Press Release

Office of the Governor
Office of the Deputy Governor
Civil Registry and Passport Office
Release Date:
Monday, 14 June 2021 - 10:57am

Twenty-seven persons are now the newest group of British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) of the Virgin Islands after taking the oath to complete the process during a naturalisation ceremony.

His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin, CMG in remarks at the ceremony, offered congratulations to the new citizens and further encouraged them to maintain a commitment of good citizenship and allegiance to the British Virgin Islands.

Governor Rankin said, “As you recite the oath and pledge of loyalty, please reflect both on the opportunities and also the responsibilities to your new country of citizenship, and your responsibility to your fellow country men and women.”

Deputy Premier, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley appealed to the group to unite with each other and the rest of the Virgin Islands community.

Dr. the Honourable Wheatley said, “Despite the fact that you come from diverse backgrounds, we are all united in our love for the BVI. You would not have chosen to make BVI your home if you did not enjoy being here. I challenge you to practice that unity and fight against division.”

Registrar General Mrs. Staphanie Benn, who led the ceremony and heads the Civil Registry and Passport Office, urged the citizens to exercise kindness and to make the Virgin Islands a better place in a world that is ever changing.

Naturalisation is a process under the British Nationality Act of 1981 and the Virgin Islands Constitution Order of 2007 by which persons can become citizens of the Virgin Islands. Naturalised citizens become British Overseas Territory Citizens and as such they may obtain a Virgin Islands passport and are eligible for a United States visa waiver; they can register and vote in elections in the Virgin Islands and apply to register as a British Citizen of the United Kingdom.

The 27 new BOTCs are:

Inocencia Paulino Baez

Fra-vern Princess Arabella Collins

Reina Liriano Coplin

Paulette Angela Creary

Enrique Mercedes Diaz

Kimberlee Casandra Bailey– Francis

Alaire Chrys-Daveen Khan –Frazer

Denisher Amoy Gayle

Merley Mae Hewitt Grant

Adrian Green

Mary Rosina Henry

Lynette Abiola Jeffers

Carmelina Vanterpool Leyba

Anette Antiape Louisy

Mervin Louisy

Nathaniel Leopold McKenzie

Lloyd George Moore

Rayness Marean Moore

Roseline Josil– Pierre

Aaron Messiah Pope

Joel Romain O’Neil

Siana Cyrena Romain O’Neil

Theresa St. Rose

Andrew Bruce Chippendale Swapp

Calvin Joseph Welcome

Angus Pelinton John Williams

Irene Minerva Mcpherson- Williams


Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel
Information & Education Manager
Department: Department of Disaster Management
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