Minister: One Year Residency Certificate Policy

July 17, 2020 | 28 Comments

The Ministry will amend the eligibility for a One Year Residential Certificate to allow persons to work remotely from Bermuda, Minister of Labour Jason Hayward said

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [July 17], Minister Hayward said, “The Ministry will amend the eligibility for a One Year Residential Certificate to allow persons who are able to work remotely from Bermuda, such as digital nomads, and to allow non-Bermudian post-secondary students to complete their higher education from Bermuda starting August 1, 2020.

“The cost of this Certificate is $263. Additionally, the Ministry will also adjust its policy for visitors to the island by extending the maximum period a visitor may stay in Bermuda from 90 to 180 days.

“There are persons who are location-independent, using technology to perform their job no matter where they are. Such persons work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or office.

“The trend towards remote working has been accelerated by COVID-19. These visitors can reside in Bermuda without seeking employment on the island and will promote economic activity for our country without displacing Bermudians in the workforce.

“The Government expects the economic benefits to Bermuda of introducing this One Year Residency Certificate include additional economic activity in restaurants, hotels and accommodations, leisure businesses, and government departments. It is a step to strengthen the economy that will benefit Bermudians.

The Minister added that for ‘digital nomads,’ the policy will require applicants to be over 18, demonstrate good character and not have conviction for an indictable offence, possess valid health insurance, demonstrate employment with a legitimate firm or their own company registered and operating overseas and demonstrate sufficient means and/or continuous source of annual income without the need to engage in gainful employment in Bermuda.

“The Ministry of Labour will collaborate with the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] and the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA] to communicate this opportunity to the world,” the Minister added.

Following the Minister’s announcement, OBA MP Ben Smith said, “I am pleased that the Minister has announced that Government plans to encourage remote working from Bermuda. I recently highlighted the same initiative that Barbados has  unveiled, and it is good to see the Government listening and taking ideas on board.

“Given the issue of visas for students in the US whose courses will be totally on-line, again I am pleased to see that the Minister has also taken up the OBAs idea of encouraging this area.

“I did not hear anything from the Minister about how these initiatives will be marketed and I hope a plan is in the pipeline to promote them in key areas around the world, as soon as possible. We can make changes, but they will be useless if no-one hears about them.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to announce that the Ministry of Labour [“the Ministry”] will amend the eligibility for a One [1] Year Residential Certificate to allow persons who are able to work remotely from Bermuda, such as Digital Nomads and to allow Non-Bermudian Post-Secondary Students to complete their higher education from Bermuda starting August 1, 2020. The cost of this Certificate is $263. Additionally, the Ministry will also adjust its policy for visitors to the island by extending the maximum period a visitor may stay in Bermuda from 90 to 180 days.

The COVID-19 health crisis had a significant impact on the local economy resulting in mass unemployment and decreased economic activity. The Government seeks to offer this new One Year Residential Certificate to qualifying persons to extend visitor stays in Bermuda and by doing so:

  • increase the residential population;
  • increase economic activity;
  • provide greater job security for Bermudians;
  • and to enhance the marketability of Bermuda as a place to reside, visit, or do business.

Mr. Speaker,

There are persons who are location-independent, using technology to perform their job no matter where they are. Such persons work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or office. Remote working has been a growing trend for some time and is something the Bermuda Government has been examining as part of its technology-focused economic diversification strategy. The trend towards remote working has been accelerated by COVID-19. These visitors can reside in Bermuda without seeking employment on the island and will promote economic activity for our country without displacing Bermudians in the workforce.

Mr. Speaker,

Allowing Non-Bermudian Post-Secondary Students to complete their higher education from Bermuda represents an opportunity to build an international student community in Bermuda and enhance Bermuda’s digital perception by travelers worldwide, which will produce benefits to the local economy.

The Government expects the economic benefits to Bermuda of introducing this One Year Residency Certificate include additional economic activity in restaurants, hotels and accommodations, leisure businesses, and government departments. It is a step to strengthen the economy that will benefit Bermudians.

Mr. Speaker,

As the Minister with responsibility for Immigration I have the authority to issue Residential Certificates under section 32 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act. The policy will require applicants to be:

  • 1. over the age of 18;
  • 2. demonstrate good character and not have conviction for an indictable offence;
  • 3. possess valid health insurance;
  • 4. demonstrate employment with a legitimate firm or their own company registered and operating overseas, which does not operate in Bermuda, in the case of a remote worker;
  • 5. provide evidence of enrollment in a Research, Undergraduate, Graduate or Doctorate Program, in the case of a Student;
  • 6. demonstrate sufficient means and/or continuous source of annual income without the need to engage in gainful employment in Bermuda.

The Ministry of Labour will collaborate with the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] and the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA] to communicate this opportunity to the world.

Mr. Speaker,

The Ministry is working diligently along with the Department of Immigration to launch this One [1] Year Residential Certificate during the first week of August 2020. It is anticipated that the form will be available for electronic submission, along with all relevant documentation, via the government portal at: www.gov.bm on or before August 1, 2020 and that the process will be swift.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (28)

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  1. James says:

    Can’t wait to see the numbers on how many people want to come here and pay Bermuda rent, Bermuda Internet prices, Bermuda Health Insurance and Bermuda electricity prices. Buy a car at Bermuda prices. If it works congratulations.

    • Truth says:

      You would be surprised to know that in this COVID-19 World their are many rich $$$$$$$ people that want to move to BDA and work remotely. You see what’s happening in the USA right now! If we keep the numbers down it’s a win win.

      • trufth says:

        Correct, I WOULD be surprised. Care to list the “many rich $$$$$$$ people that want to move to BDA?”

        The list is probably longer for those who might move to Barbados.

    • Well Done. Reacted quickly. More more.... says:

      That is a good move. If 50 people avail themselves of this that’s 50 people on the island renting and spending money that we didn’t have before. Well done for moving quickly. This is how BDA used to be.
      React to the needs of our customers.
      Now, this is a nice small step forward but we need 8 or 10 of these nimble moves and fast to make a difference.
      Then, if the ship hadn’t already sailed, immigration reform is well past it’s due date by many years.

    • Thinking says:

      All for one year?

  2. Observation says:

    For as long as I have watched and listened to the PLP government I have never experienced such a prime example of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. They have clearly shown an inability to create financial stability to our fragile economy. Nothing gets done apart from lip service to a confused electorate. Riding the coat tails of existing business eventually creates a bigger hole in the infrastructure.

    • RIP oba/UBP says:

      The only party that was confusing the voters was the UBP to oba name change to run from it’s racist past. Until you take of the blinders and realize that a black government can work just as hard as a white government people like you will always have people like me telling you I can’t breath. Black Lives Matter! Why you think so black voters departed the UBP/OBA which resulted in a 25 vs 11 win!

      • Wizardsleeve says:

        So you’re OK with the PLP ruining the country with it’s (non) policies, just so long as you have a black government in charge?

        That 25-11 will be on Bermuda’s tombstone.

        • Hello says:

          The OBA are predominantly black too, so saying PLP are a black party is nonsense.

          • hmmm says:

            “The OBA are predominantly black too”

            LMAO I needed a laugh today after looking at the sad news about COVID on the news.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Straws are being clutched. Deckchairs are being rearranged. Is this it? Is this the big plan?

        How do you feel about your grandchildren being saddled with PLP incompetence

        • LOL says:

          You must be talking about the oba with the last beat down at the election.

      • CHRIS says:

        Only one racist party in Bda now and you r looking at it! PLP trott xenophobic homophobic policies from way last century! Puhleeze! Go back under your green machine

      • Observation says:

        I have absolutely no problem with the the racial makeup of our current government. Why is it necessary to always create a racial division when someone strikes up an opinion on performance.

      • Red rose says:

        So you are ok with having 2 former ubp leaders as plp MPs?

  3. Bdaluv says:

    As long as they don’t over stay their permit or ask for extensions then expect the government to give them bermudian status….. because we have been down this road with the work permits.

    • CHRIS says:

      What are u afraid of?

    • paulP says:

      Why are Bermudians so against anyone else moving there, its shrinking, falling apart and needs more people doing more things. Not asking sarcastically but why not allow anyone to move there?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        If you don’t already know the real reason for that , well what can I say ?

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    I seem to recall reading recently that the BVI had done exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason

  5. So we copied Barbados..sheer brilliance!!! says:

    This is the BOLD thinking the Premier spoke of during his Covid 19 briefings…copying what other island jurisdictions are doing.

    Sad state of the state we are in.

  6. Ringmaster says:

    I believe you can buy St Kitts nationality for $100,000 plus buying a home for $250,000. Maybe that is one of the next steps in Premier Burt’s “unorthodox” economic recovery?

  7. frank says:

    in st.kitts and nevis the $250,000 gets you citizen ship if you invest that much in real estate is was $400.000

  8. Tom says:

    So In the last 22 yrs OBA where in for 4 yrs… the way it’s looking PLP will be in fo another 2 cycles at the least..
    So stop your whining and whinging about them. Either get it together as an island, or you will suffer more than what’s coming.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      That’s the point isn’t it. Two decades of PLP failure. No ideas, no plans, no clue.

  9. BoomBoom says:

    Next they will offer advisors of no clear compitance…many as they can….

  10. paulP says:

    Sounds good but logistically its impossible, to move there, set up health insurance and all utilities and arrange to transportation for 365 day is just not worth it. Offer a path to citizenship or at least extensions to the permit if you want anyone to come. That plane for the Azores shows how quick you can be removed from BDA

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