Video: Minister On Work Permit Categories

April 30, 2019

[Updated] Minister of National Security Wayne Caines is holding a press conference this afternoon [April 30] to provides an update on immigration initiatives. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 15-minute replay is below

Update 6.11pm: Minister Wayne Caines said, “Good afternoon everyone,

“We are here today to update the public on the proposed changes to work permit policies which begins with assessing jobs currently listed in the closed, restricted, special and open job categories. This government recognizes the importance of including every member of our community in the decision making process. To that end, we are asking for your feedback on the proposed changes.

“Before I go into the details, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Dannette Ming, Chief Immigration Officer from the Department of Immigration and thank her for participating here this afternoon.

“In government’s speech from the throne, we pledged to make our immigration laws better reflect our mandate of putting Bermudians first. This includes ensuring that Bermudians can secure employment in their own country.

“To achieve this objective, I tasked the Department of Immigration with making improvements to our Work Permit Policies to strike the right balance between the legitimate expectations of Bermudians and the legitimate labour needs of businesses.

“With this in mind, the positions currently found in the closed category, for which work permit applications are not permitted are: Airline Ground Agent; Retail Floor Supervisor; General Labourer; Office Receptionist; Painter; Salesperson; Tourist Retail Salesperson; Taxi Driver; Wallpaper Technician; Grocery Packer; Cashier; and Courier.

“In the restricted category, work permit applications for these jobs will be carefully considered and may not result in approval of a work permit.

“In addition, jobs in this category must be referred to the Department of Workforce Development [DWD] so that suitable qualified Bermudian who are registered at DWD can be referred to employers. It is expected that any referrals to employers will be seriously considered for employment in the relevant job.

“The positions currently found in the restricted category are: Bank Teller; General Bartender [customer facing]; Carpet Installer; Commercial Cleaner; Entertainer/Musician; Fisherman; Photographer; Technical Salesperson; Travel Agent/Consultant; General Carpenter; Administrative Assistant; Room Attendant; Kitchen Porter; Dish/Pot Washer/Kitchen Assistants or roles similar thereto; Landscape Gardener [Entry Level]; General Mason.

“In contrast to the closed and restricted categories, work permit applications in the special category are positions which include: Child-Care Giver; Beauty Salon, Spa and Hairdressing Staff; Family Support; Fine Artist; Graduate Trainees; Hospital Nurse and Physician; Hospitality: Seasonal Work Permit; Interns; Live-In Domestic Employees [Private Home]; Locum Pharmacist and Shared Pharmacists; Occasional Work Permit: Model and Casual or Part-Time Employment; Musician or Entertainer; Music School Teacher; Photographer; Restaurant Staff; Self-Employed Persons and Part Owners of a Bermuda Business; Categories of Jobs Identified by the Minister where there are Large Numbers of Work Permits.

“Finally, positions not listed in the closed, restricted or special categories are considered open category jobs and work permit applications may be applied for.

“It is hoped that any changes made will assist with skills enhancement, employment, and training and development opportunities for Bermudians who may be unemployed, under-employed or who are looking to make a career change.

“Before proceeding with any proposed changes, the government would like to have your feedback.

“The public are invited to send written concerns and/or comments regarding which jobs should or should not be in the Closed, Restricted, Special and Open job categories, with the reasons why, by visiting the Citizen’s Forum at, before 14 May, 2019.

“Any decision made will affect all of us, and so it is of the upmost importance that everyone be given the opportunity, and follow through with voicing their opinion, concerns, or feedback on this most important issue.

“In addition to addressing the work permit policies, the Department of Immigration is working on many other initiatives that will address long standing and/or sensitive immigration issues.

“Government will continue to keep the public updated on developments and involved in the process by periodically requesting feedback via the Citizens Forum. Again the website address for this is “

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Comments (21)

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  1. steve says:

    Held a press release and said nothing.

    • Pork & Bean says:

      I listen to this news footage. he talks several times about how they created this email address several months ago so that people could send in tips about people working / living illegally. But he never said, it has led to one hundred arrests, or even one! Surely, Mr. Caines, you would know how many people have been apprehended don’t you?! Or do you?

      More talk about nothing!

  2. Ringmaster says:

    There are some of the same job categories listed in both restricted and special. Why? They should only be in one. Can’t this Government get even the basics right?

    • Question says:

      No. They can’t.

    • Serious Though says:

      That’s how they have been , its not a PLP/UBP/OBA mistake ..
      Now send your feed back…to

      • Ringmaster says:

        No point. It has been shown time after time public feedback is ignored. It is a smoke and mirrors exercise to try and show they care. Let’s make being an MP an open category. No experience, no sense, not a Bermudian (just have at least one other passport or foreign spouse), and apply.

  3. sage says:

    Grocery packer? They don’t even get paid a salary.

    • Bertram says:

      That’s how petty these rules are– to completely block any possibility that a child without “status” (even if born on the island and spending their whole life in Bermuda) be allowed to pack groceries for tips. No wonder expats leave as soon as they have children, knowing that their children will be treated as lesser human beings the whole time they live here.

    • hmm says:

      Yes some grocery stores do provide a salary for packers.

  4. Me says:

    Sounds like the bus schedule lots of man hours and money already blown on talks and consulting this will likely end up with no progression and no movement forward maybe they should form
    another committee and bite pencils for another decade

  5. wahoo says:

    So I have to hire Onion Juice? He is always on his phone using data to comment on things he doesn’t understand.

  6. Obviously says:

    This is a joke right? Just put every job under “restricted” because that’s what dumb a$$ Bermudians think they are entitled to! Party politics at its best! You better listen to Sir John as we need some rich entrepreneurs or retirees who want to invest in local business to come to Bermuda and quick!

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Nothing but puffery. At the rate the PLP is going before long the foreigners won’t want to come here & there won’t be any jobs for Bermudians no matter what category. 25 to 11. Kings of the pile of ashes. Cayman wins.

    • sandgrownan says:

      It’s already difficult to hire people from overseas. THey just don’t want to come to a failing, xenophobic little island where the buses don’t run, the taxi service is crap and the trash doesn’t get collected.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Not to mention ‘certain demographic’ (Betty lingo) telling them ‘ go back to your own country ***** man’

    • Bluebird says:

      You got that right ! We’re headed the same direction as Jamaica. Look around – lots of houses up for sale, elderly people leaving because it’s too expensive to retire here, the sheeple are still complaining as always, business confidence low, and the list goes on.

      Well done PLP! OBA need to grow some balls and actually act as opposition, they’re horrible at it. That at least was one thing PLP was good at.

  8. Whistling Frog says:

    I am sorry, I have been putting Bermudians 1st for the past 23 years and my business has gone down hill. I am at the nonprofit margin and my only option is to increase prices or shut down…

  9. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The public are invited to send written concerns and/or comments regarding which jobs should or should not be in the Closed, Restricted, Special and Open job categories, with the reasons why, by visiting the Citizen’s Forum at, before 14 May, 2019″

    Hmm, 2 weeks for public consultation and only written concerns and/or comments are welcome. I’ll bet the government wants people to sign their name too.

    It is also worth noting that the Minister made mention on the radio this morning of addressing the status of children born to Bermudians overseas. To my mind that can only mean taking away rights of Bermudians granted 30 years ago, but I suppose it could mean something different.

  10. I am concerned we don’t have any foreign politicians……not one…we need a category for MP….that way if we disagree with them…we can just deport them….as it stands now we cannot get effing rid of them.

  11. is the Gvt effective? says:

    After two years in power there has been little evidence of anything done that has helped the Bermudian people.

    The Gvt really needs to up its game and begin to deal with the issues–it seems everything that it has touched somehow gets worse.

    Let’s remember “the Platinum Period of Tourism”, “Comprehensive Immigration reform” and add a heaping of “We had to deceive you”.

    Does the Gvt really want things to get better for Bermudians?

    Blessings abound.

  12. MM says:

    We have a multidimensional problem because of a failure to hold accountable the powers that be.