Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are a British Caribbean overseas territory, located close to Puerto Rico. The main islands are Tortola (the biggest island), Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, and there are also over fifty smaller islands. Most of the inhabitants live on Tortola. Its official language is English, and the majority of the population is West African.


Nationals of certain countries are required to obtain a visa to enter the BVI.

To apply for any visa, you must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form
  2. 2 passport photos
  3. Valid passport
  4. Fees


The BVI government only allows 25 people per year to become residents of the BVI, and you must have lived there for 20 years. You must also be of good character, and you must state your intentions of becoming a resident.

To apply, you must have the aforementioned documents, along with:

  1. Bank statements
  2. Proof of financial sufficiency
  3. Police records
  4. Medical Certificate

Work Permit

If you are not a “Belonger,” naturalized citizen or holder of certificate of residency in the BVI, you are required to obtain a work permit. Initial work permits cannot be granted for a period of over five years. After that, you are required to move out of the island with your dependents until you can apply to work again. Read this article for more details.

You must apply for a work permit to work in the BVI, and this is only issued if your employer can prove that no one else can fill this position. Before you are allowed to enter BVI this way, you must have your employer contact the Labour Department. The Labour Department will then send a letter to your prospective employer that states their approval of your employment.

When you enter the BVI, you must present the following (in addition to above-mentioned visa requirements):

  1. Letter to your prospective employer from the Labour Department
  2. Two copies of your police records
  3. Certificate of good health

Click here for more details, and information about establishing a business.

Student Visa

In order to obtain a student visa for the BVI, you must submit the aforementioned documents, along with:

  1. Acceptance Letter from the Ministry of Education or H. Lavity Stoutt Community College
  2. Copy of residence approval by the Immigration authorities

Moving Pets

The BVI does not have quarantine requirements to move your pets. You must obtain a certificate of good health from your veterinarian. It must state your pet hasn’t been exposed to any contagious disease, all its shots are up to date, and it has been vaccinated against rabies. Some animals require a permit, like ferrets and sugar gliders. Snakes of all kinds are prohibited.

Other Information

Read this expat interview for a personal story of a man who moved to the BVI.

Click here for facts about the BVI.

Click here to visit the official immigration office.


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