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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Virgin Islands, common known as the British Virgin Islands (BVI), is a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constitute the US Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands. The official name of the Territory is still simply the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is often used to distinguish it from the neighbouring American territory which changed its name from the "Danish West Indies" to "Virgin Islands of the United States" in 1917. British Virgin Islands government publications continue to begin with the name "The Territory of the Virgin Islands", passports simply refer to the "Virgin Islands", and all laws begin with the words "Virgin Islands".

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The Territory's Constitutional Commission has expressed the view that "every effort should be made", to encourage the use of the name "Virgin Islands". The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island, which is approximately 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands have a population of about 27'800, of whom approximately 23'000 live on Tortola. British Virgin Islanders are classed as British Overseas Territories citizens and since 2002 have had full British citizenship. Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, its citizens are deemed to be citizens of the EU as well.