New Work Permit Policy For FinTech Companies

May 4, 2018 | 13 Comments

There will be a new Immigration policy for fintech companies setting up businesses in Bermuda, Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said, with the policy to allow a “fintech company that is new to Bermuda to receive immediate approval of five work permits within the first six months of obtaining the first Fintech Business Work Permit.”

Speaking in in the House of Assembly today [May 4], Minister Brown said following the House’s approval of Initial Coin Offerings [ICOs] legislation and the expectation to pass legislation on digital assets soon, he is announcing a “new Immigration policy for fintech companies desirous of setting up businesses in Bermuda.”

The Minister said the “Fintech Business Work Permit Policy, which almost mirrors Immigration’s New Business Work Permit policy, allows a fintech company that is new to Bermuda to receive immediate approval of five work permits within the first six months of obtaining the first Fintech Business Work Permit.

“Jobs which are deemed to be closed or restricted positions, such as a front office receptionist, or which are entry level, graduate or trainee positions, cannot be applied for as a Fintech Business Work Permit.

“For a Fintech Business to be Eligible for automatic approvals under this policy they must also present plans for the hiring, training, and development of Bermudians in entry level or trainee positions.

“The Government is entering this industry not only to encourage investment in Bermuda’s economy but an investment in creating jobs for Bermudians,” Minister Brown said, adding that through the Department of Workforce Development and Bermuda College they will be offering various courses to enable Bermudians to achieve certificates in various Block Chain Technology areas as “providing opportunities for Bermudian to take advantage of these exiting new technologies is of paramount importance to us.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, further to the approval in this House on Friday, April 27, 2018, of legislation to regulate Initial Coin Offerings [ICOs] and the expectation to pass legislation respecting digital assets to be tabled soon, I stand today to announce a new Immigration policy for fintech companies desirous of setting up businesses in Bermuda. The policy which is titled the “Fintech Business Work Permit Policy,” is aided by an application form under the same name. Key aspects of the policy are as follows.

Mr. Speaker, the Fintech Business Work Permit Policy, which almost mirrors Immigration’s New Business Work Permit policy, allows a fintech company that is new to Bermuda to receive immediate approval of five [5] work permits within the first six months of obtaining the first Fintech Business Work Permit.

Jobs which are deemed to be closed or restricted positions, such as a front office receptionist, or which are entry level, graduate or trainee positions, cannot be applied for as a Fintech Business Work Permit.

For a Fintech Business to be Eligible for automatic approvals under this policy they must also present plans for the hiring, training, and development of Bermudians in entry level or trainee positions.

Mr. Speaker, a Fintech Business Work Permit may be issued for at least 1 year but not more than 5 years. To qualify for a Fintech Business Work Permit, employers must provide a certificate of incorporation for the new fintech company.

Where the first day of operation is not the same as the date of incorporation, employers must state the date the company expects to commence operating in Bermuda.

Mr. Speaker, once the initial term of the Fintech Business Work Permit expires, and if an employer wishes for the employee to remain in Bermuda, the position must first be advertised and if no suitably qualified Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians or Permanent Resident Certificate holders apply for the position, an application for a Standard Work Permit must be completed and submitted to the Department of Immigration. A decision on the application will be rendered in accordance with the normal processing timelines published by the Department of Immigration.

Mr. Speaker, the Government is entering this industry not only to encourage investment in Bermuda’s economy but an investment in creating jobs for Bermudians.

This strategy has already borne fruit. Honourable Members will be aware that the Premier signed a memorandum of understanding last week with Medici Ventures, a subsidiary of Overstock.com. Medici Ventures have promised at least 30 jobs in Bermuda over the next three years.

To borrow a quote from the Honourable Premier: We look forward to working with Medici to ensure that the commitments made in this MOU are realized. Bermuda is at the forefront of the fintech industry creating an environment in which Bermudian businesses can thrive, opportunities for Bermudians can be created and in which capable, qualified Bermudians can benefit from opportunities to train, work and succeed at every level.

Mr. Speaker, through the Department of Workforce Development and the Bermuda College, we will be offering various courses, both via Online and On Campus Presentations to enable Bermudians to achieve certificates in various Block Chain Technology areas. The intent is to offer educational offerings that range from basic understanding of Block Chain Technology to more advance programming certifications.

In 2 weeks, we will host a global training company in Bermuda to discuss the potential to set up training facilities here in Bermuda as well as the various courses that can be in place to benefit Bermuda from as early as high-school aged to those who may be looking to jump start a new career path.

Providing opportunities for Bermudian to take advantage of these exiting new technologies is of paramount importance to us.

Mr. Speaker, the new policy and application form will be accessible in due course. For questions and/or concerns about the application process, employers may contact their respective industry/customer services representative at the Department of Immigration.

Mr. Speaker, thank you.

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Comments (13)

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  1. nerema says:

    They’re opening the floodgates. Let’s all blockade Parliament.

    When is Brown going to be doing a series of Town Hall meetings to explain all this? Or is he too arrogant to talk to the electorate about it?

    Still not one single Bermudian job created by this government. It’s like I’m a second-class person in my own country.

    • Rada Gast says:

      Parliament will not be blockaded because the People’s Campaign will be told by the PLP that this is good for the country. They will stay at home.

    • SMH says:

      “. It’s like I’m a second-class person in my own country.”

      Sort of like being gay in Bermuda.

  2. sandgrownan says:

    But are they (the Dept. of Immigration) still being dicks about other work permit applications?

    I applaud this type of move, but really what it talks to is the existing process. It’s designed to protect Bermudians, but is applied arbitrarily at the whim of Immigration officials. It’s too long, laborious and outcomes are inconsistent.

    It needs a complete overhaul and this type of change wouldn’t be required. It needs to say “we’re open for business” and it doesn’t.

  3. Mark says:

    But I thought he wasn’t keen on foreigners?

  4. Wahoo juice says:

    What about de qualified Bermudians?

  5. Ringmaster says:

    Reads like a repeat of Alan Stanford wooing Antigua with promises of riches. They fell for it and he used them. Now look where they are. Why do other locations refuse these companies entry, yet Bermuda welcomes them? They are welcomed because they will help create the regulations – what could possibly go wrong? Watch to see how these companies now become involved in the casino business. 70 jobs created but thousands destroyed.

  6. wondering says:

    What about a new policy altogether. Walton and his sidekick have proven that they just wish to have the authority over immigration. They between them have done nought for immigration in the past 9 months. All that talk from him in opposition and not a damn thing….All u politicians are the same,…..hot air balloons to get elected

  7. Me says:

    Is they had put the same effort into marriage equality as their crypto currency they and he would be better bermudians

  8. Elizabeth says:

    There are still positions that should be restricted out there but are filled by expats, sales person for example.
    And about the marriages, they are still many frauds by people marrying Bermudians for status only.

    • Question says:

      So Bermudians are taking part in sham marriages? Throw them in jail.

  9. Earth watch police says:

    My my wtf I thought there was jobs for Bermudians I guess there’s just crumbs for us as in hustle truck hustlers.

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