Globe Capitalist / Countries / British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

Set amidst the azure waters of the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) beckons the enterprising spirit with a harmonious blend of business-friendly policies and paradisiacal landscapes. An archipelago known for its robust financial services and tranquil beaches, BVI provides the discerning entrepreneur a unique environment where commerce and leisure walk hand in hand.

Living in the British Virgin Islands (BVI): expat's guide
Yacht Haven Grande in Charlotte Amalie, BVI

The British Virgin Islands, an archipelago of islands in the Caribbean, has long been recognized as a significant financial hub. With its stable political environment, robust regulatory framework, and strategic geographical position, the BVI has fostered an ecosystem that is conducive for business ventures. This, coupled with its captivating natural beauty, makes the territory an appealing destination for both the ambitious entrepreneur and the discerning traveler. The islands seamlessly merge opportunities for investment and growth with experiences of nature, luxury, and relaxation.

Country British Virgin Islands
Population Approximately 30,030 (World Bank, 2021)
Capital Road Town (Population unknown as of 2021)
Main cities The British Virgin Islands are a collection of small islands, with the capital being the most significant. Other notable areas are not typically referred to as “main cities”. They include places like Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke.
Language English (100%)
Time in British Virgin Islands GMT-4
Currency United States Dollar (USD, $)
Religion Christianity (Predominantly)
Other religions are practiced but in smaller proportions.
Tax regime The British Virgin Islands has a territorial tax system. Income generated outside the islands is typically not taxed.
VAT VAT is not provided.
Overage salary Data not readily available as of 2021.

British Virgin Islands: Discovering Opportunities and Paradise

The British Virgin Islands, commonly known as the BVI, is a hidden gem in the Caribbean. Famed for its picturesque landscapes, it also holds allure for those wanting to carve out a new life overseas. Whether you are a skilled professional seeking better work prospects, an entrepreneur envisioning a new start, or someone looking to retire in a serene locale, BVI offers a compelling case. Its strategic position as a global financial center is complemented by its laid-back island lifestyle. Here, modern amenities intersect with nature’s splendor, making it a chosen destination for many who wish to strike the perfect balance between work and relaxation.

Living in British Virgin Islands

Cost of living

The cost of living in the BVI tends to be higher compared to many other Caribbean nations. Being a major tourist destination and financial hub, prices for goods and services can be elevated, especially in areas frequented by tourists. However, by living as locals do, shopping in local markets, and adapting to local ways, one can manage expenses reasonably.

Quality of education

The British Virgin Islands places considerable emphasis on education. While it may not host world-renowned universities, it offers quality primary and secondary education. Students often travel abroad for tertiary studies, especially to the UK or the US. That said, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Tortola is a noted institution for higher education locally.

Health care and insurance

The healthcare facilities in BVI are adequate for general medical needs with Peebles Hospital in Road Town being the primary care institution. For specialized care, residents often travel to nearby Puerto Rico or the US. Various insurance plans cater to both locals and expatriates, but it’s crucial to ensure comprehensive coverage, especially if you’re an outsider.


The BVI enjoys a tropical maritime climate. Warm and sunny days are common, punctuated by brief tropical showers. Hurricanes, while rare, can occur, so it’s essential to be prepared during the season.

When is the best time to visit British Virgin Islands?

The best time to visit the British Virgin Islands is between December and April when the weather is most favorable. If you’re budget-conscious, consider visiting during the off-peak season, from May to November, when prices are typically lower.

Fun and entertainment

The BVI brims with opportunities for fun. Water sports enthusiasts can indulge in sailing, snorkeling, and diving. The nightlife, especially in Road Town, offers lively bars and restaurants where both locals and expats mingle.

Road Town (30,000)

The bustling capital of the British Virgin Islands, Road Town, located on the island of Tortola, is an epitome of urban conveniences set against a picturesque tropical backdrop. The city offers an impressive array of restaurants, shopping centers, and cultural landmarks. Road Town’s marina remains lively, making it a haven for yachting enthusiasts. With its modern amenities and connections, the capital is a favorite among professionals and expatriates who relish a perfect blend of urban life and natural beauty.

Spanish Town (4,000)

Located on Virgin Gorda, Spanish Town offers an idyllic Caribbean experience with its pristine beaches and relaxed pace of life. This town, also known as ‘The Valley’, is close to some of the island’s most iconic attractions like The Baths. The town’s unique character and charm have made it popular among retirees and those seeking a serene environment, away from the hustle and bustle of bigger cities. Despite its tranquility, Spanish Town boasts quality amenities and housing options, making it a delightful place to reside.

The Settlement (500)

The main town on Anegada, The Settlement provides an unparalleled experience of living on a coral island. Known for its expansive beaches, flamingo-inhabited salt ponds, and the rare rock iguanas, The Settlement is an enchanting locale. The town’s tight-knit community ensures a warm, welcoming atmosphere for newcomers. While it may not offer the urban comforts of larger towns, its unique biodiversity and tranquility more than compensate for it, making it ideal for nature enthusiasts and those in pursuit of peace.

Great Harbour (400)

Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke is a hidden gem. With its white sandy beaches, crystalline waters, and vibrant beach bars, the town is a magnet for both tourists and residents looking for a mix of relaxation and recreation. While relatively small, Great Harbour is known for its lively festivals, particularly the renowned Old Year’s Night celebrations. It’s an ideal place for those who crave a seaside residence combined with a hint of festivity and merriment.

Is British Virgin Islands safe?

While the BVI is generally safe for residents and tourists alike, like any destination, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings and take standard precautions.

Moving to British Virgin Islands

How to move to British Virgin Islands as an expat


Expats need to secure a visa or permit to work or reside in the BVI. Various visa types cater to workers, entrepreneurs, and retirees. It’s essential to consult with immigration officials or an attorney for the latest requirements and processes.

Residency By Investment

The British Virgin Islands does not currently offer a Residency By Investment program. However, its stable environment and attractive lifestyle might still make it worth considering for relocation and business ventures.

Does British Virgin Islands allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, the British Virgin Islands does permit dual citizenship.

Real estate

The real estate market in the BVI is vibrant. Over the past years, there has been a steady appreciation in property values, especially in prime areas. In Road Town, expect to pay a premium for apartments with ocean views. In contrast, villas in more secluded parts of the islands might come at a relatively lower cost. While foreigners can purchase property, they are required to obtain a Non-Belonger Land Holding License, which can be a lengthy process.

Can expats buy property in British Virgin Islands?

Yes, expats can buy property in the British Virgin Islands, but they need to secure a Non-Belonger Land Holding License.

Why should I move to British Virgin Islands?

Renowned as a sanctuary of pristine beaches and a bustling financial hub, the British Virgin Islands promises an amalgamation of professional opportunities, upscale living, and the joys of Caribbean island life. While its reputation as a global financial center is undeniably attractive for businesspersons, the archipelago’s inviting natural beauty, amiable population, and rich culture offer an unmatched living experience for those seeking to relocate. Amid the symphony of crashing waves and rustling palm trees, the British Virgin Islands effortlessly blends the perks of urban living with the tranquility of island life.

Pros Cons
  • Stable political and economic environment
  • Major global financial hub
  • Diverse and multicultural community
  • High-quality healthcare and educational institutions
  • Rich natural beauty and recreational opportunities
  • Higher cost of living compared to other Caribbean countries
  • Vulnerability to hurricanes and tropical storms
  • Property acquisition process for non-residents can be lengthy
  • Limited higher educational opportunities leading students to seek education abroad

Doing business in British Virgin Islands


The economic foundation of the British Virgin Islands hinges significantly on its robust financial services sector. With a reputation for being a leading offshore financial center, the BVI is home to thousands of international business corporations. Tourism is another key pillar of its economy, luring thousands of visitors annually with its clear waters, sandy beaches, and luxury resorts. The vibrant boating sector, especially yacht charters, further bolsters the tourism industry, making it an indispensable part of the island’s economic fabric.

Tax in British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands boasts a territorial tax system, which means income earned outside of the islands is typically exempt from local taxation. Furthermore, there is no capital gains tax, no value-added tax (VAT), no inheritance tax, and no corporation tax. This tax regime, combined with a commitment to financial privacy, has significantly contributed to the islands’ reputation as a go-to location for business and financial ventures.


The startup ecosystem in the British Virgin Islands is still budding compared to other global hubs. However, the government and private sectors are keenly aware of the benefits startups bring, and there’s a growing inclination towards nurturing them. Although there isn’t a well-established accelerator program exclusive to the BVI, startups can leverage the strong financial environment and access to international networks. Furthermore, its strategic geographic location acts as a gateway to both American and European markets.

Company formation in British Virgin Islands

Incorporating a company in the British Virgin Islands is an enticing proposition for many entrepreneurs and businesses. The jurisdiction offers a range of incorporation solutions from the standard limited liability company to specialized structures tailored for investment and asset protection. Its seamless incorporation process, combined with a strong legal framework and the aforementioned favorable tax regime, makes it an attractive destination for business establishment. For an expatriate, forming a company in BVI not only offers financial advantages but also grants them an entry into a thriving international business community.

How to open a company in British Virgin Islands?

How to open a bank account in British Virgin Islands?

Living in the British Virgin Islands (BVI): expat's guide

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