Minister: Definition Of “Sponsored Dependant”

March 23, 2015

The implementation of the new Work Permit Policies saw the inclusion of a definition for a “sponsored dependant”, Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said, with a “sponsored dependent” being defined as a spouse of a PRC holder or work permit holder; a partner of a Bermudian, PRC holder or work permit holder and child[ren] of a PRC holder or work permit holder.

Minister Fahy said, “Sponsored dependants, upon application, may be issued an entry/re-entry permit which will allow them to seek employment unless otherwise stated on the entry/re-entry document. Note, sponsored dependant children will only be given permission to reside, not seek employment.”

“The definition of a sponsored dependant was a significant update to the Work Permit Policies, particularly, after the extensive consultation process employed for approximately 4 months, ending at December 31, 2014.

“Of significance is the second definition which includes a ‘partner.’ This definition gave rise to the requirement to assist the Department of Immigration in determining whether the partner of a Bermudian, PRC holder or work permit holder is in a relationship that is genuine and subsisting.

“The guidelines, under title ‘Department of Immigration Instructions in Respect of a Partner,’which were introduced at March 1, 2015, somewhat mirror the procedures employed by the UK and are available on the Department of Immigration’s website at www.immigration.gov.bm.

“Commensurate with the definition of a sponsored dependant, the guidelines further identify that a partner means ‘a person who has been living with a Bermudian, PRC holder or work permit holder in a relationship akin to a marriage for at least two years prior to the date of application.”

The Minister’s full statement in the Senate follows below:

Madam President, the implementation of the new Work Permit Policies 2015 saw the inclusion of a definition for a “sponsored dependant”.

Policy 5, defines a sponsored dependant as:

  1. a spouse of a PRC holder or work permit holder [married in accordance with Bermuda law];
  2. a partner of a Bermudian, PRC holder or work permit holder
  3. a child[ren] of a PRC holder or work permit holder

Madam President, as you are aware, sponsored dependants, upon application, may be issued an entry/re-entry permit which will allow them to seek employment unless otherwise stated on the entry/re-entry document. Note, sponsored dependant children will only be given permission to reside, not seek employment.

Madam President, the definition of a sponsored dependant was a significant update to the Work Permit Policies, particularly, after the extensive consultation process employed for approximately four [4] months, ending at December 31, 2014. Of significance is the second definition which includes a “partner”. This definition gave rise to the requirement to assist the Department of Immigration in determining whether the partner of a Bermudian, PRC holder or work permit holder is in a relationship that is genuine and subsisting.

The guidelines, under title “Department of Immigration Instructions in Respect of a Partner,” which were introduced at March 1, 2015, somewhat mirror the procedures employed by the UK and are available on the Department of Immigration’s website at www.immigration.gov.bm. Commensurate with the definition of a sponsored dependant, the guidelines further identify that a partner means “a person who has been living with a Bermudian, PRC holder or work permit holder in a relationship akin to a marriage for at least two [2] years prior to the date of application.”

Madam President, while I will not communicate every detail of the guidelines, I will share some of the salient points, detailed in two categories, namely; 1] factors which may be associated with a genuine and subsisting relationship and 2] factors which may be associated with a relationship which is not genuine and subsisting.

First, factors which may be associated with a genuine and subsisting relationship:

  1. The partners are in a current, long-term relationship and are able to provide satisfactory evidence of this by way of affidavits from both partners explaining the relationship. This must include details of living arrangements and other such pertinent details.
  2. The partners are co-habiting and are able to provide satisfactory evidence of this e.g. a joint mortgage/tenancy agreement, a joint bank account and/or joint savings, utility bills in both their names.
  3. The partners have children together [biological, adopted or stepchildren] and shared responsibility for them.
  4. The partners share financial responsibilities [such as information per [2] above].

Now moving on to factors which may be associated with a relationship which is not genuine and subsisting:

  1. One or both partners makes a public statement that their relationship is a sham. An application can be refused on the basis of such a public statement alone.
  2. One or both partners makes a public statement [not in confidence] that they have been forced into a relationship. An application can be refused on the basis of such a public statement alone.
  3. One or both partners does not appear to have the capacity to consent to the relationship, e.g. owing to learning difficulties, and independent evidence, e.g. from a social services assessment.

The above lists are not exhaustive and should not be considered as a checklist. As previously mentioned, the full scope of the guidelines is on Immigration’s website and the general public is encouraged to review the document in its entirety.

Madam President, the determination of whether a relationship is genuine and subsisting will be considered upon application for an entry/re-entry. The Department of Immigration will consider the objective factors set out above and the outcome of its initial assessment may prompt additional scrutiny to identify and evidence a non-genuine, non-subsisting relationship, or may result in an outright refusal.

Madam President, if the Immigration Board or Minister responsible for Immigration determines that the relationship of the partners is genuine and subsisting, an entry/re-entry permit shall be granted for a period of five [5] years in respect of a partner of a Bermudian or PRC holder. Upon expiry of the entry/re-entry permit, the partner of the Bermudian or PRC holder will be required to re-apply for a new entry/re-entry permit in the normal manner. If there is a change in the status of the relationship the partners must immediately notify the Department of Immigration in writing.

Madam President, in the case of a partner of a work permit holder, the entry/re-entry permit shall be granted for the duration of the work permit holder’s work permit. Upon application of a new work permit, the sponsored partner must apply for an entry/re-entry permit in the normal manner. If there is a change in the status of the relationship the partners must immediately notify the Department of Immigration in writing.

Madam President, the approach to this important matter has been well thought through and is deemed fair. Applicants who have questions/concerns should contact the Department of Immigration either via telephone or email. The team is equipped to respond to inquiries relating to the process.

Thank you, Madam President.

-

The “Department of Immigration Instructions in Respect of a Partner” follow below [PDF]

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Comments (29)

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  1. campervan says:

    Thanks you Mike Fahy, another belated step towards the light and modernity for Bermuda.
    Q an incoming barrage of faux outrage with played-out Adam and Steve jibes.

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Now sort out why it takes so much documentation to get status for a spouse of a Bermudian who has been married for 10+ years. It should just take a marriage certificate which should already be on file with the Government and a local Police check. End of rant.

  3. Mockingjay says:

    Bye bye Bermuda

    • cmbbda says:

      bye bye to you, you bigot.

    • Starting Point says:

      Well this is great news, you are leaving. May I be the first to say thanks for your contribution to the online debates here and hope you find a place where your prejudicial nature and negative personality are more suited. You might try North Korea or places where ISIS is on the move.

    • jt says:

      Is Kunta going with you?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      The ‘bye bye Bermuda ‘ actually started on Nov 9th 1998

  4. bluebird says:

    SO WE HAVE an older population that is decreasing by the day,we have an ecconimy in decline,we have a huge debt which we cannot pay for because we are still borrowing 100′s of millions of dollars each year to pay for a huge Goverment and huge civil servants Pensions that we cannot afford.
    And because of all the regulations nobody is dying or breaking in to get here.No the type to generate revenue that we so baddly need.
    We will be Forced to make some serious cuts in the future.
    enjoy while you can

    • Sickofantz says:

      An Older population which is decreasing by the day?

      Please define this comment?

  5. YOSH says:

    Good luck to my fellow Bermudians. Step up your tactic in improving yourself because still we rise! We are no longer free labor, servants, nor do we settle for cheap labor and we surely would not be considered below “second” class citizens of our this country we consider home. The criteria for career/ job placement in Bermud’a market just got harder. The consequences of the election of 2012. Only those with an animalistic brain try to do what ever it takes to support and maintain their selfish intentions with no thought of the whole in mind. It’s no surprise to me, as history has shown that one single race of people have set out to divide almost every continent on this earth for their own material gains. They try to make us believe that’s it “human” nature, the humane thing to do, however I am not blind to it. There is nothing new on the face of this earth, so dwell not on the negative, seek the light. Respice Finem.

    • hmmm says:

      There is one party on this island that is divisive (PLP) and another that is all inclusive(OBA).

      What is job placement ? Sounds like a communist ideal…

      People work, study, work, study, work study and earn their positions…they are not placements !!!

      • YOSH says:

        @ hmmm:
        I am sorry if you misinterpreted my comment in regards to career/ job placement. I am fully aware the people have to work and study hard in this age in order to obtain the career / job goals they wish to fulfill. I will rephrase in hope you understand the intentions of my statement, “Due the changes in legislation the criteria for successfully obtaining your career goals or finding a job here at home in Bermuda just got unnecessarily more competitive and difficult in the already current rising unemployment rate.” Please don’t bore me with comparing the PLP and OBA because both of them have a lot of room for improvement.

        • Sickofantz says:

          Remember Yosh. If a Bermudian applies and CAN DO the job and is equally experienced and Educated THEY Get the job. So the work permit policy still puts Bermudians FIRST!

        • Dees says:

          Yosh, yosh , yosh… Please… help me understand your thought process here -Please!
          Which changes in legislation are you referring to that have now made it difficult for you?
          Please elaborate.

    • Rock Paper Scissors says:

      Soon the only thing call Bermuda will be the island. Bermudians will either move to another country,die out like the dinosaur or be replace by foreigners. The same ones who run away from their country and come here and bit#h and moan. Thank you oba.ubp for caring about the voters.

  6. Dees says:

    Hey Mockingtroll, give us an example of why you think “sponsored dependent” spells bye bye Bermuda to you?

  7. You're right says:

    You’re right. It would be much better if them there furriners never came here in the first place. But if we can’t have that they should leave because their significant others aren’t allowed to work. The fact that they’ll take their jobs with them (along with a bunch of other jobs currently filled by Bermudians) is a minor detail.

    • Impressive says:

      come again?? Don’t understand the point you are making or if its sarcasm..

  8. theothersidebermuda says:

    So co-habitation is a requirement for partnership? What if co-habitation prior to marriage is against your religious or moral beliefs?

    • Sickofantz says:

      Then you need to grow up and welcome a society where we are TOLERANT of each other (It’s the way to be a CHRISTIAN).

      • theothersidebermuda says:

        So having religious beliefs is not being grown up? That makes sense. And by the way I didn’t say anything about Christianity (other faiths have similar beliefs). But while you are so grown up and tolerant, how come you can’t respect people’s beliefs that differ from your ‘mature’ thought? Sounds a bit intolerant. Not saying people can’t live together or do what they want…just asking the question of what if you don’t believe in such a thing for yourself…are you then precluded from the defintion? Seemingly so..but your ‘mature’ view of the world just jumped to conclusions. Nice job.

    • Onion says:

      Then get married.

    • serengeti says:

      If they are married they have to co-habit. So if there is a married couple and they have split up and live apart, the other partner will not be a sponsored dependant.

  9. average bermudian says:

    Most writers on this thread appear to all be happily and secured in their respective workplace.
    I, like many others in our homeland, BERMUDA, are unemployed and qualified.

    And you think it is a joke with your negative comments concerning these types of immigration changes.

    • Barracuda says:

      Your name says it all . Try to be above average , you can do it !

      • Never Never says:

        Stupid comment no compassion no surprise SMH

    • jt says:

      This policy has no negative effect on your employment prospects.

  10. Charlly X says:

    Smh !! So How does this policy benefit the unemployment crisis in Bermuda ?????? I agree on PRC rights being made better. But work permit holders partners ? Married spose is sticky as well . How about the Sham job descriptions that require a robot ? Modern Day Slavers !! How much would you pay people to leave the island ? Give up their Birthright and all claims to Bermuda ??