ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, Thursday July 21, 2016 – If you have a United Kingdom (UK), United States (US) or Canadian visa, but really want to get to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), don’t sweat. The BVI government says you’ll be welcome from September 1.
Cabinet has approved a Visa Exemption Programme that will allow nationals of a country that would typically require a BVI visa or a visa-waiver to enter, to travel to the British Overseas Territory once they hold a current and valid visa issued by any of the three countries.
The initiative is part of labour and immigration reform efforts to further streamline entry and facilitate economic growth for the Territory, the government said in a statement. It is also part of efforts to facilitate visitors, while safeguarding national security.
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“My Government believes that the implementation of our visa exemption programme will also help tremendously with our global marketability in tourism and in the financial services sector,” said Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. Orlando Smith.
“Given recent advancements in trade, investment, tourism and financial services in the region, and with Britain’s exit from the European Union, it is in the Territory’s best interest to lift certain visa restrictions as needed in order to facilitate further economic growth in the British Virgin Islands.”
Premier Smith added that it is well-known that the UK, US and Canada already have a strong system for issuing visas.
People with those visas who visit the BVI for work, business, tourism or other related matters will be allowed to remain in the Territory for up to six months. The UK, US or Canadian visas should have more than six months of validity before travel to the Territory.