(Photo Credit: FB/Premier Special Projects)
The regularization initiative that was halted will be proceeding shortly with the inclusion of some changes that were recommended by the public. Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that today, July 12, he would be giving details to the public on how the process will move ahead.
Speaking to a gathering in Virgin Gorda on July 11, the Premier noted that the process, which was announced on May 7, and halted in June, would commence soon with focus on third generation Virgin Islanders and residents of 20 years or more.
During the Virgin Gorda leg of the public consultation on the Consumer Protection Legislation, the Premier mentioned the regularization process, stating, "When we were doing the Passport and Immigration Act, we knew that based on the input of the people...we sought it and I thank everyone that gave it. We did pass it [amendment to Act] in the House of Assembly in terms of the amendments that came forward, and the fast track programme, the very heart of the whole immigration and labour reform which is under the Minister of Natural Resources and Labour.”
Hon. Fahie remarked that the consultation leading to the halting of the initiative was difficult and said that as a Government, they heeded the words of the people.
“As Premier I took the charge because I told the Minister that this one will be...I don’t want you to get this kind of lash on your first go around. I'm on my sixth term I could put out my head a little further than you can in your first term."
During the consultation with the business community on the Consumer Protection Legislation on July 9, the Premier mentioned that the regularization process was going to focus on third generation Virgin Islanders by providing a fast track opportunity for them to receive their rights.
"We took all those write-ins, emails, we sat and we read all of them and made the adjustments. This week we'll be making the announcement to state when the time is right for them to start to come in, for the third generation BVIslanders to be able to come in and get Belongership," Hon. Fahie said.
The Premier also noted that qualified non-belongers with other 20 years of residence will be able to receive their rights as well.