Afiniti To Submit Approximately 90 Applications

October 29, 2020 | 19 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Labour Jason Hayward is holding a press conference this afternoon [Oct 29] to “provide an update on the One Year Residential Certificate and information on job opportunities for Bermudians that will soon become available due to company relocations.” We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The Minister said, “I am pleased to report that the 1-Year Residential Certificate programme has so far garnered 557 applications of which 442 have been approved. This is very good news for Bermuda and Bermudians as these persons will be enjoying life in Bermuda while contributing daily to the local economy.”

“I am excited to share that in the coming months, Afiniti International Holdings Ltd [Afiniti], which is headquartered in Bermuda, will immediately increase its economic and physical presence on the island. In doing so, it will hire ten Bermudians and submit approximately Ninety applications for 1-year Residential Certificates.

“This will allow even more of its staff, many of whom will come from Pakistan to work-from-home in Bermuda, while the company goes through the process of applying for traditional work permits.

“If successful, the work permits will allow the immediate transfer of staff to the local company. The work permit applications will be for individuals highly skilled in the specialized field of Artificial Intelligence. This is extremely good news for Bermuda.”

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 7-minute replay is below

Update 3.40pm: Minister Hayward’s remarks:

Good day to members of the media and the listening public. Thank you for your attendance and for watching this press conference.

I am here today to say with confidence, that Government’s steadfast commitment to growing the economy through innovative practices is finding success.

With that said, I am pleased to report that the 1-Year Residential Certificate programme has so far garnered 557 applications of which 442 have been approved. This is very good news for Bermuda and Bermudians as these persons will be enjoying life in Bermuda while contributing daily to the local economy.

From the vast number of applications received, it is clear that the Residential Certificate is proving to be quite popular. The certificate, along with Bermuda’s economic substance legislation, has demonstrated its ability to invite not only individuals or families but medium to large size companies as well.

And so I am excited to share that in the coming months, Afiniti International Holdings Ltd [Afiniti], which is headquartered in Bermuda, will immediately increase its economic and physical presence on the island. In doing so, it will hire ten Bermudians and submit approximately Ninety applications for 1-year Residential Certificates. This will allow even more of its staff, many of whom will come from Pakistan to work-from-home in Bermuda, while the company goes through the process of applying for traditional work permits. If successful, the work permits will allow the immediate transfer of staff to the local company. The work permit applications will be for individuals highly skilled in the specialized field of Artificial Intelligence. This is extremely good news for Bermuda.

Additionally, Afiniti anticipates significantly growing its workforce and intends to fund local talent development so that at least 50% of its workforce will be Bermudian in the coming years. This is promising news for Bermuda’s local economy and workforce in the long term.

Afiniti is an American multinational data and software company, with a focus on developing artificial intelligence for use in customer call centers. It is a privately held company, with a valuation of $1.6 billion in 2017. In January 2018, Fortune magazine included Afiniti on its list of the 100 companies “leading the way in A.I.”

The Affiniti Board of Directors includes former President Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, former US Treasury Secretary John Snow, former Verizon President Larry Babbio, and former Premier of Bermuda, Dame Jennifer Smith.

This is a great opportunity for Bermudians to join or launch a career with a technology company at the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence.

It is worth noting that Afiniti requires no financial incentives and expects to generate an immediate increase in the Government’s fiscal revenues. Their investment in Bermuda at this time, speaks volumes about our infrastructure, geographic location, and is a testament to this Government’s ability to create an environment that is attractive to companies such as this. I’m sure we all look forward to more companies following Afiniti’s lead.

On behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda, I look forward to welcoming the Afiniti team to Bermuda, and ask that we be open to the possibilities this opportunity and others will present.

Thank you. At this time, I welcome questions from the media.

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Comments (19)

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  1. For a better Bermuda says:

    Great news. Well done to all involved!

  2. CB2 says:

    So.. Afiniti has it’s headquarters in Bermuda but will not need to apply for work permits? How does that add up? They are just moving to the Bermuda office.

    • Reality check says:

      “This will allow even more of its staff, many of whom will come from Pakistan to work-from-home in Bermuda, while the company goes through the process of applying for traditional work permits.

      “If successful, the work permits will allow the immediate transfer of staff to the local company. The work permit applications will be for individuals highly skilled in the specialized field of Artificial Intelligence. This is extremely good news for Bermuda.”

      • CB2 says:

        Thank you for quoting the article. I had read it and my question still stands. If they have office space in Bermuda how is this just not an office move? I don’t care of they “work from home” they moved to a different office. Would they be allowed to have in person meetings with their team? If so that makes me think they need work permits.

        When all the Re’s start doing the same as this everyone will see how bad this is for Bermudians in the long run.

        • DownDeRoad says:

          They are applying for the work permits, which would mean they would then pay all the required taxes. Until then, their workers can do their work remotely from wherever they are living in Bermuda like they were doing in Pakistan, except now they are buying groceries, paying for electricity, and other expenses in Bermuda rather than elsewhere.

    • Dirk Gentley says:

      That’s one way to do it. Work permits, meh. Payroll tax, no thanks. Pension contributions, nope.

      • Sandgrownan says:

        I thought that too – does it mean anyone else on a digital nomad permit can apply for a regular permit?

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Based on the above, this company will be headquartered in Bermuda, but will have no personnel costs. How will this stand with existing companies who are paying payroll tax, pension contributions, National Insurance and full work permit fees? I can see some serious pushback from these companies, resulting in less Government revenue. Maybe this is the hint that come the next budget all rents, including residential and Airbnb, will be taxed. Government needs revenue and the digital nomad scheme does not provide it directly. Indirectly is the only other way.
    The PLP has certainly changed its spots – not long ago they complained about hotels getting tax breaks for renovations, and of course “Bermuda for Bermudians”.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      “Maybe this is the hint that come the next budget all rents, including residential and Airbnb, will be taxed.”

      As painful and disastrous as that would be what with the trickle down effect it’s preferable to the alternative , and I’m not talking about income tax either.

      • wahoo says:

        But de base don’t want trickle down they were told to expect the moon.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          And when all their moons are taken away from them through legislation all they’ll be able to say is
          ‘Well , I don’t have it any more but neither do you and I’m happy you don’t have it now’ .
          Think Greece 2009

  4. Jim says:

    This is crazy. It makes a mockery of the current work permit requirements and the payroll tax rules.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Look at it logically.

      A 1 year permission to reside in Bermuda application costs $268.

      A 1 year standard work permit application costs $966.

      Which would you prefer to pay?

  5. moira thompson says:

    So over 400 approved applications already! wow! And this is good for Bermuda because we are bringing in people from Pakistan? wonders never cease.
    Where is the Bermudian compliment? are we just so excited they will be spending money here that we will not tax them? Bermudians spend their money here all the time and are highly “taxed” some people get a cheque with less than half because of deductables. can we say” Bermuda for Be rmudians”.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Actually, we do not appear to be bringing in people from anywhere.

      The Minister said “I am pleased to report that the 1-Year Residential Certificate programme has so far garnered 557 applications of which 442 have been approved. This is very good news for Bermuda and Bermudians as these persons will be enjoying life in Bermuda while contributing daily to the local economy.”

      The Minister has always been very careful never to mention how many of the 442 people with approved 1-Year Residential Certificates have actually come to Bermuda.

  6. saud says:

    30 – 6

  7. Joe Bloggs says:

    “This is a great opportunity for Bermudians to join or launch a career with a technology company at the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence.”

    Yes, no experience of AI required!

  8. Rocky5 says:

    So what’s stopping Companies Reinsurance Companies based in say London & New York who do business with Marsh, AON Guy Carpenter, Willis & Bermuda Insurance companies etc. in Bermuda bypassing the very expensive & slow Work Permit system and using the much cheaper 1-Year Residential Certificate programme? ?

  9. ROGER LAMBERT says:

    I understood the Company is headquartered here now, taxed in Bermuda & probably Pakistan or elsewhere (?). Now with our 1 year residency certificate system, which can be renewed, they’ll work/live here and go through the usual work permit system during & after the year. The Company will build more business, pay less tax elsewhere, then hire more staff, foreign & Local for here. In good time I hope that the majority of their business is done from Bermuda.

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