Gov't Reinstates Visa Requirements For Chinese Nationals
Given the outbreak of Coronavirus, the Government has reinstated visa requirements for Chinese nationals entering the Virgin Islands.
A Cabinet Order published in the Gazette today, February 14, cited the outbreak of the coronavirus as the reason for the decision.
Under 'S.I. No. 35 of 2018', issued on the July 5, 2018, the Cabinet in exercise of the powers conferred by section 37(4) of the Immigration and Passport Act, Cap. 130, exempted from the requirement of a visa under section 37(1),a national of the People’s Republic of China who will enter and remain in the Virgin Islands for a period of six months or less for the purpose of business or tourism.
However, Cabinet has decided to suspend the said Order in relation to nationals of the People’s Republic of China visiting the Virgin Islands from the People’s Republic of China.
"The Cabinet in exercise of the powers conferred by section 37(4) of the Immigration and Passport Act (Cap. 130) hereby suspends the operation of S.I. No. 35 of 2018 in relation to nationals of the People’s Republic of China visiting the Virgin Islands from the People’s Republic of China until such time as the Minister responsible for the subject of Immigration may determine by notice in writing that the suspension shall cease to have effect," the Order states.
Coronavirus has caused huge worry and concern around the world and the BVI is not the only country to have placed a travel restrictions on Chinese citizens, and other nationals who have been in China, following the coronavirus outbreak.
In the US, the Trump administration’s decision to impose a travel ban has impacted US work visa and F1 student visa holders. Chinese citizens with US work visas and student visas, many of whom had returned to China to celebrate Chinese New Year, are now unable to return to their jobs or studies in the US.
On February 1, 2020 U.S. President, Donald Trump signed an executive order banning all foreign nationals from entering the US who had been in China.
Reports indicate that 12 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the US, while the number of people reported dead or infected worldwide, varies.