The following measures are to be adhered to by all non-British Virgin Islanders entering the Territory: Bona fide 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.
From North America:
U.S. citizens travelling 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.
A passport is preferred however you may also use an original birth certificate accompanied by a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license.
European citizens need a valid passport to enter the British Virgin Islands. However visitors that are residents of certain countries, require a visa in order to enter the BVI. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa; contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, the nearest British Embassy, or contact the Chief Immigration Department, BVI Government at Tel: (284) 494-3471 or 468-3701 ext. 4700.
From the Caribbean:
Please note that citizens from some islands may need to obtain a visa to visit the British Virgin Islands. Visitors from these Caribbean islands need to have a visa in order to enter the BVI. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, the nearest British Embassy, or contact the Chief Immigration Department, BVI Government at Tel: (284) 494-3471 or 468-3701 ext. 4700.
For more information on whether you require a visa and how to obtain one, please check the Foriegn & Commonwealth Office or the Deputy Governor’s Office of the British Virgin Islands.
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. U.S. citizens travelling 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, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, 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. Visitors coming from the North America with meat products for consumption during their stay will not have to fill out the application, if they are bringing less than 40LBs of meat.
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.
For more information on import regulations and tariffs, please contact the 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 Soper’ Hole, West End, Tortola
Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke
St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda
Hours of operation:
West End, Tortola: Monday – Saturday from 8:30am – 6pm | Sunday & Public Holidays from 8am – 7pm.
Road Town, Tortola: Monday – Sunday & public Holidays from 8:30am – 7:30pm
Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke – Monday – Sunday & Public Holidays from 8:30am – 4:30pm
Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda – Monday – Sunday 8:30am – 4:30pm | Open late on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday to accommodate Speedy’s Ferry from St. Thomas. Yacht Clearance from daily 8:30am-3:30pm.
Gun Creek, North Sound, Virgin Gorda: Monday – Friday from 8:30am-4:3pm | Saturday & Sunday from 9am-2pm.
**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. 4700 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.