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Leveraging immigration policies that can work

Michael Weeks is a government backbencher and the MP for Pembroke East Central (Constituency 16)

Without much warning, the pandemic steered Bermuda into an unprecedented downward slide that led to:

• Enforcement of shelter-in-place

• Closing of Bermuda’s borders

• An unforgiving blow to the hospitality industry with well in excess 1,000 workers being forced to shelter at home without pay

• Hundreds of contract workers in many key industries forced to return home

• Masks, hand-washing and social distancing becoming the expected new normal

It is clear that this government has demonstrated the kind of leadership needed to keep the island safe while ensuring the population received the support it required. In an effort to retain and protect the local population while attracting investors and visitors, the Ministry of Labour has been quick to react, leveraging immigration policies and initiatives to support Bermuda during these very challenging times.

The Ministry of Labour has:

• Placed a moratorium on 41 additional occupations (for a total of 53) in November 2020, which has been extended through to January 2022 for new work permits only

• Implementation of the Work from Bermuda programme, which has made a $23 million impact on the economy — with approximately 640 certificate holders resident in Bermuda

• Removal of the requirement for an Affidavit for Domicile — for applications for Bermudian status

• Implementation of the Economic Investment Certificate and Residential Certificate

• Scrutinised work permits to ensure capable and qualified Bermudians are not passed over for job opportunities

• Enhanced visitor stays by increasing the number of days from 90 to 180 that a visitor can reside in Bermuda

• Amended the eligibility requirement for permanent resident’s certificates, enabling long-term residents to be granted a PRC

Despite the progressive work that has been done, there is still more work to be done. The labour minister has outlined Immigration Reform Strategic Priorities that will bring about the changes required to modernise the country's immigration laws and supporting policies, and create operational efficiencies through process improvement.

Michael Weeks is a government backbencher and the MP for Pembroke East Central (Constituency 16)

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Published November 23, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated November 23, 2021 at 7:57 am)

Leveraging immigration policies that can work

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