I like this lady..she must have some Rssta blood in her…She is a conscious, Fair, fearless Lioness..She is like that shinning light that shines through the darkness that covers the BVI…Much blessings my Sister, stay true to you and Jah will never leave or forsake you! I know she and that little evil Street name lady won’t get along…Good and Evil..Is like Oil and water..
Mrs Ritter-Freeman, who was appointed to act in the post of Chief Immigration Officer last year, was at the time answering questions about the statistics of Virgin Islanders verses non-nationals on ZROD 103.7 FM.
‘Not born here’-Ritter-Freeman
When asked about the number of expats in the Virgin Islands as opposed to locals she said you always hear about the number 60-40 meaning 60% expats and 40% locals “someone like myself, I have Belonger status, I was not born in the Virgin Islands, therefore I will be lumped into the pool of an expat, as opposed to someone who born here….but I will like to think of myself as a BVIslander…”
Mrs Ritter-Freeman has acquired her Belonger status from her parents, however, the officer who is at the helm of advising the Premier on immigration polices did not disclose where she was born.
Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Immigration Officer sought to clarify that when persons visit the Territory they can get up to a six months stay in keeping with other Caribbean Community countries, however, this is not automatic.
You can get 6 months but….
She said “when you come to the ports of entry you are given one month but you can get up to six months through the Processing Unit at the Immigration Department, so it’s still akin to what’s happening in the region…”
Mrs Ritter-Freeman also explained the conditional permit. This is where persons who have been working in the Virgin Islands (VI) for over 5 years and have lost their jobs can remain in the VI and seek new employment or change jobs after paying a fee of $250.00 for a conditional permit, but is given 90 days to find a new job.
However, if the 90 days has expired and persons did not find new employment then they have to leave the Territory, according to Ritter-Freeman. “Once that 90 days expired again your entry permit becomes null and void so you need to leave the Territory, until you get another employment opportunity.”
The Immigration Department falls under the Premier’s Office and Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is the Minister of Immigration.