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Persons out of VI for 6 months required to submit new WP applications

- Policy took effect February 1, 2021
Expatriate workers who are out of the Territory for six months or more with expired Work Permits (WP) will be required to submit new applications. Photo: VINO/File
On August 2, 2020, a decision was made to restrict all holders of work permits and work permit exemptions from entering the Territory; however, during Phase 2 of the restricted border re-opening plan, work permit or work permit exemption holders were allowed entry into the territory from September 1, 2020, once they met a list of requirements. Photo: BVIAA/File
On August 2, 2020, a decision was made to restrict all holders of work permits and work permit exemptions from entering the Territory; however, during Phase 2 of the restricted border re-opening plan, work permit or work permit exemption holders were allowed entry into the territory from September 1, 2020, once they met a list of requirements. Photo: BVIAA/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Expatriate workers who are out of the Territory for six months or more with expired Work Permits (WP) will be required to submit new applications.

This is according to the Department of Labour and Workforce Development in a press release on February 11, 2021.

“The public is notified that effective February 1, persons who are out of the Territory for six months or more with expired work permits will be required to submit new applications, as their expired permits will no longer be renewable,” the press release stated.

Travel restrictions

Many persons on work permits were shut out of the Virgin Islands due to travel restrictions, including border closure, put in place in the Virgin Islands as well as other countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 2, 2020, a decision was made to restrict all holders of work permits and work permit exemptions from entering the Territory.

Lifting of restrictions

During Phase 2 of the restricted border re-opening plan; however, work permit or work permit exemption holders were allowed entry into the territory from September 1, 2020, once they met a list of requirements.

For re-entry, work permit and work exemption holders were required to have a valid Trade Licence; valid employment; Certificate of Good Standing Certificates (Social Security, Inland Revenue and National Health Insurance); employees' certificate of earnings; and valid COVID-19 operational certification.

Government subsequently took a decision to temporarily suspend the requirement of a Certificate of Good Standing from Inland Revenue.

Cabinet had also granted exceptional approval for persons employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands and its Statutory Bodies, Agencies and Boards; and teachers (public and private) to re-enter the territory once they possessed a valid permit to reside in the Territory; employment letter or contract; a visa or visa waiver for persons travelling from countries requiring visa entry into the Territory.

For more information, persons are asked to contact the Department of Labour and Workforce Development at 468-4707/4708 or by email at labour@gov.vg, or the Immigration Department at 468-4705 or by email at immigrationinfo@gov.vg.

21 Responses to “Persons out of VI for 6 months required to submit new WP applications”

  • island man (14/02/2021, 12:21) Like (21) Dislike (6) Reply
    why? What would a new permit reveal that you can't check on a renewal?
    • All about the money (14/02/2021, 13:27) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      New permit = new fees
      • Actually (14/02/2021, 19:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        It's the same cost ,based on salary/ wages.
        And, it's been the rule forever that a WP holder cannot be out of the territory for more than 6 months.
      • Jah Son (14/02/2021, 22:04) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        You also pay for renewals. Its to take away people's permit.
    • work permit holder (14/02/2021, 13:51) Like (24) Dislike (6) Reply
      Everyday this Government is making Poor people life harder in this country.
    • Jane (15/02/2021, 15:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I think it means that the clock is restarted for work permit exemption / residency claims. You may have been in your 14th year of holding a residency but a new work permit resets your residency to zero.
  • nothing (14/02/2021, 12:42) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    Just to hold up delay by Months of the permits by the new Labour Commissioner. Smh. No vision zero cares to make money for our Country because the Minister and the Commissiiner dont have a clue how much Money the Government get from permits. Especially since the Tourism is at a nonprofit organizatiin now. Blurrrr lines.
  • local girl (14/02/2021, 14:12) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    All ah you quit bitching and belly ache, learn to pay for your mistakes, ah you get the government that you all deserve, they didn't get in on their own, you all wanted and voted for change, well this is the change, suck it up, all you baskets of deplorables.
    I don't feel for anyone of you idiots.
  • Arithmetic time! (14/02/2021, 14:57) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    Point 1: "Expatriate workers who are out of the Territory for six months or more with expired Work Permits (WP) will be required to submit new applications."
    Point 2: "On August 2, 2020, a decision was made to restrict all holders of work permits and work permit exemptions from entering the Territory."
    Point 3: "...in a press release on February 11, 2021....“The public is notified that effective February 1, persons who are out of the Territory for six months or more with expired work permits will be required to submit new applications, as their expired permits will no longer be renewable,” the press release stated."

    Question 1: How many months are there between August 2, 2020 and February 1, 2021?
    Question 2: Why was this information released after the fact, with retroactive effect?
    Question 3: Why is this press release not yet visible on the Government's own website (https://bvi.gov.vg/press-release) as of press time?
    Question 4: Has this policy been gazetted?
    Question 5: Why, at this time of heightened international scrutiny (re COI, where the report's deadline is due in July) and where there were documented and publicised issues re re-entry of WP holders from September 1 (so much so that allowances and waivers had to be considered)... WHY would the authorities of the day GIFT this to the COI on a silver platter like this? Why not do an extension until August (after July) to allow WP holders outside to be processed AND to avoid any appearance of discrimination while the COI is in effect? #PlayingDominoesWhileUKPlayingChess
  • Well Sah (14/02/2021, 15:04) Like (14) Dislike (21) Reply
    So what if the person was locked out because of borders closure. It reopens in december but persons have to wait more than a month on NHI and SSB for the additional documents they are now asking for to renew work permits come on this is soo unjust.
  • September (14/02/2021, 15:11) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    They saying you can come back in from september sir i applied through the september portal and up to this day i never get a reply. Remember too in september too a set of requirements were laid down persons still had to wait to get those additional documents. Persons wanted to returnbut WERE locked out. You stop them from coming back in their permits get expired in the process because of your decisions not theirs now you punishing them.
  • unfair (14/02/2021, 15:41) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    They say you could return in September but they never say the business you working for had to get a set of requirements and then register the business online to some sort of immigration portals then they will send another form to the worker if they aporoved he or she to return. It was a long delay in getting everything sorted out by workplace and workers in September but they are not saying this all they are saying that expat could return ftom September 1st. There were expats locked in other countries that had no flight at all going to the BVI. I hope they took those into consideration.
  • Hmm (14/02/2021, 16:34) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    And you would not believe when i saying the still processing new permits and way faster than a renewal. A renewal was supposed to take two weeks but its taking more longer and the new ones are getting processed so quickly and are being approved too.
  • This (14/02/2021, 17:53) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    This here is really unbelievable cant you guys give these people at least up to june to do their renewal its not like they wanted to get locked out or stay out for six months. You all need to look into the reasons why person were locked out it might not be they went out for pleasure some maybe went out for some sort of emergency and get locked out. Its not l8ke they deliberately stayed out you closed the borders on them.
  • Really (14/02/2021, 22:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    releasing the information on the 11th Feb but starts from 1st Feb is the whole problem with this government.
  • SMH (15/02/2021, 08:28) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    I don't see why people out of the Territory for any period and their permit has expired why renew it at this Time. People living presently on the Soil lost Jobs and Wages are having difficulty trying to survive. Why not employ the unemployed and let them get a chance tp catch themselves before adding to a suffering and diblitating population.
  • SMH (15/02/2021, 08:53) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    These people just doing things with out thinking it over, wouldnt be surprised if they go back to the boards and change it!
  • Local (16/02/2021, 22:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Government has people still here within the BVI whom live n work here 1 and 1 1/2 year before the pandemic. Every second given them time yet person whom was living here 18+ years they let the people go never give additional time.. this place is back words bad! Disappointed local!!!


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