BVI Cabinet Approves Work Permit Exemptions for Business Visitors

25 Jul 2017


Work permit exemptions will help to improve the territory’s competitiveness globally

The British Virgin Islands government is moving proactively to initiate the changes necessary to facilitate more substance-based economic activity in the territory as part of the BVI Forward campaign.

Exemption for work permits

The Cabinet has approved the exemption for work permits under the Labour Code 2010, which will enable various classes of business visitors, including those for arbitration and mediation to enter the BVI without the requirement for a work permit.

The exemption is based on recommendations in the Financial Services Consultancy Report approved by Cabinet in 2015 which set out a roadmap for repositioning and diversifying the financial services sector. The change allows the BVI to compete with other jurisdictions globally.

Dr. Orlando Smith: business-friendly environment

Premier and minister of finance, Dr Orlando Smith, said Cabinet’s approval illustrates government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and supporting the creation of more substance-based economic activity in the BVI. Smith said, “By creating a more business-friendly environment, we will be supporting the work of the BVI International Arbitration Centre, facilitating easier entrance requirements for scores of persons involved in international arbitration. As the demand for the arbitration centre grows and the persons utilising its services similarly increases, there will be a ripple effect in the local economy as they would require goods and services while here.”

The premier added, “The exemption of work permits for business visitors is one of several measures to be implemented in the coming months designed to reposition our economy for future sustainable growth.”

Also applicable to conferences, meetings and trainings

The work permit waiver will also be granted to persons visiting for meetings/conferences, those receiving training from BVI businesses, persons attending meetings as directors, those conducting research with the required approval, persons making purchases from BVI businesses, those visiting clients for negotiations and business deals and those who are expert witnesses in dispute resolution cases.

Visitors participating in amateur sporting activities and students attending the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Financial Services Institute or other academic institutions for training will also be eligible for a work permit exemption.

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