Friday, March 30, 2007

BVI Immigration Department to Launch the New Website

The BVI Immigration Department has launched the new website which will allow people in the British Virgin Islands as well as other countries in the world to get online access to all the information and news related to immigration issues in the BVI.

The new website's address is www.bviimmigration.gov.vg. It includes the list of designated ports of entry, as well as the list of persons prohibited from re-entering the Territory. The website launch forms part of an ongoing programme of initiatives aimed at modernisation of the Immigration Department.

During the media briefing to launch the new website, it was said by the Permanent Secretary in the Chief Minister's Office, Clyde Lettsome: “We are in an information age and being a part of the global community, the BVI must keep pace.” Lettsome also stated that the launch of new website of the Immigration Department is characteristic of the fast moving changes in technology and the way how information is exchanged within a global community. He also noted that this website is important to make the BVI Immigration Department more accessible to the public generally.

Acting Chief Immigration Officer Malvern Brathwaite said that he is pleased the Department established an online presence. He stated that an immigration department, by its nature, is a worldwide network, and “Therefore for us to be able to use this tool that connects the globe and our travellers, moves us closer to realising the creed of the true nature of an immigration department.” Malvern Brathwaite noted that there is another convenience for travellers on the website, of being able to download a variety of immigration forms.

“We will seek to disseminate comprehensive information to travellers, which includes immigration standards and procedures for entering the BVI, visa requirements, policy guidelines that apply to residency applications, and the full range of immigration related data that travellers will need to vacation or work in the Territory,” Brathwaite explained.

The new website of the BVI Immigration Department is very informative, however there are some technical issues that could be improved: Links to the BVI Financial Services (bvi .org) and Disaster Preparedness (bviodp .vg) are pointing to expired domains and can mislead the visitors. Links to BVI Financial Services Commission and BVI Department of Disaster Management would be more appropriate instead.

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