Moving to British Virgin Islands
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The British Virgin Islands are a group of around 40 islands, of which around 16 are inhabited. They form part of the Virgin Islands archipelago located between the Caribbean sea to the south and the Northern Atlantic Ocean to the North. The climate is tropical, but with a cooling affect from the trade winds reducing the average temperatures.
Infrastructure / Job Prospects
If you are are interested in moving to British Virgin Islands for work, there are two industries which dominate both the employment and the financial economy of the Islands. These are Tourism, which accounts for around 45% of GDP and Financial Services, which accounts for around 50% of the GDP. The total GDP of the islands is around $900 million, and the islands benefit from a stable economy, particularly compared to other Caribbean islands.
The financial services industry in the British Virgin Islands has increased since its launch in the 1980s. The islands have become a magnet for over 500,000 international companies who have incorporated or are moving to British Virgin Islands in order to utilise the local offshore finance industry, and benefit from the low taxation and unique financial structures available.
The financial services industry are now crucial to the islands economy, as nearly half of the countries revenue is raised directly from corporation taxes and charges relating to the offshore finance legislation.
The islands climate and beautiful landscape makes them ideal for tourism, having constant, year-round temperatures of 90 В°F and endless sandy beaches and tropical turquoise waters. The tourist industry serves nearly 1 million visitors per year and employs around people
The islands are home to many exclusive beach resorts, indeed one of the islands, Necker Island, owned by the British entrepreneur Richard Branson, was developed exclusively as a luxury island resort and it is possible to rent the entire island. Other popular activities include watersports, particularly Snorkelling, with the islands being home to coral reefs and cays, and yachting, with many charter yachts allowing access to the uninhabited islands.
The main islands are also popular destinations for cruise ships, and this attracts large numbers of the tourists, who stay for a short period and frequent the many bars and beaches.
The other notable industries on the island are mainly agricultural. The largest is that of livestock.
Living cost and Taxes
Living costs on the islands are relatively cheap, and most residents have a high quality of life, due to the stable local economy. The GDP per head is relatively high at around $40,000 a year. The finance industry has the best paying jobs
As you would expect from a well-known tax haven, the British Virgin Islands have low taxation. The amount you will pay depends on whether you are resident or not. If you are moving to British Virgin Islands and taking up residency, and you have a local income, you will be subject to the local payroll tax. The rate of taxation is 8% for the employee, and between 10% and 14% total (the difference being paid by the employer).
If your income is not local, the personal taxation rate is currently 0% and there are no taxes for capital gains, gifts, sales or value added taxes, corporation tax or inheritance tax. You will not be surprised to learn that this is one of the best territories in the world to be resident, in terms of taxation!
The commercial port of Road Town Harbour is the main port of the islands and the main calling point for larger cruise ships and yachts that arrive on the islands for tourism. The harbour is also the main ferry dock for the inter-island ferries and home to the customs and immigration offices of the islands.
Port Purcell is the main cargo port, and the port which provides containerized handling facilities, including around 6 acres of container storage. The British Virgin Islands ports handle around 150,000 tons of cargo every year, of which around 60,000 tons is containerized. The ports also handle over 2000 vehicles each year, so your car will be in safe hands if you are thinking of bringing it with you upon moving to British Virgin Islands!
The main airport of the islands, Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) is located on Beef Island, which is a small island close to the main island of Tortola. It is commonly called Beef Island Airport.
Important Cities and Population Density
The population of the British Virgin Islands is around 25,000 and growing at around 2% per year. Most of the population (around 75%) is located on the island of Tortola, which is the largest island in the territory at around 20km long and 5km wide and home to the capital, Road Town, which is the largest town, being home to around 9000 people. The overall population density of the islands is around 150 people per sq km.
The total area of the islands is 153 sq km with around 80km of coastline. After Tortola, which has a size of around 54 sq km, the islands of Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke are the next largest in the territory, but there are 16 inhabited islands and many more uninhabited.
British Virgin Islands Facts
The islands were discovered in 1493 by Sir Christopher Columbus, who named them the Virgin Islands after St Ursula.
The Islands were believed to have been inhabited by the Arawak and Carib Indians, before being settled by the west upon the arrival of the Dutch in 1648.
The English settled in 1672 and the islands were part of a larger colony called the Leeward Islands, which lasted right up until the 1960s.
The population is around 85% Black African descent, but this has decreased slightly due to wealthy European migrants moving to the British Virgin Islands recently.
If you are looking to move to British Virgin Islands, we recommend you fill out the free estimate form which will allow you to specify details of the possessions you would like to take with you when you move. We will provide you with up to ten free, personalised quotes from pre-screened, experienced, international moving companies.