The Minister responsible for Labour and Immigration Vincent Wheatley has said that the new online work permit payment system which presently requires residents to pay in person is flawed and makes no sense.
Minister Wheatley made the comments in a recent session of the House of Assembly following several criticisms raised from the general public on the system’s payment requirement.
The new online work permit system was activated in late July 2021 and requires all persons seeking new work permits or renewals to submit all applications online only.
However, payments for all applications must be made in person, at the Department of Labour and Workforce Development.
Minister Wheatley said that he too has been receiving several complaints from residents and agreed that having to pay in person for an online initiative is pointless.
He revealed the decision to move forward with the initiative prior to having all systems online, was one that was out of his control.
“Again, we have the work permits online, I get calls every day, we’re working through the kinks. One of the challenges I had, I’ve said it from day one, I never saw the point of bringing the portal online unless you could pay online and I have been on this for the longest while, but that part there is out of my hands,” he stated.
“We need to get payments online. So when you go online and you upload your work permit, when it’s processed you pay online one time. But to upload a document and then walk into pay, that makes no sense. But these things take time and I understand that in the age of COVID, things sometimes don’t go as smoothly as you would like,” he added.
System being worked on but will take time
Minister Wheatley said his ministry will be working on shifting the payment process online, but reminded residents that the territory is still in a pandemic era, which affects the duration of getting initiatives accomplished.
He said, “We have to break out from the old way of doing things and do things properly. Yes they’re inefficient but don’t forget we’re in a COVID era. Things that could’ve taken three or four days to do then, taking three or four months now, but it is the age we’re in. We are here trying to pass other legislation to move to the post COVID era, where services are going online.”
The Department of Labour and Workforce Development continues to urge all employers and employees in the territory to get acquainted with the new online work permit system and warned that they will no longer be accepting hard copy applications.
How to access the new system?
The user manual for the Online Work Permit System can be found on the Government’s website by clicking the banner that says “Online Work Permit System User Manual” or by clicking the following link: https://bvi.gov.vg/content/work-permit-application-system-employers-user-guide