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Work permit policy to be rolled out in March

Government's new work permit policy will come into force at the start of March, Sen Michael Fahy, the Home Affairs Minister, announced today.

The implementation of the policy was delayed after unexpected problems arose with a specific category of permit called the Bermuda Employment Visa, which has since been abandoned.

The new rules include the introduction of the Global Entrepreneur Work Permit to allow individuals who are planning start-up companies in Bermuda to apply for work permits.

Permit holders can live in Bermuda while conducting their business planning.

The changes provide for a Business Work Permit for new companies to Bermuda to obtain work permits without advertising during the first six months of their existence. The permit will be available for new exempted companies on a limited basis.

The new policy also requires employers to advertise all jobs on the Government Job Board for at least eight consecutive days.

Under the new rules, businesses may be asked to participate in initiatives led by the National Training Board to boost the number of Bermudians employed in job categories where there are high numbers of work permit holders.

“It was about finding the right balance between assisting international business in getting the best employees they can in a competitive marketplace, while also ensuring that qualified Bermudians are given the opportunities we deserve,” Sen Fahy said. “A balance which I believe has now been found due to the extensive consultative process.”

The policy was put together after widespread consultation with industry leaders as well as a raft of stakeholder groups.

“Overall, we believe these changes will demonstrate to the local and international community that Bermuda continues to be open for business as we continue to cut down on the red tape which hinders our growth as an international business domicile,” Sen Fahy said.

“I believe that the policy changes will make employers even more responsible and cognizant of their responsibilities to the local workforce.”

The new policy is available for viewing at the Ministry of Home Affairs webpage at www.gov.bm.

Sen Michael Fahy (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 31, 2014 at 2:38 pm (Updated January 02, 2015 at 1:39 am)

Work permit policy to be rolled out in March

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