Thursday, September 18, 2008

British Virgin Islands relations with neighbours: Support and Exchange of Experience

In August 2008, the four-member BVI delegation led by Registrar-General Stephanie Benn visited the Dominican Republic, with a fact-finding mission of immigration, visa, and security matters. Other participant of the delegation is Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt Igwe – the Assistant Secretary in the BVI Premier's Office.

During its visit, the BVI delegation met with the Investigation Department of the Dominican Republic National Police, and with the representatives of the country's Central Registry Office and Migration Department. Also, they met with officials at the British, United States, and Dutch Embassies and the Honorary Consulate of the Bahamas. By words of the leader of the BVI delegation, “the discussions were enlightening, interactive, rewarding, and indeed a tremendous learning experience for members of the group.” Also, she noted that the delegation learned about the techniques used to produce fraudulent documents and methods used to detect those documents.

It should be said that citizens of the Dominican Republic are required to get a visa to visit the British Virgin Islands, and 906 visas were issued for citizens of that country since January of this year, to enter or remain on the territory.

On September 9, the BVI Premier Ralph O'Neal has offered his territory's assistance to another British Overseas Territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands, which has suffered from the Hurricane Ike. The Premier sent a letter to the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, where on behalf of his government and the people of the British Virgin Islands he conveyed concern over the devastation of the territory and the destructions caused by Ike.

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