Bermuda Immigration & Protection Amendment

March 9, 2016

Following the Government’s announcement about proposed immigration reform last month the topic has been widely discussed, and a copy of the legislation — the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2016 — is now available online.

The Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum says, “This Bill would amend the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 to provide pathways to permanent residence and Bermudian status through long-term residence in Bermuda. It would also provide for the acquisition of Bermudian status by adoption in certain circumstances.”

On the topic of adoption, the Bill says, “Clause 5 inserts section 18AA [acquisition of Bermudian status by adoption]. Currently, under section 16[2], every child adopted [in a manner recognized by Bermudian law] by a person who has Bermudian status is “deemed” to possess Bermudian status.

“But, in order to acquire [actual] Bermudian status, that person must, after he reaches the age of 18, but before reaching 22, apply under section 20 to be granted Bermudian status. Section 18AA provides for automatic [actual] Bermudian status to be acquired in certain circumstances by a child who is legally adopted by a person with Bermudian status while the child is under the age of 12 years on the date of his adoption.”

On the topic of granting status the Bill says, “Clause 10 inserts section 20BA [right of certain long-term residents to Bermudian status]. Subsection [1] provides that a person may apply to the Minister under this section for the grant of Bermudian status if: [a] he is a Commonwealth citizen; [b] he has been ordinarily resident in Bermuda for the period of 20 years immediately preceding his application; and [c] he is a permanent resident.”

The Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2016, as tabled, is below [PDF here]:

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Comments (29)

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  1. Anon says:

    When will this all be passed please so that we can just get on with life and so that the madness and ignorance can stop?

    • Nanny Pat says:

      On serious note, can someone explain what the next steps are? Does this go to a vote? Does the govt just pass it themselves after review? I may have missed this somewhere. Does anyone have a clear answer?
      Thank you.

      • Matthew Sousa says:

        I believe the have to debate it when they put it on the table.

  2. Jus' Askin' says:

    My issue is the FACT that a Person can be here for 15-20 Years and A Bermudian has Not been able to fill that Position in ALL that TIME :-(

    So if I:-
    live in an apartment for 15-20 years, should my name be put on the deeds?
    work for a company for 15-20 years, should I be a part owner?

    And Yet people say BERMUDIANS have an ENTITLEMENT Problem ;-)

    • Ok says:

      Ok….

      Fact – In 10 years over 65% of Bermudian workforce will be over 65 ( retirement age)

      so unless you believe in child labor…you won’t have enough young adults to fill up the jobs….

      Not to mention all the young adults that have moved to England, and all the unqualified ones here….

      Who’s going to be left to work? These people hate foreigners but….Your TWO MAIN sources of income are directly sourced from “foreigners”….re insurance….and Tourism. And how do tourist get here….planes, boats all which are owned by foreigners. Your tv is American, clothes, foods are from ” foreigners”…Even goslings has part of its black rum done in the US….Gas is from foreigners, your education system was made by foregners…Jamaicans are foreigners right? Well you use their language, listen to reggae and dancehall….most Bermuda musician are reggae artists…even Trinidad has its OWN music style and is actually in the Carribean .look at Collie Budz? Why does he sing in a Jamaican voice? But do you see Jamaica outraged? No. Because Bermuda is PART OF THE WORLD. There’s no factories or production and like I said your main export (goslings) is partly finished in the US. Could Bermuda survive without foreigners. Lol the irony is, you have a Governer….who is also a foreigner. On you money is the Queen….I mean this outrage at foreigner is a joke. Someone posted stats that when all the expats left, you economy dropped. Sigh. I guess ignorance is bliss.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        0-14 years: 17.5% (male 6,165/female 6,031) 2014

        There are thousands of 8 year old Bermudians who will be of working age in ten years. Your argument holds no water.

        All the young adults that have moved to England moved because of the issues they faced in Bermuda. Issues OBA promised to fix and stop passing the buck because I am not a PLP supporter and never have been. I’m a vexed Bermudian who was lied to by people who’s main platform was for a positive change in Bermuda. Nothing has changed and to manipulate the the percentage of unemployment going down by not giving reference to those who left making the percentage go done and not because more Bermudians were given jobs is a bias lie.

        • Ok says:

          Those same ten year olds have to get educations right? where? In Bermuda? My whole point was that Bermuda relies on the world, not the other way round. You guys mostly help the rich 1% save money on taxes…but yet can’t understand why you need foreigners….let me see…for everything…

          And your math is off….if I said 65 percent of the working force will be retirement age…even if all the youth you are referring to made up 35%….that still wouldn’t be enough. Also organizations usually don’t just hire some just on being 18….you need experience and the qualification.

        • Ok says:

          O and you also said a lot of Bermudians moved to England for a better life because f the situation here right? Lol…But when it’s the other way around its not ok. Ok mate

        • Its me again says:

          Thank you oniom

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        I have No Issues with Foreigners ;-)

      • Rubber Bong says:

        I think this is part or the disconnect between the supporters and the non-supporters.

        From the non-supporters that I speak to, they DON’T hate foreigners or all things foreign but are agains the idea that people that for the most part never intended to come here for good, now feel they are entailed to stay after finding that Bermuda is (for the most part) the land of milk and honey. I also hear they (educated,uneducated,black and white) fear being displaced in an already tough and extremely difficult housing market.

        From the supporters i hear “they hate us and want us all to leave”

        those are two very different messages…

        I think its also important to understand some of the mistrust with some of those in the black community towards this policy when its been acknowledged that manipulation of the demographics of the population was used to secure general election victories in the past.

        what’s interesting to note is that the deciding factor in the last general election was the black swing vote. If the government feels that the momentum may be swinging the other way (whether real or perceived) then it would seem to may sense to allow people that they think will vote for them to vote. If you’ve have taken note, the Portuguese and British community stand to benefit the most and they traditionally tend not to vote PLP. So I at least can appreciate why they may feel that the deck is being intentionally stacked.

        Also to you comment about the economy dropping because the expats left… they didn’t just leave on their own accord and thus tanked the economy. They left because the WORLD economy tanked and THEN they were forced to leave. IB consolidated, outsourced where possible, merged and cut as much fat as possible, streamlined or anything else you want to call it. So they did what brought them here in the first place…followed the money, which clearly wasn’t here anymore. Then with less demand for limited housing, rent and sale prices decreased from the super inflated prices we were paying. Remember people paying $2000 for a studio apartment? That was a result of there being more demand than supply, not because the apartment was actually worth $2000. So to say the economy dropped, it did but not because all the expats got tired of making more money than they’ve ever seen or because they got tired of the sunny weather and decided to leave. They had no choice but to leave because A) they didn’t have a job or B) they could no longer afford to live here…just like everyone else

        • Ok says:

          I never said they were forced to leave…my point was when they did you economy dropped from a big chunk of rent etc in your middle and upper class, the carsand bike they buy, the gas and food they use…furniture, electronics blah blah blah,,,,thus effecting the whole Bermuda. Other countries may be in debt too, but they have industry. There is none here….so you need people to invest in Bermuda. That’s what this reform is about…you know you guys (PLP) turned away Oprah and Richard Branson? Imagine how much Oprah would have invested in Bermuda…but f her right….she just wants to be in the land of milk and honey right? Come on get real…change must come

        • Ok says:

          O and you have good points….forgot to mention

      • Silver says:

        Government, the banks and some companies have been offering “early retirement” so that all of this immigration reform can be sped up. There are more people out of jobs that are actually able to work still.

        Viable people have moved to England, those with degrees who could not get passed the FINGERPRINT ADS, those and those young 55 year olds, lest not forget those that are not tertiary educated that wouldn’t have a hope in hell, yes this is what helped to decrease the population.

        All a part of the plan.

    • Franklin Jr says:

      how many Bermudian actuaries are there?

      How many work here

      • Ok says:

        You don’t seem to get that the whole reinsurance is from THERE…regardless of how many work here or there…if they leave you have nothing….then Bermudians in reinsurance would have to go away…because there wouldn’t be any work here. Thus why you are called a tax haven. You see the Camen Island dealt with this same immigration reform in 2001… Because they see, you can’t complain about foreigners, if Its the Foreign company that’s feeding you…

  3. GTA says:

    Well done OBA, Bermuda welcome to the 21st century!

  4. What went wrong says:

    The OBA have no political legitimacy to enact this bill.

    “The concept of a government having a legitimate mandate to govern via the fair winning of a democratic election is a central idea of representative democracy. New governments who attempt to introduce policies that they did not make public during an election campaign are said to not have a legitimate mandate to implement such policies.”

    If the OBA feel that this is supported by the majority of Bermudians, they are obligated to call an election and get a mandate for this major change.

    Simple, get a mandate and move forward.

    • smh says:

      Plllllease….they have every right to put this through AND it’s supported by the majority. Just because you don’t support doesn’t make it right.

    • Bullseye says:

      I get it. No new ideas for five years at a time. Re-elections every time something develops. Great idea. What could go wrong?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Current popular support for this of more than 2.5:1 says they have a mandate to conduct these reforms. Just because the opposition thinks nothing should be done without their consent, does not make it so. If we governed as the opposition says we should, then nothing would be done… and fra lky I don’t even believe they believe we should be governed that way as they have never demonstrated any interest to, and it is entirely disingenuous for them to lip service the word biparitsan now.

    • Unbelievable says:

      @What went wrong…..where were you when the PLP put forward similar legislation 12 years ago? Huh?

      Does everything that a Govt has to do have to come in an election platform? No it doesn’t. Get real.

    • Onion says:

      You sound word for word like the Republican party on Obama nominating a Supreme Court Justice.

      Just so we’re clear, you’re a conservative Republican.

  5. Believe says:

    “are said” – By whom ?

  6. Lucky 7 says:

    I just want to say this:

    I really believe in a government that speaks with the country before makes such decisions like this one , I am not against this but people should have a say as well . To me I am 100 per cent forward with PRC getting status and especially they chrildren who are born here but creating new PRC I think is a little to much . This is not Europe this is Bermuda a beautifully island not a country .

  7. Question says:

    Any legal types who can explain what all this exactly means?

    From what I understand so far if you been here 15 years you may apply for a PRC (any idea of what the fee will be?). If you have been here 20 you may apply for status. (is the fee the $2,500 mentioned in the bill?)

    How does being a “commonwealth” citizen play into all of this as is mentioned in the bill? If you are not a commonwealth citizen does that mean regardless how long you been here you still cant get a PRC or status?

  8. mmm says:

    Do you think there would be difficulty among the work permit holders if they continue to have their permits renewed? I think the Immigration can sa y how many renewed work permits were issued in each job category, there may be 40 or 50 categories. Let,s educate the general public on the facts, year by year since 1990. If Bermudians know up front which categories are in ser ious need, they can consider that particular area and under-go training. An appeal can also be made by the Ministries of Education and Labour and Train ing every so often. Funny, when it was felt there were too many trucks, and too many taxis(es) on the road, they put a stop to future and pending appli cantions. T.C.D went around looking to see if taxis were on the road 16 hours a day. And if you were not, you had to appear before the Public Service Vehicle Licensing Board and to the complaint. I don,t know what they do about work permits, now and then a person appears in Court for being an illegal immigrant and wor king with-out a permit. A fine is imposed and the person deported, and it s usually a blue collar worker, i.e. construction or farmer.

  9. Silver says:

    Well said. The longer they stay, the better their FINGERPRINT ADS will be. “Must have 15 years experience, blah, blah,blah……sorry etc. etc etc etc etc etc etc