The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands has approved expanding work permit exemptions to include several new categories of workers providing vital services in the territory.
The Schedule to the Labour Code (Work Permit Exemption) Order No. 41 of 2017 will be amended to add the new exemptions. This Order specifies occupations and services that are exempt from needing a work permit to operate in the VI for a period of 7 days in the initial instance, with extensions based on request.
The additions approved by Cabinet will waive work permits for persons providing:
– Emergency and humanitarian services to local businesses, statutory bodies, non-profits, and other entities. This includes emergency response, medical, fire, and rescue services.
– Repairs to machinery or equipment that are essential for safe, uninterrupted operation of a business or facility when the expertise is unavailable in the VI.
– Recreational or entertainment services at events sponsored or hosted by the government, statutory bodies, or non-profit organisations.
The exemptions will facilitate urgent access to qualified personnel from abroad when local expertise is unavailable.
The Cabinet decision advised that once the amendment is passed, any BVI-registered entity utilising a category mentioned in the Order must notify the Chief Immigration Officer prior to the arrival of an exempt person with at least 48 hours notice, or, in an emergency, prior to departure from their port of embarkation.