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Do you want more expert hints & tips on finding work offshore? Whether or not you are an accountant, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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Living and working in the British Virgin Islands

Types of jobs available in the BVI

As a leading offshore finance centre, job openings in the BVI will entail positions in Finance, Law and Insolvency. Finance jobs include roles with the leading audit and accountancy practices (including Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC) as well as insurance management companies and banks, where there will be career opportunities for financial accountants, fund accountants and financial controllers.

In terms of the legal profession, there are job openings in the BVI with leading offshore law firms (such as Harneys, Appleby, Conyers and many others) as well as in-house. Additionally, vacancies arise in Tortola for candidates who are professionally qualified and experienced in Insolvency or Recovery work, as well as those who are STEP-qualified and seeking employment in the Trusts sector. 








Lifestyle in Tortola

From a quality of life aspect, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) very much cater for those who enjoy outdoor activities or water sports. The Islands represent one of the most relaxed and stunningly beautiful and unspoilt destinations in the world, with genuinely friendly people, the best sailing waters in the Caribbean (it has the largest crewed yacht fleet), horseback riding, mountain trails, lots of tennis courts, and outstanding wreck diving on pristine coral reefs. There are also pubs and restaurants to choose from, especially those catering to tourists.


The British Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean 60 miles east or half an hour's flight from Puerto Rico, the regional hub, and adjacent to the US Virgin Islands. The principal islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anageda and Jost Van Dyke and in total they cover 59 square miles. Tortola, the largest, is largely rolling hills and beaches with the highest point being Mount Sage, 1,780 feet above sea level. State of the art telecommunications are handled by Cable & Wireless.

Aside from the other BVI isles, locations such as the US Virgin Islands, Antigua and Puerto Rico are all within easy access of Tortola via ferry or short plane ride, for occasions when you want to explore the region, experience a different environment or simply enjoy some extra retail therapy.









The climate is sub-tropical. Summer temperatures typically range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 31 degrees Centigrade); winter from 72 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 – 28 degrees Centigrade. Monthly average rainfall is 100mm.


The total population of the BVI is circa 28,000 people of whom 23,000 live on Tortola.


British planters took over control of the Islands from the original Dutch settlers in 1666. The BVI accordingly became a colony as part of the Leeward Islands from 1872 until 1956 when they became an independently administered territory. At the beginning of the last century, the USA acquired what was then the Danish West Indies and re-named them the US Virgin Islands which consists of St Thomas, St John and St Croix. There is a free passage agreement between the US & British Virgin Islands. In 1967 a new constitution in the BVI provided for a ministerial system of government headed by a Chief Minister under overall British control.


The BVI economy is now one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean. Legislation was enacted in 1984 to facilitate the administration of companies for use in international business. As a result, the IBC (International Business Company) came into its own in the 1990s and to date well over 500,000 companies have been registered.

The Financial Services Commission was set up in 1993 to regulate the quickly growing offshore business sector and the FSC has separate departments supervising the banks, trust companies, insurance entities and mutual funds. In common with other jurisdictions, the BVI has extensive Anti-Money Laundering legislation in place and every trust company must have a compliance officer to ensure that statutory and regulatory requirements are fully met.

Tourism is also a major component of the Islands economies. Until recently, to a large extent, the BVI managed to safeguard their special charm from the inroads of mass tourism. However, tourism now generates an estimated 45% of national income and each year there are around 350,000 incoming visitors, mainly from the US and Canada. Tourists are discovering the wonders of this ancient archipelago, from sanctuaries for exotic fauna and flora to fabulous beaches and the attractions of first rate diving and fishing. The BVI waters are the favourite of yachtsmen the world over. Lodgings on the islands range from beachside cottages to mountain-top villas with private pools. 


Tortola (meaning “Land of Turtle Doves”) is the largest of the Islands and is situated 60 miles east of Puerto Rico. The main point of entry is the airport, which is linked to the capital of Road Town via the single-lane Queen Elizabeth Bridge.

Road Town itself provides a scenic setting with a yacht-filled harbour and a laid-back lifestyle evolved over four centuries by English, Dutch, French and Spanish adventurers. The diverse community offers a wide range of regional and international cuisine in a choice of pastel-painted restaurants, former forts and sugar mills. Shoppers can also find bargains in perfume, jewellery, wine and fine china.








Career opportunities

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) offer an outstanding quality of life as well as excellent job opportunities in international finance. There is usually high demand for qualified professionals to work in the Big Four accountancy firms or in commerce (in particular, in insolvency or for trust account management firms or funds). The legal sector has also been expanding rapidly.


Dead Chest, one of the islands comprising the BVI, is where pirate Blackbeard famously marooned fifteen pirates with a bottle of rum, giving rise to the famous song.

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