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Minors: work permit overhaul planned

The Government says the work permit process will get an overhaul in 2012 to show international business that Bermuda is “open for business”, while one financial services firm called for more relaxed immigration measures.

“Generally, it is expected that the work permit processing procedures will be overhauled to effect a more rapid processing and response time in our efforts to better meet the needs of the business community,” said Minister of Economy Patrice Minors in a statement after Government Budget was released. “There will also be a new website and other communications changes.”

Minister Minors touted the recent approval of ten-year work permits as a way to create jobs for Bermudians.

“These permits are issued to senior executives in the international business sector wherein the post holder is supported by other workers, many of whom are Bermudian,” she said. “The granting of these permits therefore secures jobs for Bermudians.”

She stated that attracting new business to Bermuda creates a “multiplier effect” that will help kick start the Island’s struggling economy.

“Direct jobs within the companies, which in turn create jobs for people in the construction, housing, service and hospitality sectors,” she said.

Anchor Investment Management, a high net-wealth portfolio management company, agreed with Minister Minors but stated Bermuda’s immigration policy should be more “aggressive”.

“If Government wishes to attract insurance and investment management organisations to the island, they need to create an immigration policy that is appealing to business formation,” said Anchor president Jeffrey Brewer and compliance officer James Peniston.

“It is our opinion that they should give work permit exemptions to the key players and their spouses in those businesses which are essential to Bermuda’s future growth.

“While Government has begun to ease some of the work permit rules, a more aggressive stance is needed.”

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Published February 27, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 27, 2012 at 8:33 am)

Minors: work permit overhaul planned

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