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VI Gov’t 'failing to apply 10-year requirement for residency law'- Gov Rankin

- said there has been very limited work carried out to date to clear large backlog of Residency & Belonger status applications
The backlog of applications for Residency and Belonger status was reported to stand at 2,226 applications as at June 1, 2023. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has said there has been very limited work carried out to date to clear the large backlog of Residency and Belonger status applications, and this means that the Government of the Virgin Islands is so far failing in its commitment to apply the ‘ten-year requirement for residency’ law in many cases. Photo: Facebook
Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has said there has been very limited work carried out to date to clear the large backlog of Residency and Belonger status applications, and this means that the Government of the Virgin Islands is so far failing in its commitment to apply the ‘ten-year requirement for residency’ law in many cases. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has said there has been very limited work carried out to date to clear the large backlog of Residency and Belonger status applications, and this means that the Government of the Virgin Islands is so far failing in its commitment to apply the ‘ten-year requirement for residency’ law in many cases.

The Governor was speaking during a press conference on June 9, 2023, to update the public on his Third Quarterly Review on the Implementation of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report Recommendations.

2,226 backlog applications pending

“As I previously made clear, we need to deal with the continued backlog of applications for Residency and Belonger status which as at 1st June was reported to stand at 2,226 applications. I recognise that this is a sensitive area, but we need to resolve the applications of those who have been lawfully living and contributing in the BVI for many years and who are entitled under the law to receive status,” Governor Rankin stated.

According to him, he is; however, pleased to report in his Review that the Premier has committed to an early action plan to clear the backlog.

Mr Rankin also said the Premier also made a request for technical assistance in that area.

“My team, together with the Deputy Governor’s Office have been in discussion with Immigration on this matter and I made a number of recommendations to the Premier and the sort of steps that might be taken…its entirely a paper-based system, for example, it should be digitised going forward.

Only one official dealing with applications!- Governor

It was also highlighted that one of the bottlenecks was due to just about one official handling the applications.

“We still have a system whereby we effectively have only one official dealing with all these applications, so we can put in more staff to deal with the applications.

“And then we might have to consider how many of the individuals who applied need to be interviewed, some of them who may not qualify could simply have a decision made, they don’t meet the requirements, and maybe others who clearly qualify and actually don’t need to be substantively interviewed, so we would need to review those cases where there is doubt and further information is needed.

“So those are the sorts of areas in which we could speed up the process and get these applications moving more quickly.”

Governor Rankin said, ultimately the granting of the residency and belonger status is a matter for Cabinet decision but that decision-making capacity or part of government is constrained by what the law provides and what the relevant guidelines are in this area.

The Governor said it was stated in the COI Report that it is 10 years of residency to be considered rather than the 20 years that was being applied, “and in the Framework Agreement the Government committed to the application of that 10-year” requirement.

52 Responses to “VI Gov’t 'failing to apply 10-year requirement for residency law'- Gov Rankin”

  • Go to home office (11/06/2023, 13:02) Like (38) Dislike (53) Reply
    Can this governor tell me who have a right to call the UKs home office to rush them? One has to APPLY because it is NOT A RIGHT! And when they are DENIED by the home office, the most they can do is appeal it. ALL applications at hand should be denied until the consensus is completed and the government can put a quota on how many applications should be considered for approval every year, from what countries and in what occupations. If not denied, then can be placed on a special permit that requires them to leave after every 7 years or so, and reapply to re-enter as they do in Cayman. NOT A RIGHT!
    • Its The constitution (11/06/2023, 13:32) Like (45) Dislike (6) Reply
      And it must be obeyed...Immigration still refusing to take people application at the front desk who didn't make 20yrs, giving them all kind of nonsense excuses
      .Where other Immigration officers are telling the applicants go straight to Ms. Clyne.. They are still inside unhappiness and fighting, some want to do what the Governor wants and some wants to do what the Premier wants, The Premier on the Governor isn't on tbe same page on this Issue..
      • @Its The constitution (11/06/2023, 15:20) Like (9) Dislike (44) Reply
        Oh please!!! There are a lot of things in the constitution the Governor is not adhering to especially when it protects the rights of the people of the BVI. He is acting as he cannot be challenged. This is not the days of slavery.
      • Strupes (11/06/2023, 17:18) Like (18) Dislike (35) Reply
        All this Governor mainly pushing is this belonger matter so he can give his kind status and flood the BVI with them and then have them run for office so they can try to take it over from that angle if plan A fails. Also, he is pushing the anti-democratic police Act to take away the rights of citizens and turn the BVI into a police state which works fine for him as he is over the police and can use them even more to carry out their well-organized wicked plots with the end game to try to take over. Unless the people of the BVI stand up this man will not stop because he only smiles with us but he has no regard for the people of the BVI. His loyalty is to his UK bosses only.
        • lodger (11/06/2023, 21:31) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
          They have to be here ten years before they can apply, so his takeover is going to take a long time.
          • @lodger (12/06/2023, 18:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            most foreign people don't stay anywhere near the ten years. Those that await now have stuck with BVI to help us through unprecedented storms and covid as well as building their lives and contributing to our economy, infrastructure, development and culture.
      • @Its The constitution (12/06/2023, 08:57) Like (5) Dislike (20) Reply
        It is time to reform the immigration policy and start rotating employment. Five to six years max! There are millions of people searching for employment all over the world. Stop allow persons to stay in the territory so long that they feel entitled to request residency or status. We cannot accommodate the world and their off springs! Enough is Enough!!!
  • Why Not (11/06/2023, 13:24) Like (33) Dislike (13) Reply
    Jus do another fast track
    Hire more staff
    Have shifts if needed
  • Mr. Governor.. (11/06/2023, 13:26) Like (25) Dislike (5) Reply
    U ain realize them ain studying you and Britain with no daxxmn recommendation...According to Bin - Ladin,
    you all are nothing but paper Tiger. Hunting Dogs with no Teeth
  • Interview is paramount (11/06/2023, 13:32) Like (18) Dislike (11) Reply
    Everyone should be interviewed if the office thinks they qualify
    The interviews gives points as to why they should be granted
    Ppl living and don’t even know anything about the territory
    They applying only to evade paying permits
    They don’t even know a thing but living here for number or years

    But the screening of the applications can cut down significantly the amount of applications inside make it faster process for those that may qualify
  • Concerned…….. (11/06/2023, 13:59) Like (12) Dislike (12) Reply
    Governor John Rankin, CMG,is disproportionately pushing the natural lization process hard. This issue is important but there also other critical issues that need to be advanced, ie, health, education, etc. Wonder who is the Guv advocating for spending some capital, a silver bullet, etc. It is not likely the Black people from the other Anglo Caribbean region countries.

    Moreover, I’m not averse to people seeking naturalization. . Nevertheless, the VI is a small locale and cannot mimick the same immigration policies as big countries, ie, US, UK, etc. Incidentally, the UK does not have automatic birthright citizenship, ie, jus soli. Further, in the VI given its small size, naturalization should be a deliberative, targeted, planned process. Moreover, rapid naturalization could have adverse social impacts. Moreover, the Governor represents the interest of the Crown , not the interest of the BVI people. He is appointed by the crown and the BVI populace had no say in his appointment. Immigration and citizenship should be a local government issue but it seems like the governor is putting his thumb on the scale, using his massive unilateral power to demand outcomes under the Coi. . The Governor will not have to live with outcome he is driving , for at the end of his term he is going to wing it back to the UK, unless he chose to reside in the BVI like other Brits. Government needs to fairly and equitably manage the immigration process that is in the best long term interest of the BVI. Government in managing the immigration and naturalization process by aligning conflicting policies.
  • one eye (11/06/2023, 14:01) Like (14) Dislike (17) Reply
    He done gone to the fdco minister to complain he wants to fill the bvi with whites wake up people
  • Citizen (11/06/2023, 14:19) Like (15) Dislike (44) Reply
    This Governor is over stepping his boundaries. Those were just recommendations and most of your so called recommendations are not in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Island. Theses people came from bigger countries than our and it’s not the responsibility for this country to provide for them, let them hold their country responsible. You can give them UK status and ship them out for free. This is my recommendation to you.
  • jack (11/06/2023, 14:32) Like (26) Dislike (10) Reply
    BO should not be giving status just because someone resides in the VI for 10 or more years. There should be lots of other qualifying factors. Too much criminals are getting status.

    • @Jack (11/06/2023, 15:42) Like (18) Dislike (8) Reply
      Indeed, the 10 number is a qualifying requirement and does not that people automatically get belonger status. People can meet the qualifications for loans at a bank but does not mean they automatically gets a loan. The Governor is overstepping his bounds encouraging the territory of local government. But he is doing it because the BVI people are do docile and out touch so they sit back and tolerate abuse. Instead of peacefully advocating for their rights and change. Frederick Douglass: “ If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Theodolph Faulkner and Noel Lloyd led struggles to effect change in the VI. Changes that were in the best interest of the BVI and people. The BVI people can sit back and let the UK through its appointed Governor form the BVI in its own image and their likeness, adhering to the colonialism MO.
      • @@Jack (12/06/2023, 08:48) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
        You are speaking sense. Perfect sense! I don’t know why they feel they can come here and get residency. Vincy and Jamaica could have done the same thing but you guys choose independence. Now you see a loop hole to get that same passport you rejected and you come here burdening us to get it! Don’t give them nothing premier. Set of wicked people!
  • double standard (11/06/2023, 14:46) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
    The Governor comes here talking, but look at England especially with his former Prime minister

    a set of people coming VI telling Us what we should do but have no say where them from

    this little place; folks run leaving their big homelands up in here looking refuge

    • @double standard (11/06/2023, 15:54) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
      The UK is in no position to lecture anyone on effective governance. How many PMs have they had in a year. They are no model for us. But they colonial unilateral power and the lackadaisical attitude of Virgin Islanders some of whom care to look no farther than the edge of their nose. Every manjack should be at government house peacefully protesting. Numbers matter. Government house is using our lack of interest against us. I think I heard the Guv allude to the lack of numbers protesting. Can we relive Nov 1949 and 1968.
      • @@doublestandard (11/06/2023, 21:02) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
        What are you looking for? Independence? The freedom to fall off a cliff into real poverty and dominance by different global powers?
        Maybe being attached to the UK, even as it falls apart, is better than being alone economically and owned by cartels, China, India or whichever else wants us for an easy snack.
        Aint no one outlined a viable independence model yet. We get that it is a desirable, natural part of decolonizing our islands and our minds. But when we've done it, and we wake up in actual poverty, and/or fear, we may wish we had stayed with the old idiots in London. That's the sad state of where we're at.
      • WTF (12/06/2023, 07:34) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Multiple PMs is an example of their system of checks and balances working for the people and delivering accountability? We have neither accountability, nor an effective system of checks and balances.
  • To Governor (11/06/2023, 15:12) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    Governor, you have failed the public service for 30years but who is counting. SMDH.
  • double standard (11/06/2023, 15:14) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
    How come he is not asking to have the new immigration policy and amended laws passed first to ensure better good governance then go deal with the back log? Because it is in his favor to give his kind status so he can flood our population with his kind to aid his hopeful takeover.
  • hold on (11/06/2023, 15:16) Like (9) Dislike (11) Reply
    This Governor is clearly a dictator with no good thoughts or intentions for the people of the BVI whether local or Caribbean heritage. He is clearly wicked minded and thinks we can do nothing about his ongoing high-handed actions.
  • One solution (11/06/2023, 15:16) Like (7) Dislike (15) Reply
  • Interested (11/06/2023, 15:36) Like (16) Dislike (8) Reply
    One wonders what The Governor’s agenda is. Who is he advocating for?His uk cronies? People sit up and take notice. Why is he so aggressive on this topic above all else ?
  • down2earth (11/06/2023, 15:54) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    @Concerned well said! Countries (including Uk who is sending back black immigrants to specific countries, not their original, in their homeland, Africa) around the world are concerned with population explosion and the short and long-term strain, social and economic impact such explosion would have on their countries.

    The VIs are small and we are now seeing the impact that our population explosion due to economics is having. It doesn't bode well for the future and the maintenance of a comfortable lifestyle. We are experiencing , relative to earlier years, high rate of crime, slums, homelessness, dependence on government, deterioration of infrastructure, strain on NHI and education system...and the list goes on.

    Both of my parents worked next door on 29 days (they understood 'you are not entitled'). When that was done...out you go. Sorry, we have to preserve the VIs for our people, whether for those residing presently or for those who desire to return. And please don't say they don't contribute.

    Government, you know your options...and they don't include 10 years! May God be praised!

    A native Virgin Islander to the Nth generation

  • MUST EXIT AFTER 7 YEARS (11/06/2023, 16:50) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
  • Arcade system (11/06/2023, 17:09) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    The Premier of any UK Overseas Territory should never have to answer directly to a Governor or any senior UK Public Officer. It is disrespectful and arcade. They should report directly to their peers as elected officials in the UK which is the Minister of the Overseas Territory. It is time to stop the UK from disrespecting our Caribbean Leaders.
  • equal rights (11/06/2023, 17:11) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Governor and his UK staff need to be made to adhere to the registry of interest law in the BVI and register their interest in the BVI while working in the BVI. Too many rumors flying around about them for years but they cannot be checked as they are above the law and also over the police.
  • all now (11/06/2023, 17:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I can hear Natalio...DEM..MACK...CRASSY.
  • See (11/06/2023, 18:10) Like (21) Dislike (8) Reply
    The government officials have earned every morsel of disrespect through corruption, incompetence, and outright failure to operate with the best interests of we the voters in mind. The same. failures exist for decades while the politicians get rich . Face facts people and stop hiding behind the lame excuse of racism. DEMAND more from your government . The governor. be damned .
    • To see (11/06/2023, 22:09) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Yeah, right and the UK government officials are saints. SMDH. Go watch the news and see what folly is happening and then you will come to your senses.
  • ausar (11/06/2023, 19:51) Like (3) Dislike (22) Reply
    Tiz good for many of y'all, set of crooked Tortolians!!

    Many of you, full well knew, that soo many Outsiders, did not qualify for Belongership, but was granted, based on who they dated, or was distantly related to, or was gainfully employed by!

    Now the shoe is on the other foot, where everyone else must now get status, and many of y'all mad?

    What's good for the goose, is good for the gander!!

    I say, give out the Belongership statuses- all two thousand and so, ALL AT ONCE!!

    NOW, is the time!
    • @ausar (12/06/2023, 08:44) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
      I say you go your stinking A** home! That’s what I say! See where your mind is at? This is exactly why we don’t want your type here! Alya to wicked and have no best interest for the BVI. You only want that passport to further your travels. The BVI is a loop hole for these islanders to gain powerful passports.

      • What passport? (12/06/2023, 11:38) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
        Oh please!!! Go check the World rankings of passports and see if BVI make the list. And I can guarantee you they ain't make the list! Most of these "down islands" made the list though. And doh bother come with "why y'all come here then?"...because you gon have to explain why y'all running to get US passport too.
  • So (11/06/2023, 20:41) Like (21) Dislike (8) Reply
    Coming o the BVI to work should not be an automatic consideration for Belongership once you've worked 10 years. BVIslanders will soon be out numbered
  • What a contridiction (11/06/2023, 22:12) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    The Governor is not taking care of British citizenship and naturalization that is under his office and looking to get in other areas not under his responsibility. You cannot get an appointment for the areas under him until two and three years down the road and here talking piddle. The Government should do like him and give all of them appointments for two to three years down the road.
  • Accountability (12/06/2023, 07:25) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    All these comments here complaining about the situation when the set of jokers you just elected all voted for the legislation that is currently in effect. If you don’t like the 10yr rule for applying then march into your elected representatives office and demand they change the law! Everyone here playing the race card and want to blame the UK when it’s your own locally elected officials who write the law that’s in place!
  • It will be (12/06/2023, 08:38) Like (3) Dislike (9) Reply
    Do not do it Premier. It will be an irreversible mistake. Do not flood the BVI with rich white people . They will come here and rule these islands. Locals will become the minority. This is not no white mans country. They need to know their place . I don’t understand why they so desperately seeking Belongership here! Go the F*** back home! Down islander shouldn’t get it either. They just destroy our way of living with their bad behavior! They are bullies. Look at how they are on here fighting for what is not theirs! All the negative comment are from those who I guess are amongst those permits not processed. Haha. Premier stand your ground! Do what ever it takes to protect your people! We don’t want to over populate the BVI!

    Let them those application sit there and catch dust!
    • And so it will be (12/06/2023, 11:42) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      Your apartments soon stop here and catch dust too!! Y'all really does think before you speak?
  • Realist (12/06/2023, 09:36) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    I think the requirement should 20 years or more. The country cannot support all these people, the majority of which are totally dependent on our government. When BVI people migrate anywhere, they contribute, not take. Just look at the contribution they made in the US Virgin Islands. They went there, bought land and built homes, check out Tortola Town.
    • Well sah... (12/06/2023, 11:45) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      They went there, bought lands and built homes.....y'all like to enjoy other peoples countries and lifestyle but you here fighting for the BVI....the islands the King gave to his daughter Elizabeth, as a gift for her 25th birthday. The BVI belongs to the UK...Independence will forever remain an unattainable dream for y'all selfish set of people.
  • Manjack (12/06/2023, 10:34) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Colonialism is not compatible with the rights and equality of the colonized. Colonialism is about the dominance of a stronger power by forced actions, colonization over a weaker force which have no recourse for abusive and exploitive actions, for all major European powers embraced colonialism, eg, the Berlin Conference of 1884 which divided like a cake among the UK, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. Colonial domination was postulated as part of the natural order; it was human destiny that the strong should prevail over the weak. The self-derived authority is the Might is Right philosophy ie,,, right to subdue the weak. Though colonialism/imperialism was not the driver of racial superiority and social accessibility ladder, they evolved from it, creating special privileges and entitlements, human ordering, racial superiority, etc.

    Moreover, colonialism as espoused by the dishonest colonialists as a civilizing mission was/is a myth. The reality, the truth is, colonialism is a stronger power dominating a weaker force, exploiting their land, labour and resources. This exploitation enriched the colonialists and robbed and impoverished the colonized, grabbing their land, labour, and resources, and depriving them of basic human rights, culture, religion, livelihoods, way of life, etc, enforcing their way of life on the colonized, treating them as a permanent underclass, inferior specie. The colonialists see themselves as superior to the colonized and see the colonized having no rights, privileges, power, etc, that they are obligated and should recognized, being atop the racial and social acceptability ladder. The colonialists see it as the White Man’s burden conquer and colonized foreign lands and exploit them of their land , labour resources, enriching their homeland and individuals. Rudyard Kipling captures the White Man’ s burden myth in his 1899 poem,”The White Man’s Burden.”

    Moreover, many may say, Manjack, that was history and now water under bridge and time to move on so I get what I get. Really, can we truly say that colonialism is history and was flung on the down heap. It does not appear so to me. To me we cannot move forward into the future without reflecting on the present and the past. It was Shakespeare who in Tempest says “ What is past is prologue. Further, the British Empire may be residing in the annals of history but colonialism lives on in the last remnants of the Empire in the OTs. Despite the post WWII urging of the UN on colonial powers, including the UK, to help non-self governing territories achieve a full measure of self-governing, it is still a work in progress. The weak attempts by the UK for the VI and other OTs still have many democratic deficiencies with the UK representatives still wields unilateral power. This unilateral power is evident in the VI. On the recommendation of a lone, personal handpicked commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom, inns CoI Gov John Rankin is pressuring the local government to move full speed ahead with alacrity with the recommendations without any further analysis to determine if the recommendations are in the best long-term interest of the territory. He is using an Order in Council decision to suspend the constitution which is being held abeyance, holding over the head of the BVI and people like the Sword of Damocles, along with his inherent unilateral power to drive things whether they are in the best interest of the territory or not, flexing his muscles. He is encroaching into areas that are under the purview of the local government.

    The sad thing is that too many Virgin Islanders have been conditioned to believe that the colonialists knows what is best for them..They set aside what is in their best interest for what the colonialists wants. They ignore the positions of their own for Massa’s. This altruistic attitude and behavior may not be in the best interest of the territory.,It is as if the VI people suffers from Stockholm Holm Syndrome, ie, they are conditioned to take on the position of the captors. The BVI people better awake from their slumber or become strangers in their homelands.

    • Cedar (12/06/2023, 14:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Manjack, clearly you are up on and give us a rundown on the vices of colonialism. We must stay informed and stay vigilant. That there is something happening in plain daylight by the Governor who is pushing his agenda or the UK’s agenda while slumber. As an example, he is racing, galloping, with the recommendations of of a single, handpicked commissioner. With no further vetting to ascertain if the superficial observations and recommendations are in the best interest. Policies are not fixed, ie, they may suited for the current time they were enacted but in time needs to be adjusted. But clearly tge Guv is not accountable to the BVI people and don’t seem to give a rat’s ass what the BVI people. It is easy thing to use your power to push an agenda that you don’t have to live with and those who have to live with are silent as lambs heading to slaughter. Virgin Islanders better get off their asses or become an ineffective minority, disappearing just like the cedar tree. Where are the modern day Noel Lloyd, Dolph Faulkner, Chris Fleming?? They must be tossing restlessly in their resting places about the docile, nonchalant, don’t give a damn, only materialistic attitude, don’t want to get engage attitude , etc, of the BVI people, Virgin Islands .
    • Undercover Diaspora (12/06/2023, 15:54) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I glance at this blog and it was a bit lengthy and thought came to move on. Nonetheless, I plowed into it and cane away wondering why the real intent was not taught during my time at ESHS. Secondly, I came away concerned about the lack of vigilance and engagement of the BVI. Is the conditioning really that deep that we put our fully faith and trust in the colonialists.
  • Bribe taking (12/06/2023, 11:35) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The one who receiving and choosing to pass people application forward or ducking them under her desk for years taking bribes. check her income to expenses.
  • Be Fair. (12/06/2023, 13:46) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Are we all forgetting that 10 years is a really long time? If people have contributed positively in that period then grant them status. It is unfair to have such blurred lines. Imagine the shoe was in the other foot. This isn’t a color thing, these applicants are also our brothers and sisters from other Caribbean islands
    • down2earth (12/06/2023, 15:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Be Fair

      That's the problem right there! Share the toy with your friend. 'Be fair!' The child already knows from past experiences that his/her toy will be no more... (You know how many years our people worked on 29 days?)

      May the our Lord God lead us!

      A native Virgin Islander to the Nth generation
  • Agree (12/06/2023, 17:27) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    "Those are the sorts of areas in which we could speed up the process and get these applications moving more quickly.” I agree Governor, sort them with criteria.
  • my thoughts (12/06/2023, 23:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Give those that deserve it now at the law applies as of now
    Change the law there after to 20 years
    Give permits to 5 years after that exit a year and come back if u choose
    No more renewing of permits if u resided over 5/8 years u must exit for 12 months

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