British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021

Wheatley working to give non-Belonger homeowners more stay

Wheatley working to give non-Belonger homeowners more stay

Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley said he will be seeking Cabinet’s approval to amend the the Non-Belongers Land Holding Regulation Act to give homeowners who are non-Belongers more time in the BVI.
Under the Non-Belongers Land Holding Regulation Act, non-Belongers who own homes and property in the BVI can stay in the territory for a maximum of six months per year.

But as the government searches for ways to attract longer-stay tourists to revive the COVID-hit economy, Wheatley said extending the stay of foreign homeowners is one avenue his ministry is interested in pursuing.

“If you’re a [non-Belonger] homeowner here, you’re only permitted to stay six months a year. I’m going to take that to Cabinet to try and extend that to at least eight or nine months. There are many homeowners here who would like to remain in the BVI for longer than the normal six months because it’s so safe and beautiful here,” Wheatley explained on the Honestly Speaking radio programme earlier this week.

On that same radio programme, Wheatley announced that the government is also considering a ‘work from paradise’ initiative which encourages tourists to move their home office overseas and vacation for longer periods.

Additionally in the short-term, the government is seeking to offer an extension to tourists who can only stay a maximum of 30 days in the BVI.

Attracting longer stay tourist is a trend that is increasingly being explored by Caribbean countries with low COVID-19 numbers and economies heavily reliant on tourism.

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Sam Walton, Walmart
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