Visiting Yacht Crews: Maximum 90 Day Stay

May 29, 2011

sailing yachts generic st georgesIn the House of Assembly on Friday [May 27] Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief said that Cabinet has approved a revised policy for visiting yachts.

From 1st June visiting yachts and their crews will be granted a maximum 90 day stay on arrival in Bermuda.

Visitors will need to provide proof of citizenship and of the means to repatriate themselves by air; proof of health insurance and a declaration not to seek or take up employment in Bermuda.

The fee for this long stay will be $250, and extensions for up to a further 90 days will also be permitted on application to the Department of Immigration.

The Minister said, “Visiting yachts and crews spent over $10 million in Bermuda in 2010. Extending the permitted length of stay will increase this contribution to the local economy and do more to further the positive image of Bermuda as open for business and demonstrate more red carpet and less red tape.”

The Minister’s full statement is below:

Mr. Speaker, flexibility in policy making is one of the strengths of good government. There is a requirement to adjust even well-intentioned policies that may not reflect how best we wish to position our Island home to tourists of all varieties.

As the minister responsible for immigration I recognize that we as a Government must all play our part in improving the odds for the recovery of tourism and support the hard work of the Minister and her team.

Mr. Speaker, in 2005 the cruise ship industry signaled its need to change the deployment of ships to Bermuda. Our niche vessels like the Zenith, Horizon and Norwegian Majesty were being phased out for use in other markets. Responding to that change became the task of the Government and other important stakeholders at our ports.

Mr. Speaker, this Government is on record as having encouraged the creation of a mega-yacht port for Bermuda and has suggested either end of the Island as possible venues. The historic elegance of St. George’s and its spectacular natural harbour makes it a fine spot for this activity.

With the two cruise ship piers in Dockyard, the course correction that has resulted from the use of larger ships to serve Bermuda has demonstrated to some, the wisdom of cultivating yachting business.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce today that to further encourage this brand of tourism and to stimulate the economic benefits this business can bring, Cabinet has approved a revised policy for visiting yachts.

Mr. Speaker, with effect from 1st June visiting yachts and their crews will be granted a maximum ninety (90) day stay on arrival in Bermuda.

In keeping with best practice and standard immigration policy, we will ask these visitors to provide proof of citizenship and of the means to repatriate themselves by air; proof of health insurance and a declaration not to seek or take up employment in Bermuda.

The fee for this long stay, Mr. Speaker, will be set at a nominal $250. Extensions for up to a further 90 days will also be permitted on application to the Department of Immigration.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague, the Honourable Member, Minister Minors, the Minister of Business Development and Tourism for her support of this change.

Mr. Speaker, visiting yachts and crews spent over $10 million in Bermuda in 2010. Extending the permitted length of stay will increase this contribution to the local economy and do more to further the positive image of Bermuda as open for business and demonstrate more red carpet and less red tape.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (8)

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  1. College Graduate says:

    good job

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  2. Boater says:

    This is great news - Now we need to GET THE WORD OUT TO THE SAILING COMMUNITY.

    It was great seeing Bernews out the the Charleston to Bermuda Race Prize Giving - Great Coverage - Well Done

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  3. GREAT NEWS WAY DID IT TAKE SO LONG LOTS OF MONEY LOST FOR BERMUDA BUT WELL DUNN!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. European says:

    Good news, indeed,
    However, why is it just limited to yachts?
    There are thousands of long term tourists, especially students and seniors, but also people who have jobs. Europeans have much more holidays per year (Germans have 6 weeks or more). My parents have spent almost all winters somewhere in the south of Europe or Northern Africa or Turkey, with stays of 6 to 8 weeks in one place.There are special offers in off season for long term tourists to fill hotels and have people emplyed. With Northern Africa's and Middle East unrests many Europeans are looking for new, safe destinations. Even if they stay at family or do house sitting they will leave lots of money on the island. The process to extend the initial 3 weeks granted is just unpleasant, sitting with a number in your hand for quite a while, then being told you have to wait for an immigration officer, another wait, then with a sponsor explain why you want to stay longer, where you are staying, and all of that. Not to speak about the uncertainty whether you have to change your plans and tickets (fees). Couldn't that be done before or at least on arrival at the airport? If someone has a return ticket and can explain why he/she wants to saty a bit longer, that should be fine. Tickets to Bermuda are expensive, so you want something for your money. You might want to spoend some quality time with grant children, or write a book. Just make sure you let them know that they cannot work and will immidiatly expatriated if they do and get caught.

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    • Have some sense says:

      Excellent point! Air visitors could do the very same thing by way of documented assurances they won't seek employment while in Bermuda.

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  5. joe says:

    One small step for Bermuda, one giant leap in attitude change.

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  6. Big Ears says:

    Certainly a big step forward for the yachting community. If their boats can stay in our waters for 90 days, certainly the owners/skippers/crew should be given the same consideration. I am however a bit sad to see that government saw fit to charge them $250 for the privilege. For the number of boats visiting for 90 days, this is a pittance for government and a slap in the face for the owner who will already potentially be paying mooring fees, spending money in our shops and restaurants and using our services while in port.

    If the boat can stay for free, why can't the owner / skipper do the same? Saying that, do we charge air visitors who get extensions to their visitors visas the same amount?

    Great news though.

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