Minister: 620 Applications For Bermudian Status

February 18, 2015

The total number of Bermudian status applications from PRC holders received to date is around 620, Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said today [Feb 18] in the Senate.

In providing an update on the applications, Minister Fahy said: “Further to the Supreme Court ruling by Chief Justice Kawaley in the Rebecca Carne and Antonio Correia [both PRC holders] case on May 2, 2014, the Department of Immigration immediately began to receive applications from other PRC holders.

“To date, the total number of applications received is in the area of 620. Of this number, only 70 applications have received a decision.

The Minister added, “The current number of 20B[2][b] applications far exceeds the total number of all Bermudian Status applications the Department of Immigration receives over a number of years.

“Thus, it has become difficult for the technical officers to make significant strides in the processing of the 20B[2][b] applications. Processing is slow at best with the requirement for the Personal Services Section to create a balance for processing all application types under its remit.

“I further ask for applicants’ indulgence on behalf of the Department of Immigration. The focus is to get the 20B[2][b] applications dealt with in the date order in which they were submitted, as expeditiously as possible.

“The Department of Immigration is considering structural changes, perhaps with the addition of help from within Government to manage the over-abundance of applications.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Madam President, today I am providing an update on the processing of Bermudian Status applications under section 20B[2][b] of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.

Madam President, further to the Supreme Court ruling by Chief Justice Kawaley in the Rebecca Carne and Antonio Correia [both PRC holders] case on May 2, 2014, the Department of Immigration immediately began to receive applications from other PRC holders. To date, the total number of applications received is in the area of 620. Of this number, only 70 applications have received a decision.

Madam President, the Personal Services Section of the Department of Immigration has remit for all Bermudian Status applications. This Section also processes travel documents [i.e. BOTC passports], Naturalisation as a BOTC, Permanent Resident’s Certificates, licences to purchase land, permissions to reside, to seek employment and to attend school, letters for spouses of Bermudians, and landing permits. Being guided by legislation, the vetting process for all these applications types, to ensure an application is complete, takes considerable time.

Madam President, the current number of 20B[2][b] applications far exceeds the total number of all Bermudian Status applications the Department of Immigration receives over a number of years. Thus, it has become difficult for the technical officers to make significant strides in the processing of the 20B[2][b] applications. Processing is slow at best with the requirement for the Personal Services Section to create a balance for processing all application types under its remit.

Madam President, in an interview with the Royal Gazette newspaper [published on February 13, 2015], I mentioned some of the aforementioned details. I specifically mentioned that the team would prioritize any applications that may have deadlines looming; for example for land licences and/or where dependants were affected by a decision under a 20B[2][b] application. Where such circumstances are present, applicants are encouraged to contact the Chief Immigration Officer.

Madam President, today, I further ask for applicants’ indulgence on behalf of the Department of Immigration. The focus is to get the 20B[2][b] applications dealt with in the date order in which they were submitted, as expeditiously as possible. The Department of Immigration is considering structural changes, perhaps with the addition of help from within Government to manage the over-abundance of applications.

Madam President, separate and distinct from the 20B[2][b] processing challenges, I wish to add something else with respect to the Personal Services Section and that is that we are presently working on a policy document which will encapsulate formally written guidance on best practice for submitting applications [aligned with the list mentioned earlier] that come under the charge of the Personal Services Section.

The Personal Services policy document will carry a similar sentiment to that of the new Work Permit Policies which will be implemented on March 1, 2015 – the intent being to clearly communicate what is expected of applicants; including a list of personnel in the Personal Services Section and processing timelines.

Thank you, Madam President.

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Comments (39)

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  1. BT Checker says:

    I thought it was 3000. Or was it 5000?

    Betty?

    • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

      I think that what the PLP said was that it would balloon, once parents, children and spouses or other family members were added to the numbers after the initial applicants gained status.

      • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

        Whether this is what will happen, I don’t know. I’m just stating the facts of what the PLP said.

      • BT Checker says:

        So assuming out of these 620 only 500 hundred get it. And assuming of those 75% are married or still married and not divorced. And then of the that are married for 10 years 50% have at least one child who can qualify it was still a total exaggeration to incite the masses.

        Why cant they be brought to task for this? Show us where they got their figures from. Accountability.

        • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

          Yes, someone schooled me to this. Thanks for reiterating.

      • Rich says:

        Yes, that was their reasoning at the time. The problem with their methodology is that they were double counting various individuals. For example, on the basis that after 10 years of being married to a new Bermudian, the current PRC spouse would be entitled to apply, they were added to the mix. However, most of those current PRC spouses will be entitled to apply for status as PRCs themselves. So a marriage containing two PRCs magically became 4 new Bermudians.

        They also looked at census figures to see how many children of PRCs there were, assuming they would eventually be entitled to status. However, many of these children will already be Bermudians. Adult children who aren’t would not be entitled to Bermudian status if they are over 22 at the time their parents obtained status.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Yes, but remember, spouses must wait 10 years before they are eligible, as they have to be married and living with a Bermudian for 10 years before they can apply. Also due to the date limitations on eligible children, there will still not be that huge an influx from them

    • Sad says:

      No the PLP said 8,000! But in all fairness numbers don’t seem to be the PLP’s thing.

    • Trulytruly says:

      Even 7000 at one point.

    • Real Talk(original) says:

      Actually the PLP cited 1300 eligible PRCs, 1100 spouses and 2,000 children…

      • Trulytruly says:

        It was a full page scaremongering campaign back during the 2007 election. Derrick Burgess as min of immigration led the charge. I remember the rhetoric very well.

        • Mockingjay says:

          That’s Politricks, just like 2000 jobs, Referendum, Civil Servants wont loose their jobs, etc.

          • Yardie says:

            What Civil servants have lost their jobs???

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            They never said the 2000 jobs would appear overnight, as it would take time to stop the runaway train that our economic failure had become. Scrapping the referendum was one of their greatest acts thus far, as the attempt to petition the referendum back shows, it was not wanted by the vast majority of Bermudians (hey, what do you know, the OBA listened to the people) and would have been a waste of taxpayer dollars. To date, the OBA has maintained civil servant jobs, even now having to go so far as to cut social assistance programs, so that civil servants can remain employed, and now thanks to their union, without having to feel the same sacrifice the private sector has had to endure for about 8 years.

  2. Navin Johnson says:

    That is impossible..The PLP said there would be thousands of applications..they could not be wrong could they?

    • 1 plus 1 has always added up to 2…Where did the Opposition Party, (P.L.P.)come up with thousands? :-(

      • hmmm says:

        Scaremongering, misinformation and divisiveness = 7000 or 8000

        who said that again…wasn’t it the PLP

  3. Hang up and try your call again says:

    So, that’s roughly 1% of the population of which 10% of that has been approved. I seriously doubt that it has a negative impact on Bermuda, and more than likely those who have gained are here for the betterment of Bermuda as well.

  4. campervan says:

    Putting aside the moral issue of denying citizenship for so many years;
    The fact of the matter is that a vast majority of eligible candidates are now at least 50 years old.
    Most were not willing to bank their future on a “maybe one day you will belong”
    As a consequence many have put plans in place to spend their golden years in another jurisdiction where equality is a guarantee.

    The end result of this will be that there will be less folk living on the Island and paying towards civil service/medical/infrastructure.
    Those that remain must suck it up and share the cost.

    If there had been a recognised, sensible path to citizenship we would be experiencing less fiscal pain now.

  5. Will says:

    OH MY GOD! OH NO! 620 applications! What ever happened to the 5000 that were supposed to be granted status and vote against the PLP????

    • Carlton Smith says:

      Not a PLP fan either, but gotta whisper at you that they actually said it left that number of people actual eligible to submitan application.

      Not liking them,doesn’t mean we just say any old thing. Our personal integrity so that people can trust us holds more weight and ia far more important than rhe image of a particular party.

      • Creamy says:

        Walton Brown’s June 7, 2014 press release demanding the government suspend applications listed 6,000 who “fall under the category”.

        Now there will be a lot of backtracking, of course.

  6. Waiting says:

    It will take 4.5 years to process the huge backlog at this rate. Even without the additional applicants that have not yet applied.

    Spouses only receive Status after ten years of marriage AFTER the first grant of Status. Probably the same applies to children.

    Can Status be given postumously?!

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      Gotta jump through hoops to apply for status after ten years of marriage. The amount of documentation wanted by imigration is ludicrous. Should be easier to apply in this instance. A marriage certificate should suffice as long as the spouse is Bermudian!

  7. Ed Case says:

    PLP-tards said 6,000. So it is 600. Ah well, they were never good with figures were they?

    Still, this is an opportunity for folks to complain about how they are the only ‘Real Bermudians’ or as they say ‘Grassroots Bermudians’ and we know what that really means.

    • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

      We are never going to move forward as a country, as long as people keep disrespecting each other. “PLP-tards” is both insulting to the people that hold the same views as you and people with genuine mental disabilities.

      • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

        *different views

        • Ed Case says:

          My sincere apologies to those with genuine mental disabilites. To the rest of you – not so much.

      • BT Checker says:

        I agree with Quinton. Point out issues whoever you support – but don’t act like a 10 year old in doing so. (I think this goes both ways of course)

    • jonah says:

      One day it will progress beyond simple name calling – we are on course…

      Bleak!!

  8. Grizz says:

    Why do people feel it necessary to bash people and call them names for supporting a party? I see some of the names called and honestly if some of you people, who are hiding behind pen names, called me some of these names to my face I could guarantee there would be problems. And this is not a threat but I am merely stating facts. You all claim to be adults…stop with the petty name calling. WE DON’T HAVE TO AGREE ON EVERYTHING!!

    • James says:

      The PLP need to be held accountable for mistruths and scaremongering. Some of the folks in the PLP were screaming about the ruling “opening the floodgates,” and that the number of new Bermudians would be in the range of 5,000+. Even the Governments estimate of 1,700, while closer, was high.

      As someone else said in here, no, the PLP were never very good with numbers. All of their protestations in this regard were flat-out untrue, meant to incite people and spur anti-immigrant sentiment in Bermuda.

      • Fluffy says:

        But those 2,000 jobs though…

        • Politricks says:

          Yeah I know. 5,000 jobs were lost between 2007 and 2012. Where did they go? We should ask the powers that be what happened to them under reign. But that is called responsibility and it is an oxymoron for that particular Party.

  9. Terry says:

    Drink rum.

  10. Ruthless says:

    We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if it were 3000 to 7000 people that were going to vote PLP!

    • Not only ... says:

      Not only wouldn’t we be having this conversation but the Opposition would be screaming bloody murder that the process needed to be accelerated so that all the applicants would receive their status immediately (if not sooner).

  11. Ed Case says:

    Once again for all PLP-person: It isn’t and never was a ‘Lou-Poyal’.

    It is THE LAW!