Property Rights of Permanent Resident Certificate Holders under the proposed Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2015

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The recent sitting of Senate has seen significant legislative amendments introduced. One amendment in particular that has caused great discussion is that of the property rights now afforded to Permanent Residence Certificate Holders (“PRC Holders”).

For clarification, a PRC holder is one who has obtained a Permanent Resident’s Certificate by the Minister under section 31A or 31B under the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (the “Act”).

The rules governing the acquisition of property by non-Bermudians were first set out in the Bermuda Immigration Protection Act 1956. However, the property rights provided to PRC holders are currently being reviewed by Government with the introduction of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2015 (the “Amendment Act”) in Senate.

The following table outlines current rights and obligations of non-Bermudian property holders against the rights that will be introduced under the Amendment Act.

Status of Person Current Rights/Obligations New Rights / Obligations
PRC Holders – Required to apply for a landholding licence.
– Licence fee of 4% total value of property and land is paid to Government (increasing to 6% on October 1st 2015)
– Can purchase condos of any ARV (not Government sponsored condo developments)
– Can purchase non-condo properties with ARV over $63,600
– Required to apply for a landholding licence
– Licence fee of4% total value of property and land is paid to Government (increasing to 6% on October 1st 2015)
– Can purchase condos or homes of any ARV
– Up to 2 properties can be purchased.
– Cannot purchase from Government assisted or sponsored developments (like Loughlands)
– Consent not required to rent to third parties
Non-Bermudians and Non-PRC Holders – Required to apply for a landholding licence.
– Purchase properties with ARV over $177,000.00
– Liable for landholding licence fee.
– Purchase condos with minimum ARV of $32,400 that are on a designated list
– Required to apply for a landholding licence.
– Purchase Properties with ARV over $153,000.00
– Licence fee payable
– Purchase condos with minimum ARV of $32,400 or higher (capped at two purchases), condo does not have to be on designated list.
– Liable for landholding licence fee.
– Consent required to rent to third parties.

A further amendment provided by the Amendment Act is that the collective total acreage that non-Bermudians can acquire will increase from 2,000 acres back to 2,500 acres.

It is expected that the Amendment Act will pass and that these newly amended rights will be introduced before the Fall of 2015.

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