Before You Arrive in the BVI
In order for you to work in the BVI, an employer must first offer you a job. The same employer must also prove that he or she has taken the necessary steps to find a qualified BVIslander or Belonger to fill the position, through two consecutive weeks of advertising the vacancy in one of the territory’s print newspapers. If no suitable local applicants are available, an employer may seek a work permit for an expatriate worker.
Obtaining a BVI work permit
In order to work in the BVI, an employer must first offer you a job. The same employer must also prove that he or she has taken the necessary steps to find a qualified BVIslander to fill the position, through two consecutive weeks of advertising the vacancy in one of the Territory’s print newspapers. Vacancies can also be submitted to the Labour Department to post on their employment notice board. If no suitable local applicants are available, an employer may seek a work permit for an expatriate worker.
This process takes on average 4-8 weeks from when the application is submitted to the Labour Department to when the immigration clearance forms are issued.
The work permit form consists of five documents to be completed by both the employee and the employer. These are first schedule, second schedule, notice of employment, additional information and “how may I contact you”.
In addition to the forms, your employer must concurrently submit the following:
- Two passport photos
- Your Curriculum Vitae
- A certified copy of the photo and signature page of your passport
- Certified copies of academic degrees and professional qualifications (these should be translated and notarised if the original is not in English)
- One professional reference on company letterhead
- One character reference written by a professional person or academic that has known the individual for at least five years. Relatives not accepted.
- A copy of the employer’s trade licence
- The job description of the vacancy being filled
- A copy of the newspaper recruitment advertisement for each week advertised
The work permit application is initially vetted by the Labour Department. If the permit is approved, it is then sent to the Immigration Department where the average processing time is 7-10 working days.
Before departing for the BVI, make sure you have all the following documents with you to show upon your arrival in the Territory:
- Approved and stamped immigration clearance, plus medicals
- A clean police report no more than six months old
- A return airfare or ferry ticket to your country of origin valid for 12 months (or as near to that date as the airline will allow you to book)
- An address where you’ll be staying when you first arrive
- A visa if one is required for you to reside in the BVI (a list of countries that require this can be found at http://www.dgo.vg)
- Completed enclosed medical form requiring several tests to be conducted no more than one month before arrival and using the original medical document attached to the clearance forms. These tests include a blood test, VDRL test, and a TB test which can take up to 72 hours to process. Note that some doctors do not provide TB testing in which case you can request a quantiFERON test as an alternative. In the event that you are able to obtain a Mantoux TB test – please ensure that your physician states the number of millimeters of your reaction. Even if there is no reaction they must stipulate ‘0 millimeters’, as opposed to ‘no reaction.’ Be sure that all your medical paperwork is stamped and signed by your physician.