The Government of the Virgin Islands, through the Immigration Department, will be introducing a new customs and immigration form from Friday, April 1.
Cabinet approved that the Customs Declaration Form and the Immigration Entry/Departure Card be combined into one form to streamline the entry process and that the proposed form be adopted as the official form for entry into the Virgin Islands.
Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mr. Ian Penn said, “We are continuing to make great strides with the reform of our immigration laws and policies. The introduction of our new immigration form is a step in the right direction to ensure that we deliver a great first impression to our visitors on entry to the Territory.”
The new immigration form is said to be a progressive move by the Immigration Department in the modernising of its data collection of visitors to the Territory. It includes a departure record with a duplicate carbon copy added to minimise the need to replicate information. Changes were also made to the layout to allow ease of flow when completing the form. It will be available at all of the British Virgin Islands ports of entry next month.
Previously, each visitor or resident was required to complete an Embarkation/Disembarkation Card or a landing card. Additionally, each family entering the Territory was also required to complete a Customs Declaration Form in accordance with section 87 of the Customs Management and Duties, Act 2010.
The new customs and immigration form is part of the Government’s efforts to reform the immigration and labour processes, particularly as it relates to work permits as recommended by the financial services consultancy report titled “Building on a thriving and sustainable Financial Services sector in the British Virgin Islands.”