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New Work Permit fees to take effect May 15, 2017

- penalty in place for persons understating income
Government has made an amendment to the work permit fee structure to one that is ‘progressive and based on income.’ Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) said there will be a penalty for persons found to have understated their income to benefit from lower work permit fees. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) said there will be a penalty for persons found to have understated their income to benefit from lower work permit fees. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- With a work permit fee structure that, according to Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7), has been the same since 1981, Government has made an amendment to the fee structure to one that is “progressive and based on income.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly today, April 18, 2017 Hon Pickering, in a statement on the new work permit fee structure, said special considerations have been made for domestic workers, who will pay 1% of their annual salary for their work permit.

For all other workers, the fee for earnings up to 25,000 per annum will be charged at 3%, while the fee for earnings from 25,001 to $50, 000 will be translated at 5%.

The work permit fee for earnings above 50,001 will be calculated at 7%, while earnings in excess of 150,000 per annum will also be charged at 7%.

There is a fee cap at $10,000, which means no work permit will cost above $10, 000.

The fee structure also introduces a $50 application fee in addition to the $75 fee currently charged for the issuing of the work permit card.

Penalty for understating income

“With the new structure requiring high income earners to pay higher fees we recognise that there is a potential risk of persons to understate their income to benefit from lower work permit fees; however, Madam Speaker, we have taken step discourage this practice by including a penalty that is 10% of annual income for understating your income,” Hon Pickering stated.

He also noted that work permit fees were “not arbitrarily raised” but were done through consultation with “industry practitioners.”

Hon Pickering also stated that the processing of work permits will be done within four weeks in collaboration with Immigration Department.

31 Responses to “New Work Permit fees to take effect May 15, 2017”

  • just asking... (18/04/2017, 11:54) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    How them say pico not doing anything?
    • Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes (18/04/2017, 12:48) Like (87) Dislike (14) Reply
      Far from being a low tax jurisdiction, the BVI already has:
      1 payroll tax at 14%
      2 social security at 7%
      3 national insurance at 7%
      Now we will have work permit fees, for more than 50% of the work force, at 5% to 7%.
      All together 35% in tax.
      We also have very expensive food, electricity and accommodation - accommodation is probably on its way down because of the number of people leaving the BVI but that means that we will not be able to pay our mortgages.
      Government departments, and in particular the labour and immigration departments, have spent the last 20 years creating obstacles to businesses wanting to operate in the BVI, and in particular in the two pillars of our economy - financial services and yachting.
      The difficultly is most apparent in financial services because that business does not need to stay in the BVI. Problems in obtaining work permits, the delays is processing applications, the extraordinary bureaucracy, and the downright rudeness of the staff have persuaded financial service companies in particular to relocate as much of their work to their non-BVI offices as possible.
      The consequence is that most of the financial services work in the BVI consists of filing documents, that our prepared overseas, at the FSC in the BVI.
      Jersey, Guernsey, Cayman and Bermuda, in particular, have encouraged and allowed businesses to recruit qualified staff that are able to do substantive work in those jurisdictions – indeed the businesses in those jurisdictions are drafting documents to be filed in the BVI. They undertake substantive trust administration of BVI trusts, substantive mutual fund administration and NAV calculation for BVI funds and substantive corporate secretarial services for BVI companies.
      Virtually everybody tries to do as little in the BVi as possible. Even the tourism industry outsources as much of its business - accountancy, marketing etc, out of the BVI.
      The constant racist comments made on news blogs merely encourage people to live elsewhere.
      We need the foreigners more than they need us – they can (and unfortunately do) move away and take their business with them. We have kidded ourselves for too long that the business belongs to the BVI.
      How many serious financial service businesses are head quartered in the BVI – None!
      How many of the tourism businesses with operations outside of the BVI, have their headquarters in the BVI - None!
      How many of the big off shore law firms are head quartered in the BVI – None. Even Harneys, not exactly one of the big law offshore law firms, have as many staff as possible in Cayman, London and Hong Kong.
      The present Government and senior civil servants talk a good talk, but the majority of civil servants (who do not seem to understand that they are the servants of the people, and who are rarely civil) continue to obstruct and be rude.
      We have grown to rely on the huge sums pumped into the FSC, and then the Treasury, by financial services – however, the consequence of the way we have dealt with those coming to work in the BVI in those businesses is that the sums are getting smaller and smaller every year.
      Now, we are putting the fees up (incorporation, renewal, work permits and trade licenses) to try and replace the income – however, the more likely result is that the increases will persuade business to go elsewhere.
      I used to worry that many of the civil servants would never learn, but thought that the senior ones understood the big picture. I am not so sure any more.
      This decision will merely speed up the day when Government runs out of funds to pay the generous salaries, and extraordinary unfunded pensions, of our civil servants and politicians.
      Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!
      • @ taxes, taxes (18/04/2017, 13:51) Like (46) Dislike (2) Reply
        Whosoever you are. I wish I could shake your hand.
      • island man (18/04/2017, 19:13) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
        I have finally read some intelligent note:
        The BVI ministers really believe that apart from tourism and financial services they really are self sufficient.
        Just keep imposing taxes Add in-discriminately on expats and see where your economy will end up after business owners do not see profitability and shut their doors
        Let see what will happen when apartment owners cannot pay the bank
        Lets see what happens when the vehicles dealers reposes all the Hyundai that was sold
        Lets see what happens when the hospitalized people don't pay their bills.

        Lets see!!!!
      • Taxed without a vote (18/04/2017, 21:01) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        Very, very well said. If you are able please run for government and put a stop to this lunacy.
      • TOL (19/04/2017, 10:13) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
        I mostly agree with you, but your numbers are incorrect!!!
  • Outsiders (18/04/2017, 12:01) Like (2) Dislike (15) Reply
    I want the NDP to literally kill ayo.
    • Yes (18/04/2017, 12:35) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply

      You think people making $200K give a @#$&* about paying $10K for their permit? They just want to be able to live/work here, make money for their company and not have to wait in St Thomas 6 weeks then wait in line at labour and immigration for days on end when they could be working. Clueless people need to STFU.

      • Online Now (18/04/2017, 13:44) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
        @LOL - you think people earning $200k a year pay for their own work permit? No, it's paid for by their employers. What this will do is make it more attractive to employ staff outside the BVI. The additional cost of NHI already started this thinking, the new WP fees may be the tipping point.
        • Wrong (18/04/2017, 16:11) Like (4) Dislike (14) Reply
          NHI is NOT an additional cost as majority of companies paid private insurance before having to pay NHI and most have replaced the private cover with NHI. There are some companies that actually saved because of NHI as beforehand they would cover 100% of the private coverage for employees but now with NHI the cost is split 3.75% each way and based on salary paid, not just market rate premium.
          • Madness (18/04/2017, 16:47) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
            I still pay for private health insurance for all of my staff because the NHI cover (which at 7% is more expensive than the private health insurance) provides hopeless levels of coverage if people need to be treated off island. Some of the staff use NHI on-island but otherwise the 7% is wasted.
          • Looking elsewhere (18/04/2017, 18:25) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
            No. Many keep the private insurance because the NHI is not nearly as good as the private. We pay the NHI because we must. We pay the private because we wants better medical options. The NHI paid by work permit holders is i just another "tax" for something we won't use.
        • @ Online Now (19/04/2017, 09:32) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
          Go back to the uk
          • maybe (19/04/2017, 18:26) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
            He will but what does that get the BVI? Assuming online now earns 200k plus for the sake of argument you are going to lose c50k in direct and indirect taxes, 45k in rent paid to a BVIslander, 25k paid in shops over course of a year and possibly a couple of G spent on a BVI based holiday. School /nursery fees probably add another 25k, maybe another couple of G to charities such as humane society, PAW, family support network, a couple of G in using local airlines. You get the point. But at least that will be one less expat stealing your job. Oh, sorry, that will also go with him to Cayman or UK as there is no restriction on doing BVI work outside BVI.
  • tell a friend to tell a friend (18/04/2017, 13:03) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Ya me born (18/04/2017, 14:36) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Guess the government doesn't have much choice and I know they're out of ideas so look out for more increases on everything people..that's just the beginning's the NDP way.
    • Jack B Nimble. (18/04/2017, 19:19) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      This Minister is like jumping jack. Jumping from one unfinish subject, to create another... Labour act still need correcting. What's going on with the pension plan. Some companies still not paying because they are loop holes in the law. Fix those first...What happen with Agriculture, is almost dead. Fix that first. Then move on.
  • Wicked act ! (18/04/2017, 16:49) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Is not we steal the cookie from the jar! so why we have to pay back! .only time cause whats for ceasor will be given back to ceasor !wicked !
  • lord o. (18/04/2017, 19:12) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Poor Island people.. What are the contributions / taxes to the bad economy they have created through mis manage and bad management of our finances These politicians Would be subjected to? Would they give up some of their allowances? This how they correct their bad spending. .. Taxing Island people.
  • cay (18/04/2017, 19:33) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    How will you be paying your house rent?
  • M & M (18/04/2017, 19:37) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    some of them ministers done misuse and squander all the we money, now they want to kill people to catch up. Dishonest bastards...NDP must go.
  • Street reporter (18/04/2017, 21:38) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    NDP is a dead dog.The governor will soon call an investigation on this government.. They won't finish their term.. England will take over. Or Next election they don't stand a Chance...
  • Goodbye (19/04/2017, 00:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Goodbye to the marine industry - the only pillar that was growing. Did Pickering and the other people who sit in offices all day actually ask anyone in the industry? I bet moorings shrinks it staff by half and moves boats out the BVI.
  • Hmph!!!! (19/04/2017, 08:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rally...................Rally................. on the green and white Team!!!!! at the end of the Day politicians will be politicians. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I just wish they would stop Thieving my hard earn money.....

    Thanks in advance
    • Moveoutahmeway (19/04/2017, 10:38) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      None better than the other, just a bigger cookie jar next time. We don't want no white man running our country so stop calling for UK take over. We will take over something too. Hope they like it. Move out meh way,
  • facts man (19/04/2017, 09:30) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Poor people going suck salt under this governnent
  • ..... (19/04/2017, 14:51) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    I welcome this news. If we are going to hand over our country, might as well we get some money for it. My only concern is that we should have charged the rich folks more..
    • Curly (19/04/2017, 22:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You might have your country back sooner than you think, what a stupid comment you have made. If everyone on a work permit laves who will rent the accommidation, many business owners are on work permits so people lose their jobs of which BVI islanders will be amongst them, industries collapse, let's just keep going down this path and see what happens.
  • Curly (19/04/2017, 22:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don't think anyone would necessarily dispute an increase as the rate has been the same for a while, however in typical BVI Gov style they have done an increase that is just too high, this is a 50% increase and is extremely shortsighted. Yes it will bring in additional revenue however the long term implications could be severe. For the person above who said more should be charged not everyone that is on a work permit is a lawyer. Many countries around the world welcome diversity however in the BVI if you are on a work permit you are penalized. Yes governments need to bring in more money but long term affects have to be thought out.
  • Shortsighted (21/04/2017, 09:59) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    When people take their businesses and go and there is no one left to tax or pay rent or rent cars or buy goods and services then they will be satisfied. How can you quadruple a fee in one go? It is just madness. First was the mandatory NHI, now this. It is becoming less and less attractive for anyone to be here. Perhaps the Territory wants to go back to the "good old days" when there was nothing at all here.
    • Yes I (24/04/2017, 02:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Then it was the 250 fee for ppl who changing jobs and applying for new work permit as a result, now this. What's next? Never mind ayo will get back your country , continue .

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