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Work permit exemptions by marriage will be granted for 6 years max- Cabinet

-During year 5 of marriage, persons are encouraged to apply for Belongership status
Persons applying for work permit exemptions within the category of Marriage will now be able to apply immediately following marriage to a BVIslander or Belonger, however, the exemptions will only be granted for a fixed period. Photo: Internet Source
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour, Immigration and Social Security Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) in July 2021 said the revised plans will streamline and reduce the illegal trends associated with Work Permit Exemption holders, relating to illegal work and movement throughout the Territory. Photo: Facebook
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour, Immigration and Social Security Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) in July 2021 said the revised plans will streamline and reduce the illegal trends associated with Work Permit Exemption holders, relating to illegal work and movement throughout the Territory. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Persons applying for work permit exemptions within the category of Marriage will now be able to apply immediately following marriage to a BVIslander or Belonger, however, the exemptions will only be granted for a fixed period.

With effect from August 23, 2021, and under the revised work permit exemption policy of the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI), an approved work permit exemption by marriage will be for a fixed period of six (6) years maximum, according to details of the post-meeting statement of the Cabinet meeting of August 18, 2021. 

Cabinet further encouraged that at year five (5), an application for Belonger by Marriage should be made with the Immigration Department by the individual granted a work permit exemption by marriage.

To apply, persons will also need a letter of intent from a local employer for an applicant, who is currently unemployed and living in the Territory as a dependent of the spouse.

No work permits for spouse outside of VI

In addition, Cabinet has warned that applications from spouses residing outside of the Territory will be denied and noted that the marriage category of work permit exemption will be linked to a specific employer.

“Any change in employer/employment, prior to the expiration of the exemption, will result in the exemption being automatically cancelled,” the statement noted.

If a married couple is divorced, legally separated or residing outside of the Territory, as per Section 16(9) of the Immigration and Passport Act, for over 90 days without previous permission, the awarded exemption is to be considered revoked, Cabinet said.

However, the revised policy provides for work permit exemptions that will be retained, if the holder has at any time, obtained a protection order against their spouse.

21 Responses to “Work permit exemptions by marriage will be granted for 6 years max- Cabinet”

  • Rubber Duck (28/08/2021, 11:33) Like (57) Dislike (8) Reply
    Linking work permits to a single employer is akin to indentured slavery.

    It give unscrupulous employers ( of whom there are lots in BVI ) the opportunity to exploit and underpay their workers

    And it greatly hinders the recruitment of talented labor by potential alternative employers and thus hinders the economic development of the country.

    It needs a complete rethink by someone with a brain for a change and not knee jerk protectionism.
  • These new political rulings are unbalanced (28/08/2021, 11:44) Like (28) Dislike (8) Reply
    I need to be withdrawn, revisted, reviewed and fixed asap. Only those of a dictatorial mindset has fully approved same. ( My personal opinion)
  • justice (28/08/2021, 11:49) Like (32) Dislike (14) Reply
    We talk about white oppression, but is this really any different?
  • jame (28/08/2021, 12:33) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
    and what does an immigrant gain by having papers on this piece of island
    • @jame (28/08/2021, 16:29) Like (6) Dislike (23) Reply
      He/she gains confirmation that the choice is there for him/ her to go be an immigrant elsewhere if the VI 's immigration requirement is not to him/ her liking.
      And of coursr,course, is always the option to return or to stay in your home country.
  • Dancing in the sunshine (28/08/2021, 12:33) Like (18) Dislike (5) Reply
    These measures that were introduced by the Minister of Labor is a recipe for disaster. It is a very harsh peace of legislation and it only sends a warning to persons in the territory who are on work permit. While I appreciate the protectionist mentality, there will be some adverse effects. What will be of tremendous importance is for the Minister of Labor and the Minister of Education to identify the human resources of the territory and work to ensure that these students are given the necessary instructions to ensure that they are equip to fill these vacancies.

    Firstly, some persons who were residing in the territory for many years will either continue to pay their work permits or alternatively decide to relocate to either their home land or some other jurisdiction. What ever options they choose will result in a decline in work permit fees and other related fees. This will have a domino effect generally.
  • Road Town Rebel (28/08/2021, 13:30) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Marriage should be an enduring one. Not the shot gun immigration privilegded induced union.
    • (28/08/2021, 15:19) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
      And one that was sanctioned by the Almighty ….
    • lol (28/08/2021, 17:36) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
      You see you are right about your statement but let me go on record to say BVI ppl has been enjoying these same luxuries in the US hence why they come back and push or support these stupid decision by a very stupid man. Listen you all go to US territories to make kids to get legal US status you and other caribbean persons get married in the US for the same thing the hon. MINISTER doing now. I wonder if you all learn from history or you just walking blind. Either way stop knocking people for getting away with the things you are guilty of doing
      • ensn (28/08/2021, 20:06) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
        bunch of hypocrites - if other countries treated BVIislanders this way they would scream blue murder about it.
  • @DANCJNG.........? (28/08/2021, 16:45) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am not totally into the immigration back and forth but from personal observation and comparison, the influx of immigrants to the VI has resulted in an erosion of the positive character and characteristics of the VI and its people. The future has been dimmed ,as a result.
    Your concern about some relocating to elsewhere creating a decline in work permit fees....from my observation,there is no shortage of those wanting to migrate to the VI, so I am in disagreement that the exit of some would create s financial loss forr the coffers of the Immigratoon dept. Am I missing something,?
    • Outsider (30/08/2021, 10:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It depends on what you want. I think most Virgin Islanders are content with the way the territory is. The fantastic high quality schools, roads, infrastructure etc. and don't want foreigners here. If that's your mentality, you are missing nothing. And more of these extreme measures are the order of the day and should be what you vote for.

      If you think some foreigners bring good things and are worth keeping here, think of how few top professionals actually settle down, buy or build a house and make the VI their home? Rather those people tend to come and go all the time. You might ask yourself if the society is better off or worse off for the resulting transience. You could compare Cayman Islands where professionals generally settle down to Virgin Islands where they generally don't and consider which is the better situation.

      Unfortunately, nuance isn't something the VI does. Everyone in the same bucket please!
      • BS! (30/08/2021, 13:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Let's not compare Cayman with its "America - Lite" aesthetic, overpriced everything and significant crime rates to our Beautiful Virgin Islands. Yeah we have some problems here, but CoI will fix the incumbent ones and the passage of time will soon fix the rest.
  • well done (28/08/2021, 19:51) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
    Hate them or like them something like this is real talk. Time to tighten our belts. Too long we have been to slack. Sorry this is not a well liked comment but let the chips fall where they may. Don't think you just going to marry off our people for your gain and think you will get away with citizenship. Gone are those tricks. We are up to all the tricks in the books now. Love what love? Love to conquer that will be no more with these measures in place. You trickster be warned leave our old men and women alone. Family member keep your eyes on the look out for your venerable families. Don't let the trickster take advantage of them.
  • island man (28/08/2021, 20:35) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    I fed up of BVI BS.
  • RedStorm (28/08/2021, 21:02) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply

    The changes of immigration and labour laws in the VI is for the protection of the people, not many VI people are working and most who are here now from the Caribbean countries are the expats who are married or living with a VI person. Most of the construction and restaurant expat has left the territory. How can I find out how many person who were working in the VI leave the island since Irma?
    I believe the people should go home, do not make the VI your home the laws will continue to change to oppress those who think there is something they can get. There are people who has worked five and six months and are not getting their full salary. The manager /owners are holding on the idea that some of them will have to leave without their money, the advantage is that they will win, while holding on to the salary of those who have to go, telling them that they are also waiting on the people to pay on the project. which most of the time is a lie.
  • Vigilate (28/08/2021, 23:18) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The wrath of God rests upon those that ill treat strangers and foreigners. Doesn't Irma remind Virgin Islanders like you who sprung to the fore as a uniter, that 90+% of all critical infrastructure were done by the people you are seeking to disinherit or expel. God doesn't sleep, the hurricanes and other devastating phenomena the world is experiencing are just the beginning of hard times. Beware of the skunk!.
  • fahie (29/08/2021, 08:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only in a Taliban state does this system work, today you have the Hammer raised with it down, be careful if you do not fall on the same head of your grandchildren, nothing hurts, I am from the island but my vision is different
  • Baby Girl (01/09/2021, 23:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Honorable Wheatley please only give exemption for BVI spouse only no one else let them get exemption when they get status my take on that case close


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