Easier pathway to residency from next year, minister says
Long-term residents will be able to apply for permanent residence from next year after new rules were introduced, the Minister of Labour said yesterday.
Jason Hayward told the House of Assembly that the changes were in line with immigration law changes designed “to achieve a simplified, fair, and modern immigration legislative framework”.
Amendments to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act will take effect on December 1 and applications will be accepted from January 1 next year.
Mr Hayward said that the changes were designed to “keep families together who may be separated and create a fair avenue to permanent residency in Bermuda, enable long-term residents to fully participate economically, support Bermuda in the retention of its residential population and represent a key policy initiative in support of Bermuda’s economic recovery plan”.
Eligibility criteria will be expanded so that PRCs can be granted to anyone who has lived in Bermuda for at least 20 years.
The amendments will also cover non-Bermudian parents of a child with Bermudian status, who have lived on the island for at least 15 years.
Application fees under each of the categories will be $10,000.
Another change will mean that PRCs can be granted to children born to second generation PRC holders “who have been ordinarily resident in Bermuda”.
The application fee will be $3,150.
Forms will be available on the Department of Immigration website and online payments will also be accepted.
Supporting documents should be submitted to the drop box on the first floor of the Government Administration Building on Parliament Street, Hamilton, with a copy of online payment confirmation.
Mr Hayward said: “It should be noted that, in alignment with the Government’s strategic priority to leverage technology to improve operations which will lead to greater levels of efficiency, process consistency and sustainability, the Department of Immigration will transition to a digital application process which will commence next year.
“These amendments create a clear, transparent, and streamlined process to secure some form of permanency for long-term residents.
“These policy proposals seek to provide a sustainable solution for long-term residents living in Bermuda to gain a Permanent Resident’s Certificate.”
Mr Hayward told MPs: “Although there is still much to be done to reform our immigration system, we are that much closer as this accomplishment fulfils our platform promise to provide a framework for persons to obtain permanent residency in Bermuda.”
* To read the minister’s remarks in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.