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Company Formation British Virgin Islands



British Virgin Islands Residency

Updated on Monday 15th November 2021

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British Virgin Islands Residency.jpgForeign nationals who wish to apply for British Virgin Islands residency need to live in the country for a long period before they can submit their application. The initial entry, as well as the subsequent stay, is conditioned by having a proper, valid visa, according to one’s purpose of stay.
Common reasons for investors to remain in the country for long-term purposes are directly linked to BVI company formation and management, however, foreign nationals can also choose to remain in the country for employment purposes.
Investors who are interested in British Virgin Islands company formation can read below to find out more about the conditions that apply if they also wish to obtain British Virgin Islands permanent residency.

What are the general entry requirements for BVI?

Although not for long-term purposes, tourist visas are required for certain foreign nationals who wish to enter the country, for example those of Egypt, Albania, Cambodia, Indonesia, Israel, Qatar, the Russian Republic, Syria, Thailand, Cyprus, Vietnam, and other countries. If you plan on entering the BVI for short-term purposes, for example, making inquiries into the BVI offshore company advantages, our team can assist you during this process and with company formation.
Special conditions apply to British Nationals, as well as foreign nationals of other countries who are under the BVI visa exemption programme. If you are a British citizen, we can give you detailed information about British Virgin Islands permanent residency.

What are the types of BVI visas that can be used for long-term stay and residency?

We list the four main types of visas one can apply for below:
  1. Student: for foreign nationals who wish to remain in the country for the duration of their studies with the University of the Virgin Islands, or another recognized educational institution;
  2. Employment: the visa for work purposes is applied for once the foreign national has secured an available job position; conditions apply and depend on the chosen industry;
  3. Business: foreign investors interested in BVI company incorporation can obtain a visa allowing them to remain in the country to pursue their business goals; our team can give you more details on this route for acquiring British Virgin Islands residency;
  4. Resident: the application for this visa is conditioned by the minimum period of residence, for a consecutive number of years, as described in more detail below.
Some of the fees to keep in mind are the following:
  • - $175 the non-refundable visa fee for work purposes;
  • - $25 application fee.
If you wish to know more about these visas as a first step towards obtaining British Virgin Islands residency, our team can answer your questions.
The visa application documentation depends on the particular purpose of stay. For example, employees will provide proof of employment that will reflect their position, salary, as well as the employment start date. Business owners will be asked to provide proof of their activities. The mandatory list of documents includes the filled in visa application form, the valid passport, as well as two recent photographs. Our team can give you the complete list.

When can one acquire British Virgin Islands residency?

Residency is only acquired after the foreign national has lawfully lived in the country for a number of years. Any application submitted before this period is not taken into consideration.
The application for British Virgin Islands permanent residency is submitted to the Immigration Department and it is checked for completeness and accuracy. The application needs to receive several approvals, including one from the Board of Immigration and Cabinet. If the residency status is approved, the applicant receives the Belonger Card.
The following rules for gaining British Virgin Islands residency apply:
  1. live in the country for at least 20 consecutive years;
  2. be absent from the country for no more than 90 days in a calendar year (except when pursuing education or in case of illness);
  3. any dependents of the residence permit holder need to apply for their own certificated 6 months before their eighteen birthday, should they wish to retain their residence status.
Some of the relevant supporting documents when applying for residency include valid bank statements, evidence of accommodation, proof of social security benefits or other means of showing financing self-sufficiency. Copies of police records, as well as medical certificates may be needed. All applications for residency are submitted in person and the usual turn-around time is 2 or 3 business days.
If you would like to know more about the entry rules, as well as the process of acquiring British Virgin Islands residency, we invite you to contact our BVI experts. We can help answer your questions, as well as assist you throughout the process of opening an offshore company.


Meet us in Road Town

Call us now at +230 5252 6703 to set up an appointment with our business consultants in the British Virgin Islands. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to the British Virgin Islands.

As a BridgeWest client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in the British Virgin Islands.

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