Press Release

Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade
Department of Labour and Workforce Development
Labour, Work Permits
Release Date:
Friday, 8 March 2024 - 11:07am

The Government of the Virgin Islands is pleased to announce simplified work permit requirements for specific categories of individuals providing short-term services in the Territory. This aligns with the Labour Code, which grants the Cabinet the authority to exempt certain individuals from work permit requirements.

Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Honourable Lorna G. Smith, OBE, stated, “This initiative demonstrates our commitment to creating a streamlined and efficient business environment, while always prioritising the well-being of our community. It eliminates the need for processing work permit applications or waivers in these specific cases, saving both businesses and the government valuable time and resources. This in turn enhances the delivery of essential services and contributes to economic development."

The new policy, reflected in the Labour Code (Work Permit Exemption) (Amendment) Order, 2024, introduces exemptions for:

  • Persons providing emergency and humanitarian services: This includes personnel offering emergency response, medical assistance, fire services, and rescue services to BVI-registered businesses, statutory bodies, non-profit organisations, and other entities.
  • Individuals providing essential repairs: Experts with expertise unavailable in the Virgin Islands can now be brought in to repair critical machinery or equipment for the safe and uninterrupted operation of businesses and facilities.
  • Personnel contributing to government and community events: Individuals providing recreational or entertainment services at events sponsored or hosted by the Government, statutory bodies, or registered non-profit organisations are now exempt from work permit requirements.

These exemptions are initially valid for seven (7) days, with extensions available upon request, where necessary. This approach aims to balance the need for short-term services while protecting local employment opportunities.

It is important to note that any business or organisation utilising these exemptions must notify the Chief Immigration Officer at least 48 hours in advance of an exempt person's arrival. In emergencies, notification should occur before their departure from their port of embarkation.

BVI-registered entities inviting exempt individuals must also provide them with a letter of invitation, presented upon arrival to the Immigration Officer. For activities involving large groups, the Immigration Department will accept event notification and a comprehensive list of exempted persons instead of individual letters.

The Government of the Virgin Islands remains resolute in the promotion of the overall development of the Territory through commitment and sustainable transformation.







Sonjé Greenidge

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2742