March 1st: New Work Permit Policy In Effect

December 31, 2014

The Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy advised that Bermuda’s new Work Permit Policy will come into effect on March 1st 2015.

“As you will recall, this follows a previous announcement by the Minister made in November stating that he had decided to delay the release of the final Policy as there was one category of the Policy that he believed required review. That category was the Bermuda Employment Visa or “BEV”, which has now been abandoned,” the Ministry said.

“There was still some confusion, misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding this category…in spite of the extensive consultation undertaken,” said the Minister. “I had been made aware that some companies were intending to allocate the BEV in a way in which the draft policy had not intended.”

The Ministry said, “The Work Permit Policy was put together based on extensive consultation with industry leaders in collaboration with certain members of the work permit stakeholder group over the period of approximately one year.

“This included meetings with the Labour Advisory Council, the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, The Association of Bermuda International Companies, Bermuda Employers Council, Bermuda Hotel Association, Bermuda Human Resources Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Bermuda Entertainers Union and the Immigration Board as well as numerous individuals who contacted the Minister directly to voice their views both during and outside of the public consultation period this year. Many of the suggestions given during the consultation phase were taken into account and have found their way into the final policy.

The Minister said: “For me, it was about finding the right balance between assisting International Business in getting the best employees they can in a competitive marketplace, while also ensuring that qualified Bermudians are given the opportunities we deserve – a balance which I believe has now been found due to the extensive consultative process.”

The statement from the Ministry added, “Significant policy changes include the introduction of the new Global Entrepreneur Work Permit, which has been created to enable individuals who are planning new start-up companies in Bermuda to apply for work permits. This will enable that person to live in Bermuda while conducting their business planning.

“Other changes include the introduction of the new Business Work Permit. These will allow brand new companies to Bermuda to obtain work permits without advertising during the first six months of their existence. If ten or more permits are required, then information will be asked of the new company regarding their growth strategy and how they intend to employ Bermudians.

“This information will be taken into account when further permits are applied for. The new Business Work Permit is available for new exempted companies and on a limited basis.

“Other policy changes include the requirement for employers to advertise all jobs on the Government Job Board for at least eight consecutive days, and ensure that where an established graduate training programme or an established exchange internship programme exists that Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians, and PRC holders are given equal opportunities to participate in related programmes.

“Businesses may now be asked to participate in initiatives led by the National Training Board to boost the number of Bermudians employed in job categories where there are currently high numbers of work permit holders. Employers who employ more than ten work permit holders may be invited to participate in such initiatives.

“Commensurate with the abovementioned policy changes, it is anticipated that work permit holders will be issued new work permit cards to ease travel and that new application forms will be published in due course.

“Overall, we believe these changes will demonstrate to the local and international community that Bermuda continues to be open for business as we continue to cut down on the red tape which hinders our growth as an international business domicile,” said the Minister. “I believe that the policy changes will make employers even more responsible and cognizant of their responsibilities to the local work force.”

“The revision to Bermuda’s Work Permit Policy was undertaken to keep Bermuda current in an ever-changing, highly competitive world,” added the Ministry,

A 43-page document outlining the Work Permit Policy is available below [PDF here]

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Comments (42)

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  1. Local Music Lover says:

    Again, no mention of the Bermudian Musicians permit change in this press release? Minister – we did not forget what was in the original proposal. Clarify what is your final recommendation, so that if still included, this policy can be defeated once and for all.

    • LiarLiar says:

      Below is the part to which you refer.

      A music work permit can only be issued for 8 months while for all one-off concerts local entertainment MUST feature as part of the show.

      What exactly is so damning about these requirements?


      The initiatives of the Department of Tourism and/or the Tourism Authority and the passage of the Hotel Concession Act 2000 provide the framework for granting incentives for the hiring of local entertainers. Work permits for foreign musicians/entertainers to perform at commercial locations open to the public (clubs, pubs and hotels) may be granted, provided that they are advertised in the normal way.

      The maximum period for a work permit in the entertainment industry will normally be a Seasonal Work Permit of eight (8) months.

      However, where a one-off large, commercial entertainment event open to the public is to be held and foreign musicians/entertainers are to be utilised, qualified Bermudian(s), Spouse(s) of Bermudians and PRC holder(s) musician(s)/entertainer(s) of the same entertainment genre must feature in the entertainment event.

      Failure to feature qualified Bermudian(s), Spouse(s) of Bermudians or PRC holder(s) of the same genre will mean that work permits may not be granted.

  2. Longtail says:

    Time will tell, but the “extensive consultations” are a refreshing step forward compared with the previous government’s penchant for introducing legislation with little or no consultation with stakeholders on the apparent (and all too frequent) premise that ‘it can be fixed later’.
    And a happy new year to all……

  3. Raymond Ray says:

    Thanks for dotting the “I” and crossing the “T”. It’s a pleasure having a competent Govt. / Minister of Home Affairs

    • Mockingjay says:

      The only reason they dotted their i”s and crossed their t’s is because they got pressured from the opposition and the Unions for lack off CONSULTATION.
      Silly rabbit!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Strike fund says:

        Thanks for giving the credit for listening.

        Much better than the “we don’t care what you think” approach.

        • In fairness .... says:

          In fairness the “we don’t care” approach is better than the “we had to deceive you” approach.

    • Impressive says:

      Oh Raymond, have a Happy New Year.. Maybe in 2015 you will commend the government without bringing down the opposition,, it is possible you know.. ;-)

  4. San George says:

    Expats will love living with a crime ridden underclass – full speed ahead.

    • LiarLiar says:

      Can you elaborate as to why you would imply such a thing based on the new policy?

      The Opposition has even noted the improvements within the document with their only real gripe being on the now deleted BEV proposal. And as noted that section has been since removed.

      All I see is greater incentives for companies to set up shop in Bermuda in a highly competitive global market and that is supplemented by the requirements of the companies to advertise new permits the companies must also demonstrate to the Government their jobs not only in the existing media but also on the new Jobs Board created by the Government. Also, to be eligible for these that there are programs in place to train Bermudians and the like.

      All countries, that I have been to at least, offer various levels of work permits as a means to entice new companies and jobs to their shores in a globalized world/economies. And for some silly reason certain individuals believe that little 21 square mile Bermuda should shut up shop and pretend like we are somehow different and immune to the competition and changes in the new globalized economy.

      So if you wouldn’t mind, for my own knowledge, please explain as to why you believe Bermudians will become a ‘crime ridden underclass’ due to the new policy requirements?

      Thanks and happy new year to you.

  5. Upset Parent says:

    San George where are you from? Have you ever heard the saying, “if you have nothing good/beneficial to say, SAY NOTHING at all.

    I assume you live in a PERFECT country, where you have NO crime and especially no “CRIME RIDDEN UNDERCLASS!” If your utopia, is that perfect, then you have no need to come to Bermuda, seek employment and live amount our crime ridden underclass. Let the rest of us get on with our lives, without your negativity.

    • Sickofantz says:

      When I read comments like San George I just wonder if he realises what would happen to Bermuda if all the Expats were sent home?

      • Kangoocar says:

        @Sickofantz, San george, is your typical plp xenophobe, those types are not even capable of understanding what would happen to Bermuda if all the Expats were sent home!!! Case in point, we had 5000 flee or be chased out of here by the plp, which created mass unemployment to mostly the plp supporters, and they still can’t see it??? You can’t fix stupid????

        • @L@ says:


          Can I ask you something? Do you have something against black Bermudians or just the PLP, because if it’s just the PLP both are one and the same.


          Most whites vote ubp oba and most blacks vote plp.

          • Ramika Lambe says:

            I’m sorry but PLP is a political group, not a social representative. Also whites do not out number blacks in this country so if a political party wins its because of a great deal of black voters. Your response is VERY stupid.

            • Tony says:

              “I’m sorry but plp and oba are political groups”

              You better attend one these parties meeting and see for yourself the racial divide.

              • Billy Mays says:

                Racial divide? Really? The OBA is multiracial, like Bermuda. The plp is 99% black. There’s the racial divide.

          • Kangoocar says:

            @, @L@, you certainly can ask!! You may not like the answer though? I, unlike your plp, am for ALL Bermudians !!!! Your statemen, saying the plp and black Bermudians are, one and the same ” is exactly why your plp got thrown out of power!!! This is now 2015, NOT 1915, a lot has changed in the last 100 yrs and you and your plp need to catch up??? The only thing that has held the back population back for the last 16 yrs, has been your very own plp!!! Your plp has done more to harm your very own Black Bermudians, than any other event or entity, period!!! Thankfully unbeknown to your type of thinking, there is enough correct thinking black Bermudians that DONT agree with your thinking, and voted for the OBA, who actually are for ALL Bermudians!!!! So, to answer your question, I AM AGAINST THE plp, because they have done more harm to BDA, than any other event in world history, you just need to take your blinders off to realize it????? Hope this helps you, champ?????

        • Kangoocar says:

          Alaska hall, even works on New Years Eve??? Such a shame that they were not so dilegent when they actually had some power??? The plp when in power prefered to spend their time traveling and when they spent a little time in bermuda, would spend it at Port O Call, funny thing though, I haven’t seen much of them there since Dec 17 th 2012??? I can only assume, without their minister salaries and and OTHER sources of income that only comes from being in a posistion to gain it, they are having a tough time now????
          22 dislikes in 10 mins is laughable!!! Enjoy your special plp tea and brownies you lot!!! Hahahahahaha

        • Axlerod says:

          How could 5,000 expats flee Bermuda when the highest population the country has ever recorded was circa 67k???? Stop making up facts. The highest number of work permits was 11k! If 5,000 people left we would be down to 6k…we are not!! Stop making up stuff to suit your own bias against the PLP and Black Bermudians. Instead of making up stuff just admit that you are a racist who is afraid of blacks and hates even the thought of Bermuda having a government elected to power solely by blacks! Scaredy cat!

          So-called “International Business” got more immigration benefits under PLP government than existed under UBP ….OBA is really just continuing those policies. A 10 year permit beats a 7 year deal every time!!

          • Creamy says:

            In 2008 the respop was 67,900.

            In 2013 it was 61,954.

            So 5,000 + people left the island. (In fact, by those numbers, it was 6,000 people).

            The truth and the facts have an anti-PLP bias.

  6. Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

    I skimmed the 43 page PDF. I am not opposed to the majority of it. The only thing that in my opinion may be inequitable is that there seems to be a plethora of ways to waiver advertising jobs and ministerial waivers. Are these the wrong approach, I’m not really sure but in my capacity as a Bermuda BOTC, well I plain don’t like it. My opinion of course. Waiving “new business permits”, in my opinion are ok to quickly “set up shop”, so I think that’s a necessary evil. Overall, I think this is a positive step. But, as with everything new, we shall see.

  7. bluebird says:

    We have about 10,000 work permits issued in Bermuda.

    • Swizzle says:

      Working in the records room or basement waiting for the never ending promotion.

    • Axlerod says:

      How could we have 10k works permits if 5k “expats” (and several thousand Bermudians born after 1960) have left the island. Apologists still in denial and afraid!

      • Creamy says:

        Because you’re the one who can’t read simple numbers.

  8. Kathy says:

    EDUCATION! EDUCATION!!! EDUCATION, Bermudians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It will get you EVERYWHERE you want to go!!

    • Nancy says:

      It’s easy to say education education , but how does the average family save enough to send their kids away for a 4 year plus degree ??? So just how do we make this happen, we are having a hard time employing the parents of the kids that need education funds. Is education only for those that make big dollars ? Bread is 6.95 a loaf, university is 30 thousand a year . Do the math….

      • Ride says:

        Attend university in England where you get local rates which gives you access to top universities at a fraction of the cost of their comparable counterparts in Canada and USA.

        Stop sending you kids to low ranked schools, colleges, and universities in Canada and USA when for the same money (or less) you can attend higher ranked universities in England.

        You can attend very competitive schools in England for less than 30k a year.


        • Alison says:

          Not sure this is correct. I believe Bermudians have to pay the international student rate in the UK.

          • Student in UK says:

            Bermudian students do receive local tuition however 9000 pounds is still 18000 dollars and cost of living is way higher lets say 6000 pounds for accommodation which is 12000. Plus food and travel expenses. So its not that much cheaper and the league table shows that there are only about five universities within England that match the USA in the top. If bermuda would focus on our education system instead of ‘everywhere is better than here’ then we will have more qualified bermudians. Facts bermuda grades are equivalent to gcse grades so instead of introducing igcse and gcse for the ‘smart’ kids Aim higher because we are already doing gcse contrary to popular belief. Instead of teachers saying you need GCSE to get into schools in England learn that the only thing getting you into university is A levels, NVQs Level threes or international fees. which is why many bermudians apply to college instead of universities because most do not realise its a difference. So in the end its not cheaper and may take a longer time for a bermudian that went a public high school because they did not take A levels or NVQs.

            *Sorry for the long comment just figured I should state that because many are confused and misinformed.
            Yes there are exceptions to rules however in my experience some schools have no idea that Bermuda is even a British Overseas Territory.

        • Axlerod says:

          Low ranked schools are in the UK…a very poor and illiterate country!

        • Axelrod says:

          Ride, university in England can’t even compare to the Universities in the US. US is far superior to UK Universities. Also, you are getting a little confused I think: What does university geography have to do with work permit policies, and the employment level of Bermuda…..absolutely nothing!

          Two of richest Americans never even finished College….Gates and Jobs…..and based on the level of education in US universities today many US billionaires educated in the 1950 through 1975 period have the equivalent of a high school education today!

          Stop with the biased comments…..getting an education can no longer guarantee any Bermudian a job. There are simply not enough jobs being created in Bermuda’s narrow ….and still narrowing…..economy. Plus certain jobs are reserved for friends and lovers……and many others are disappearing due to increased automation and computerisation….so you do the math. there will be no bail out for any Bermuda government from the trickle down of Int’l business. They simple are not in need or human capital when they already have too much financial capital!

          That is the definition of a big problem for Bermuda’s clueless and slow political class….who are mostly high school drops outs!! (OBA and PLP)!

      • Kangoocar says:

        @nancy/betty, let me help you, it is NOT what you earn a year, it is what you SAVE a year!!! The Portuguese ( which I am not ) were the masters of that pzylosefey, they earned very little many years ago, and somehow, many of them became wealthy??? How about being honest for a change, and say it the way it really is??? It is called sacrifice, instead of buying the bling cars with chrome wheels and stereos that can be heard 5 blocks away, parents need to save that money for the betterment of their children!!!! I started with nothing, no more than a high school education, and now through HARD work and sacrifice can afford any car I want, I owe nobody ANYTHING! But guess what??? I drive a B class car I bought used 3 yrs ago from someone that was about to lose it to the bank because they could not make the payments!!!that car will last me another 7 yrs and I got it for next to nothing!!! Be honest, and just say the truth, it may sting, but it is the right thing to do!!!! PS, we all pay the same for milk and bread my freind!!!!

  9. Dread says:

    The OBA doing good business for the citizens of Bermuda.

    • Axlerod says:

      Bermuda will be broke and out of funds in 21 months. OBA is simply on the same path as PLP. Trying to borrow to make up for the still declining tourism business. Tourism business is in decline – in terms of its ability to provide a first world standard of living – world wide.

      Our government is simply to big to be sustainable. Rather than still pretending we need to rationalise it so that it can be sustained by the economy we have …rathter than the one we wish we had. OBA and its supporters in deep denial….like PLP!

  10. Axlerod says:

    Political class of Bermuda (OBA and PLP) is inept, unqualified, and unskilled for the demands of Governmental leadership now facing the country. Both party rank and file lack ideas and are only willing to lokk to the past…..none will do even cursory research on where economy is headed given globalisation.

  11. Cafe Au Lait says:

    Axlerod: You are clearly an idiot. Furthermore, just because someone has a different point of view to your, does not automatically make them a racist. Get some education.

    PLP will never get in power again with your attitude. Race based politics are done. You will actually have to do something next time – not just blame white folk

  12. Brotherhood says:


    $2.5 Billion Debt is rising – a Monster to destroy everything we’s use to
    Can’t sit still….Nah

    Gotta transition out of this
    Grow the GNP while trying to get a rebalanced bugit

    ’15 as theyre rolling REAL stuff out
    You go guys