Minister Outlines Immigration Amendment Act

March 21, 2015

Minister of Home Affairs, Sen. Michael Fahy today [Mar 21] provided clarification regarding the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act Amendment Bill to be debated on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in the Senate.

Outlining the intent of the Bill, Minister Fahy noted:

  • ‎1. The bill will lower the minimum Annual Rental Value [ARV] from $177k to $153k for house purchases for non Bermudians and non PRC holders. The lower level was put in place by the former Government, before being raised in June 2012. The Bill will also allow non Bermudians and non PRC holders to purchase condos with a minimum ARV of $32,400 or higher. The total number of properties they can purchase, whether residential unit or condo, will be capped at two.
  • 2. The bill will permit PRC holders to p‎urchase homes or condos of any ARV. The total number of properties they can purchase will also be capped at two, and PRC holders will still be liable to pay the land-holding charge for a licence. This is currently set at 4% of the total value of the land and property purchased, and it will rise to 6% on 30 September 2015. PRC holders cannot purchase in developments where there has been Government assistance.
  • 3. ‎The bill will lift the current restrictions on time periods that buyers of fractionals and other tourist accommodation can stay in those units in any one calendar year, but they will still be subject to immigration control in that they will be required to seek residential certificates from the Department of Immigration.
  • 4. The bill will allow the Minister to ‎extend time for estate representatives to deal with probate matters under exceptional circumstances.
  • 5. The bill will remove parish restrictions on acreage ‎held by non Bermudians but will keep the cap island wide of 2500 acres. The level was raised to 2,500 from 2,000 by the former Progressive Labour Party Government. PRC purchases will remain in the acreage count.

Minister Fahy said, “There are other minor and technical provisions. However, it is important to note that these initiatives will encourage hotel development and boost the property market by liberalizing restrictions in that market.

“This is part of the current Government’s efforts to repair our economy and to help create jobs for Bermudians. Whilst some in the community will try and spin this bill into something negative, this is a positive move for economic growth. The important point here is that the overall acreage of land in Bermuda that may be held by non Bermudians will remain at 2500.

“I am sure we will have a robust debate in the Senate on Wednesday but it is imperative that the facts are given due regard without resorting to language that is designed to deliberately confuse and cause unnecessary alarm. The Ministry and the Government remain committed to boosting the economy, of which this is a part.”

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Comments (20)

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  1. Rasta says:

    On the money, Minister Fahy,good work!

    • Ja says:

      You wish you was a real rasta.

      • lucky 7 says:

        @Ja—if YOU were a rasta, you’d know that it’s “Jah”, not Ja……

        • Cliff says:

          Ja could be his birth name…

          • Facts over Political hats!! says:

            Not a good move….giving more land to non Bermudians. Makes it difficult for born Bermudians to own property. ..sad move for Bermuda really.

            Oba giving away Bermuda…Fahy is selling us cheap

            • campervan says:

              No body is “Giving” anything away. Bermudians will be getting cold hard cash, something they are remarkably short of.
              These people aren’t foreigners either, they are permanent residents.

            • jt says:

              You clearly don’t understand this.

            • It's about time! says:

              Finally…the Bettys speak! You are so full of crap it isn’t even funny…

              Where does it say that they are giving land away to NON Bermudians? this statement is utter B*ll S**t! No one is GIVING away anything…they are not NON Bermudians…what do you think constitutes a BORN Bermudian?? Although someone may be born in Bermuda their lineage will most certainly trace back to a NON Bermudian…so stop the B*ll S**t!!

              In what way does it make it more difficult for “born Bermudians” to own property?? Every single person that your comment encompasses is FULLY entitled to purchase the very same properties that are for sale island wide…and it is the same “born Bermudian,” as you put it, that will benefit most from the sale of the property as they are most likely the land owner.

              Your entire premise is built on outright lies and false innuendo’s…you have never had a single useful or positive comment towards ANYTHING that has to do with the OBA while at the same time you have NEVER accepted an ounce of accountability when it comes to your beloved PLP. By your incessant “fear mongering” you have made yourself irrelevant.

              REALLY….

            • Ringmaster says:

              You clearly didn’t read # 5. The PLP increased the land available to non Bermudians by 25%, from 2,000 acres to 2,500 acres. So who is giving away Bermuda?
              Facts are inconvenient aren’t they, when they show you are posting a lie.

            • what man says:

              I’m PRC and born and raised in Bermuda… so I’m not allowed to buy a house for a reasonable price in my own country? Not all PRC’s are from other countries… you realize that right? ps. Where was your family originally from… Bermudians all came from somewhere else once upon a time.

            • (Do take note of number 5)

              5. The bill will remove parish restrictions on acreage ‎held by non Bermudians but will keep the cap island wide of 2500 acres. The level was raised to 2,500 from 2,000 by the former Progressive Labour Party Government. PRC purchases will remain in the acreage count.

              That’s your answer/s

            • Read the 5th.(below)”Outlining the intent of the Bill, Minister Fahy noted”

              “5. The bill will remove parish restrictions on acreage ‎held by non Bermudians but will keep the cap island wide of 2500 acres. The level was raised to 2,500 from 2,000 by the former Progressive Labour Party Government. PRC purchases will remain in the acreage count.”
              Now you and others know…

  2. Basil says:

    Excellent news !

  3. Bermuda123 says:

    Well done

  4. Jr Smith says:

    so I guess the housing market is going to be on the up soon…. lets see….

  5. Dangel says:

    Is it really? How many homes or condo units will be purchased by PRC holders for values that Bermudians who want to be homeowners can afford?

    • Skink says:

      It will probably be first come first serve.

      Bermudians and PRC holders on average make the same wage… so the cost of living is the same… Its Bermuda, I would say that 95% of PRC holders are here to stay or at least their children are… So you might as well say theyre Bermudian.

      If a Bermudian and PRC holder are after the same residence then I guess it will be a game of who has the most money… so you better start saving your shingles.

  6. sage says:

    ARV’s need to be adjusted downwards to reflect the fact we are in a depression, nearly 8 years now, but that would make more properties unavailable to non-Bermudians and tax income would drop. Land tax is due every 6 months, why does it take from 08′ to think about lowering ARV’s the same %’age property values have dropped?

    • Mike says:

      I don’ think ARVs will be lowered. Government needs the revenue. If anything I think they will be adjusted upwards.

  7. Terry says:

    Simple.
    Charge more on customs duty.

    Shop local and open your garden.