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Survey launched for long-term residents

A group who campaigned in support of the controversial Pathways to Status legislation have launched an online survey to collect information about long-term resident non-Bermudians.

The survey by the “We Support Pathways” Facebook group is hoped to build a profile of those who would benefit from the proposed reform.

“This profile can be used by policymakers to support any legislative change,” a statement by the group said.

“The group would like to ask anyone who has a couple of minutes to spare to go online and fill out the survey and to also share the survey with friends and family who fall into the same category.

“As we know some people may be fearful in sharing their information we would like to emphasise that the information provided would be protected. As we may make aggregate information publicly available, we won’t divulge any specific personal details. All information collected is kept on servers outside Bermuda.”

The survey formally went online yesterday afternoon, and within three hours had received 160 responses.

“This is indicative of a desire by people to share their stories,” the statement continued.

The Pathways to Status legislation, tabled in the House of Assembly early this year, would have introduced new immigration guidelines, allowing those who have lived in Bermuda for 15 years to apply for permanent residency, and those who have a permanent residency certificate (PRC), having lived on the island for 20 years, to seek Bermudian status.

While some groups came out in support of the legislation, the move sparked widespread protest, with crowds of demonstrators blocking access to the House of Assembly until Government agreed to withdraw the bill.

Instead, government has formed a consultative working group of key stakeholders to publicly discuss immigration proposals and make recommendations before any legislative changes are made.