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BVI To Waive Work Permit Req's For Business Visitors

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
25 July, 2017

The British Virgin Islands has approved a work permit exemption for various classes of business visitor.

The exemption will allow persons to enter the territory without a work permit, and applies to those visiting for meetings and conferences, those receiving training from British Virgin Islands' businesses, persons attending meetings as directors, those conducting research with the required approval, persons making purchases from territory businesses, those visiting clients for negotiations and business deals, and those who are expert witnesses in dispute resolution cases.

Persons 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.

A 60-day exemption will apply in the case of arbitration or mediation, and seven days for all other business visitors. Extensions to an initial work permit waiver will be considered upon request.

Those seeking to benefit from the new exemption are required to present the immigration officer at the port of entry with a letter issued by the management of the registered British Virgin Islands' entity inviting them. The letter should state their work title, date of expected arrival, the duration of stay and purpose of their visit, and the fees charged or to be paid to the person requesting a work permit waiver. The inviting business is obligated to collect and pay to the territory's Inland Revenue, the tax payable on such fees.

In the case of events, conferences or other activities involving large groups of persons seeking waivers, notification must be given to the Immigration Department of the activity and a list of participants provided in lieu of individual letters.

British Virgin Islands' registered entities found to misuse or abuse the new exemption may be subject to administrative penalties of up to USD5,000 at the discretion of the territory's labor commissioner.

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