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Commuting from BVI to STT

 

Soar USVI
(@Soar_USVI)
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July 22, 2008 2:30 am  

Just curious if anyone commutes between Tortola or VG to STT. Are the customs pretty quick and hassle free or the other way around. Also can anyone use the customs located at the ferry docks if you are using your privately owned vehicle for transportation, or is there another place to clear.

My wife and I are on track to open our business Nov. '09 but she will only do it if we live in the BVI and just run our business from STT.
Not that I disagree the BVI sounds delightful. Just your thoughts on the subject.

Thanks

Will in Abaco


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Jim72
(@Jim72)
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July 22, 2008 3:06 am  

Allot of things to consider

Can you legally live in the bvi

Tortola would add like 1 1/2 hours each way for your commute ( figuring customs time)

Vg like 2 1/2 hours

Fuel for the boat 100-200 bucks a day.


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Linda J
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July 22, 2008 3:07 am  

Commuting every day between STT and the BVI might be possible, but time consuming. However I would check to make sure you will be allowed to become a permanent resident of the BVI. I think they have rather stringent rules about aliens settling.


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dntw8up
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July 22, 2008 3:12 am  

It would be very expensive to commute from the BVI to STT ($50 r/t plus customs fees). The ferry between the BVI and STT is people only, no cars. It is difficult for non-belongers to purchase a home to live in the BVI. Most importantly, there is no reciprocity agreement between the US and the BVI with respect to taxes. In many/most countries, when an American pays foreign income taxes, they can deduct those foreign taxes from the amount they owe the Feds. Absent reciprocity and assuming you are a US national, the BVI will want their entire cut because you are residing there while earning your income, and the US will want their entire cut because you are a US national and have no permissible deductions for foreign taxes paid, which would leave one with a burdensome income tax liability!


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Ronnie
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July 22, 2008 10:55 am  

It is possible and has been done before and continues to be done. You can clear your private boat in St john which would probably be easier. Seeing that you are in Abaco means you are probably British or are already familiar with the rules of residency? If not as they have stated before, you will need status to live in the BVI the same way you would need a green card to live in the US.


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Soar USVI
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July 23, 2008 6:48 pm  

Thanks for the responses everyone, as far as living in BVI my wife holds a British Passport so hopefully getting status there should not be to difficult I hope. I will be using a seaplane for the commute should take around five minutes to make the trip at 100 plus knotsand a pint of gas, for the peace of mind it will be well worth it.

Anyone have an idea on the time required to clear at each end and are there any fees?

Thanks again for the responses.

Will in Abaco


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Trade
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July 23, 2008 6:51 pm  

Check into the ease of using a British passport. I had heard that it's not any (or much) easier than for a US citizen. Maybe that's changed.


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East Ender
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July 23, 2008 7:53 pm  

Will: Have you actually TALKED to anyone about the use of a seaplane? There is no seaplane landing area in Tortola. You might want to speak to some one at Seaborne to find out who to talk to. Belonger status has to do with ties to the BVI, not the UK. You have a lot of research to do!


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Captain Jay
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July 23, 2008 8:50 pm  

Thanks for the responses everyone, as far as living in BVI my wife holds a British Passport so hopefully getting status there should not be to difficult I hope. I will be using a seaplane for the commute should take around five minutes to make the trip at 100 plus knotsand a pint of gas, for the peace of mind it will be well worth it.

Anyone have an idea on the time required to clear at each end and are there any fees?

Thanks again for the responses.

Will in Abaco

So the Sea Plane? Were are you going to moor it on either end of this five minute commute? How big is the plane? Assuming it is a small plane how is it going to handle twenty knot Christmas winds and two foot seas in the harbor during take off and landing. As for customs, it will take as long as it takes. It could be ten minutes and it could be an hour. Get in line behind a ferry full of people and you could see the later. As for the peace of mind? What peace of mind? Taking off and landing twice a day in a sea plane has to be more dangerous than any neighborhood on St Thomas. I think you really need to come down and do some research before you put this plan into action. I don't mean to sound negative but if you want to live down here and do business in St Thomas you will be much better off living in St Thomas. Use the plane for fun stuff and don't waste an hour or two a day in the customs offices.
Good Luck
Jay


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Soar USVI
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July 23, 2008 9:19 pm  

Well after around 9000 hrs of flight time I am well aware of my and the aircrafts limitations. The nice thing about the VI's are the numerous sheltered bays to land in, throw in the prevailing winds and landing will not be a problem. 20kts? I looked up the wind archives for the last two years and the average is about 10kts from the east about 80% of the time. Not just throwing a number out there just stating the averages and that is what you have to base longterm decisions on. I guess I can figure out the schedules and plan to arrive a few minutes before the boat, from what I saw they run on a very regular schedule. I already have a few places I can park it at, beaches and marinas at some of the resorts. For some reason the management likes the idea of a seaplane sitting on their beach or tied up at the marina, go figure. I'll try to attach a link for a photo of the bird.


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amays08
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July 24, 2008 12:00 am  

I have some friends (that now own property on Tortola) that have said it is just as hard with a British passport as a US . One of them is a US citizen and one is from the UK. Makes no difference to the officials in the BVI's.


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East Ender
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July 24, 2008 1:09 am  

"I already have a few places I can park it at, beaches and marinas at some of the resorts. For some reason the management likes the idea of a seaplane sitting on their beach or tied up at the marina, go figure. '

So you have BVI government approval for bringing in your sea plane? I would love to know which marinas and beaches are giving you the okay, because if it is over here (USVI), DPNR would probably need to agree and in Tortola, the BVI government is not too friendly with Americans. As I said, have you spoken to any GOVERNMENT agencies about your plan??


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Exit Zero
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July 24, 2008 1:53 am  

C'mon you people, this guy wants to commute by seaplane that he parks on the beach , another one wants to buy a bar online , another one wants to live in a houseboat in the Lagoon sight unseen, all in the last 24 hours and we keep discouraging them. We are depriving ourselves of the stories and tall tales that make the VI a great place to live -- AS IN: -- Remember when that guy tried..... and, how about the .... story when he tried.... -- fill in the blanks.
The characters who move here with the greatest of plans and dreams be they successes or failures are what makes the long time residents crack up when we get together and reminisce over a few cocktails.
I know it is supposed to be a helpful forum but we can't close the airport and shut off the supply of new island legends. A lot of us came here with crazier ideas than this.


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Soar USVI
(@Soar_USVI)
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July 24, 2008 4:22 am  

Thankyou Exit Zero for the, I think, kind words. Alot of people laughed at these two guys from Dayton Ohio said that they were nuts and lo and behold the age of flight was born. The Wright brothers looked adversity in the face, spat on it and succeeded when everyone was sure they would fail. Alot of hard work and a vision of what is possible is all that is needed to be successful. This might work or it might not but it is going to be a great ride nonetheless. Maybe you will talk about me while sipping coldies and chuckling but then again maybe I'll be the one buying you a round.

Be Safe
Will in Abaco

P.S. If you are ever on a 757 out of STT come up to the cockpit and ask for Will, I'll give you a first class seat.


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Sabrina
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July 24, 2008 5:04 am  

Soar USVI, I'll agree with the others that holding a U.K. Passport doesn't give you any benefits when it comes to trying to live/work on a British island. For some reason the US/French/Dutch islands all seem to offer some privileges. Unless you work for the Government, in the case of a Crown Colony or Protectorate, I don't think there is much benefit for being British. What status do you have in the Abacos? Is your wife a Belonger there? I lived in the Turks&Caicos, and finally left when I got tired of the insecurity of constantly having to renew my Work Permit.
Good luck, I hope you can work through these problems.


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Linda J
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July 24, 2008 11:01 am  

All any of us are saying is to research very carefully. Those of us who live here see problems with your plan that might not be obvious to you. for example, as mentioned above, no resort or other property has any say over their own oceanfront, that's DPNR. I don't think a resort can give you "permission" to land a seapalne.


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Ronnie
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July 24, 2008 11:23 am  

Twenty some odd years ago someone mentioned to me that a friend of his was building a rig to sell Texas BBQ. I told him I doubt it would work. Today Bill's Texas Pit has two permanent locations and two rigs still on the road, and is doing great! Who knows?


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East Ender
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July 24, 2008 12:17 pm  

Ronnie: But there is/was a tradition of "mobile" food vendors. Of course some of them have been parked in the same place for 20 years....;)

Will: All I am saying is that the you should be asking the governmental offices, not us. On the US side- Planning and Natural Resources and Port Authority come to mind. You may have a marina that wants your seaplane to dock there, but they don't have the final say. In the BVI, maybe you have an in there? I just can't imagine them allowing a private (US?) citizen to operate a seaplane.


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jay
 jay
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July 24, 2008 12:26 pm  

I noticed the aircraft has wheels, as an additional option, you can land at CEK and pay landing and storage fees , there would be no customs fees, however, you would have to clear in as a private aircraft every time you come in. There are no lines at the foreign arrival gate and, no clearing through TSA going out as a private aircraft.


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