Minister for Natural Resources, Immigration and Labour, Honourable Vincent Wheatley outlined the new work permit initiative for the financial services industry during Wednesday’s industry webinar hosted by BVI Finance.
Honourable Wheatley said that the Government of the Virgin Islands, in its desire to be a lot more business-friendly, has been focusing on the reform of both Labour and Immigration to “make systems and processes a little more seamless” and introduced the Financial Services Expedited Work Permit Initiative.
Effective today, October 22, 2020, the initiative will allow for all professionals in the financial services industry to have a more personalised and fast-tracked service for the processing of their work permits, including new, changed, renewal, temporary and periodic. Temporary permits will be processed within two (2) business days; Renewals will take five (5) days, and New or Change of Employer or Periodic permits will be processed in twelve (12) days.
Honourable Wheatley said that the process expedites the processing of necessary documentation including Certificates of Earnings and Good Standings. He said that receipt of payments would be accepted to process work permits. He also confirmed that there is one person dedicated to the initiative in every relevant department, including the Social Security Board and the National Health Insurance Division, Immigration Department, and Inland Revenue Department.
The initiative also allows for the electronic payment of applications. While Cabinet has to approve the associated fees, the Minister said there will be a non-refundable fee of $150 for the processing of the industry work permits, in addition to the existing application fees.
Minister Wheatley said the process will widen the net to capture more businesses to expedite the processing of permits for any business or person working within the financial services industry, as stipulated by the Financial Services Commission.
This initiative captures businesses such as registered agents, investment businesses, registered trademarks, insurance companies and any business or individual as indicated by the minister. The new process will be active for a period of three months in the first instance.
To industry professionals, Minister Wheatley said, “We want to do a better job in helping you navigate the industry, and remain on the cutting edge in terms of how we do business in the BVI. We will do all we can to keep you here in the BVI to make the services more efficient and more streamlined.”
Referencing the existing Executive Work Permit process, the Labour Minister said that the new Expedited Work Permit for the Financial Services industry captures all persons working for a company in the industry, regardless of income, whereas qualifying for the executive work permit requires an income of at least $100K.
Applications for the Financial Services Expedited Work Permit Initiative can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please click on the following link
Financial Services Industry Expedited Work Permit Processing Guide
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The Minister was joined by his Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Dr. Marcia Potter; Deputy Labour Commissioner, Michele Mclean; Senior Administrator and Desk Officer for Department of Labour and Department of Immigration, Mrs. Nadia Demming-Hodge.