, oil, and many other natural resources, many times more than us here in the BVI.

    Why not instead fastly consider the large number of both local and other minimum wage employees, especially those that urgently government assistance in the first Quarter of 2024? Who corner are you really in, Hon . Lorna Smith, Deputy Premier, our or theirs? We are here. They are there, and a small number here. Begin by fixing our chronic problems here before attempt to fix others, please.
  • Positive (12/11/2023, 09:36) Like (7) Dislike (12) Reply
    The Guyanese are such friendly people and very hard workers, much like the philipinos
    • @positive (12/11/2023, 10:44) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      Please…. Asians care only for making money. They ‘quietly’ take over every place they reside. Owning most businesses in your country and very quickly at that. Given you attitude when you enter their stores because many of them are prejudice just like whites. They Only hire their own people and look out for their own. They could care less about the culture and social issues of the country where they reside… it’s all about the money. That labour pool needs to be rotated every 3 years no exceptions!
  • Really? (12/11/2023, 09:53) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    She needs to move out from the HOA now. Where is the opposition on this.
    • @Really (12/11/2023, 11:01) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      what opposition? the three different sets there trying to agree on something.
  • Andrew said to stop it! you must stop it (12/11/2023, 10:58) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why are we sucking up to Guyana? That oil now belongs to America...Guyana aint got nothing but the shitty end of the stick....The dregs from the oil
  • Whose corner shez in? (12/11/2023, 11:03) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Guyana or Tola?
  • Socrates (12/11/2023, 11:09) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This issue is moving with alacrity. Just a few probing questions:

    1. What factor(s) drove the BVI government to impose visa requirements for Guyanese citizens and what changed, if anything?
    2. Which other Caricom and other nations nationals require visas to enter the BVI?
    3. What are the pros and cons in requiring visas to enter the BVI?
    4. Did the UK up to recently require visas for Guyana, a former British colony, citizens to enter the UK?
    Did the UK waive, relax its visa requirements on Guyanese citizens because Guyana discover oil and oil is black gold?
    5. Does Guyana have full control over oil production or it has to lease out plots to big oil companies?
    6. Is the BVI in rush to waive visa requirements for Guyanese because of its oil find?
    7. Will Guyana provide oil to the BVI at a deeply discounted rate and does it ( Guyana) have such sale control?
    8. What are Guyana’s major exports to and imports from BVI?
    9. What are the BVI’s major exports to and imports from Guyana?
    10. What is the BVI’s trade balance with Guyana?
    11. Given Guyana’s newly discovered oil making it,perhaps, one of the richest countries in the world per capita, will Guyanese be coming to the BVI for economic reasons or for recreational purposes?
    12. What type of immigration helps a country to grow, ie, low/non-skilled workers, or high tech, professional,etc, workers?
    13. Was Singapore’s booming economic success due to importing the best and brightest, strong rule of law philosophy,,relaxing of some civil liberties, ease of doing business, robust focus on education and training, ie, STEAM, etc?
    14. Does the BVI have the social and physical infrastructure to accommodate a large wave of new immigrants, ie, health, education, housing, etc?
    15. Does the BVI need to be strategically and deliberately managed its immigration policy? Is there a down side to an open door of haphazard immigration policy?
    16. 53% of the Caymsn Island population are expats, what is the current ratio of expats to locals in the BVI?
    • Frig…. (12/11/2023, 11:59) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      Socrates, you are damn frig asking the probing questions which many will prefer not to hear. Whose interest should comes first? Is this quick action hypocrisy in broad day light. Prior to its huge oil find, Guyana was small poor backward country in South America. Countries despise and shun them, requiring visas for them to enter countries, including the BVI and UK. But no sooner than it discovered oil, we rush to role the red carpet. This behavior resembles the behavior of some family members who you only hear from when they want something. Is the BVI naively behaving as if oil is a commodity that can be easily transfer from one country to another. We are behaving excitedly as if Guyana has control of oil and can sell it to us at a cheap rate and we can see the fuel surcharge vanished. That is fancy and wishful thinking. Venezuela was able to provide oil assistance to Cuba and others because it had production control. Furthermore, oil is a commodity which is traded on the world market. Let’s be smart and slow and easy managing our immigration policy. What are going to import from Guyana rice(???), green heart, gold, timber, etc?? Will the Guyanese be helping us with designing, constructing and maintaining our roads and other infrastructure? Can free associate with Guyana? Lack of experience is an interesting drig, especially when the blind leading the blind. Frig….out
    • HMM @socrates (12/11/2023, 16:47) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      check them supermarkets, check them lumber yards. check bi electricity cooperation. also check the one and only pussers rum.
    • Quiet Storm (13/11/2023, 08:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Do we believe the UK lift its visa requirements on Guysna, a former British colony, a member of the Commonwealth, for Guyana due to altruistic reasons or because it has a large oil find?

      Does any remember the UK just imposed visa requirements on Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St Vincent, former British colonies, members of Commonwealth of Nations, which Prince Charles heads, and save for Dominica Prince Charles III is head of state?

      Do we believe the BVI is now cozying up to Guyana and rolling out the red carpet and proposing lifting the visa requirements for Guyanese citizens because of sudden altruistic reasons or because it ( Guyana) found oil and is now a big player on the oil market?

      Do we believe and should believe that the BVI lifting the visa requirements for Guyanese will result in lower prices at the gas pumps, lower or no fuel surcharges, BVIEC paying a lower price per barrel for fuel, etc? If so I got some oil rich land on Fallen Jerusalem to give away to the first first serve.
  • John (12/11/2023, 12:30) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Lorna go si down place is over crowed already the country running by this woman have Brian and no coman sence
  • Enquirer (12/11/2023, 12:32) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    What's the first and second largest foreign population in BVI?
  • Good for Guyanese.. (12/11/2023, 12:48) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    If you know your history. You will know that Santo Domingo natives are more deserving of this. I also believed that all children under the age of 17 from any country proven that they are in School and with good parental standings here should also be exempted from visa entry two times per yr for no more 6 weeks at a time to come and spend a time with their parent/s. Love and compassion. Set the innocent children free. God is watching..Remember. God is watching..

    • Santos…not at all! (12/11/2023, 20:58) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      Look we are overcrowded! We don’t need anymore strippers or ladies of the night seducing these sleazy men out of their money and sending it back to Santo. Plus, they form their own apartheid Spanish speaking community and disrespect you in your face in Spanish. They want status after living in the VI for over 20 years and yet can’t hardly speak English nor have they simulated into the culture. Many of them are also loud and always partying with their annoying loud Spanish music.
  • 2023 (12/11/2023, 13:49) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Only friending up to Georgetown because of what we think we can get from them because of the oil what happened to all the past years NO Visa Waver
  • simple (12/11/2023, 15:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think the biggest problem we have in this country is prioritising. It seems as though our Government Representatives are not interested in taking care of country, what is before them that is broken. And why is that? We clearly have an immigrattion problem. I see new faces on the street everyday and lots of them are not working or are underemployed and unable to properly take care of themselves in a strange land. We all know the cost of rent and food etc in this country.

    Shouldn't the new Minister of Labour, who has been around the block many, many times, know where her focus should lie? Isn't fixing the immigration probem that we have more important than introducing new ones?

    Well, from someone who will never take a dime for my vote, it must be because they can pass around favours and dollars for your votes that causes this debacle. We are drowning. Our water and disposal systems are presently broken beyond repair, but Hon. Smith, who worked with Hon. H.L. Stoutt for decades, cannot understand where to start? We have persons in this country who came on a two-week vacation in 2015 and are still here and we need this decision about Guyanese visa waiver now?

    Well, it seems 'Focus' is our problem and it is not just a shortcoming with the young, but with the not so young as well. Sooo, we pray, for only God can help us.
  • Curious (12/11/2023, 16:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Guyanese don't need a visa to travel to the United Kingdom.. So, If the BVI don't remove the visa restriction then the UK will because is a British Overseas Territory.
    What the BVI need to implement is a visa restriction on all of those islands which now require a visa to travel to the UK.
    • @Curious, (13/11/2023, 11:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Curious, Guyanese not needing a visa to travel to the UK was recently changed with Guyana finding oil.
      • Curious (14/11/2023, 09:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Thats why the shouldn't need a visa to travel to the BVI or any British Territory..
  • unvaxx 4ever (12/11/2023, 16:30) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I codda never vote for these kinds of people mehbwoy. dunce check.
  • PT09 (12/11/2023, 19:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @positive Who were talking about Asians?
  • Guess (12/11/2023, 20:14) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well soon all off the Caribbean can visit USVI and porto rico wit out a visa those are much better places to visit smiling
  • Tadow (12/11/2023, 23:39) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Are you working for the BVI or Guyana?
  • Lord Help Us (13/11/2023, 06:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    My input on the Visa water is that if Guyanese can get the weaver privilige , jamaicans can get the privilage as well.

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