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IMMIGRATION

The following measures are to be adhered to by all non-British Virgin Islanders entering the Territory:

Bonafide visitors may be granted entry for up to one month at the ports of entry, provided that they possess return (or ongoing) tickets, evidence of adequate means of support and pre-arranged accommodations during their stay. Visitors wishing to stay longer will need to apply for an extension. Customs and Immigration offices are located on Tortola in Road Town and the West End, on Virgin Gorda in the Virgin Gorda Airport, St. Thomas Bay Terminal, and the Owen Harrigan Visitors Centre at Gun Creek and on Jost Van Dyke in Great Harbour.

As of October 1, U.S. citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda must present a passport or other WHTI-compliant documentation to enter or depart from the United States.

Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa, visit the BVI Tourist Board's website: www.bvitourism.com, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office or the nearest British Embassy, or contact the Chief Immigration Officer, Immigration Department, BVI Government at:

Tel: 284-494-3471 or 284-494-3701 Ext. 4700.

CUSTOMS - IMPORTATION OF FOOD

Yacht owners, charter guests, and visitors may bring food into the British Virgin Islands. For the time being, however, because of the worldwide threat of Hoof and Mouth and Mad Cow Disease, a law is in effect which bans the importation of any meat products unless an application is submitted to the Department of Agriculture for approval. Approved permits cost $25.00. For more information, please call the Department of Agriculture at 284- 495-2532.

Good quality, fresh foods are available in the British Virgin Islands from several grocery stores and provisioners on a year-round basis. BVI import duties charged on food products range between 5% and 15% of the invoice value.

BVI Customs Department

Phone: 284-494-3475
Open from: 8:30am to 6:30pm

Yacht Clearance

If you plan to exit and then re-enter the British Virgin Islands during your sailing vacation, please be certain to follow the proper procedures for clearing your yacht and crew with both BVI Customs and Immigration.

The ports of entry and exit are located at:

Road Harbour, Tortola
West End Harbour, Tortola
Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke
St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda

Hours of operation:

Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday 8:30am to 12:30pm. Closed Sundays and on BVI public holidays. After-hours clearing may be arranged in advance. Additional fees will apply. Call Customs at 284-494-3475 and Immigration at 284-494-3701 ext. 2538 to make after-hours arrangements.

Your captain may clear all crew, provided he or she has all of the required documentation, including:

Ships documentation. Prior to leaving the charter base, be sure this item is aboard if you plan to leave BVI waters

Valid passports for each crew member. (In the absence of a passport, Canadian & US citizens need an original or notarized copy of their birth certificate and at least one piece of photo ID such as a driver's license if travelling between the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands.)

Be sure you clear into the territory you plan to visit. Don't forget to stop off again at any of the above listed BVI ports of entry on return to the British Virgin Islands.

If visiting the USVI, you may clear in at Cruz Bay, St. John or Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. If you are not either a US or Canadian citizen, and are entering the USVI waters on anything other than a commercial carrier (ferry, airline, etc.), you must obtain a visitor's visa. Visitors from the UK and all other countries should consult their local US Embassy prior to arrival in the British Virgin Islands to determine what is required to obtain the proper visas for crew wishing to exit the BVI by yacht.

BVI Cruising Tax / Permits

A cruising permit is required for all cruising in the British Virgin Islands.

Seasonal Rates: (December 1- April 30) All recorded charter boats - $2.00 per person per day. All non-recorded charter boats - $4.00 per person per day.

Out-of-Season Rates: (May 1 - November 30). All recorded charter boats - $0.75 per person per day. All non-recorded charter boats - $4.00 per person per day.

Dive, day charter, and sport fishing boats should contact the British Virgin Islands Customs Department at 284-494-3475 or 284-468-3701 ext. 2533 for current cruising permit requirements.