Recent Changes to Immigration Legislation
About Fozeia Rana-Fahy
Fozeia Rana-Fahy is a Director in the firm’s litigation practice group. Ms. Rana-Fahy practices in the areas of civil and commercial litigation and is an accredited mediator.
Last year the Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (“the Act”) was amended by the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2020 (commonly known as the “Repatriation & Mixed Status Families” Bill) (“the 2020 Amendments”).
The aim of these amendments was to address some of the uncertainty and heartache which existed in “Mixed Status” families (where one or more parents has Bermudian Status or holds a Permanent Resident’s Certificate but their son, daughter, or spouse does not have either Bermudian Status or hold a Permanent Resident’s Certificate). The 2020 Amendments provided various routes for certain affected family members to apply for status and or PRC.
Further advances have been made this year to amend the Act in order to keep families together, create a fair avenue to permanent residency in Bermuda, enable long term residents to fully participate economically, support the retention of Bermuda’s residential population and support Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan.
The Government passed the Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2021 (“the 2021 Amendments”) which came into force on 1 December 2021. The 2021 Amendments enable the following people to apply for permanent residency as of 1 January 2022.
- Individuals who have been ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years or more, provided that they have been resident in Bermuda in the 2 years immediately preceding their application. Any period of residency which occurred more than 30 years prior to the date of the application will not be considered. The fee for this application is $10,000.
- Non Bermudian parents of a child with Bermudian status who have been ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years or more, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in Bermuda for at least 15 years and for the 2 years preceding the application. The fee for this application is $10,000.
- Children born to second generation PRC holders who have been ordinarily resident in Bermuda. The fee of this application is $3,150.
Separate to the above, from 22 March 2021, the Department of Immigration no longer requires an affidavit of domicile to prove a parent’s domicile at time of birth for children born overseas to apply for Bermuda status. This will apply up to two generations of children born overseas. The amendments aim to simplify the process for children who were born overseas to obtain Bermudian status, increase the residential population and encourage individuals to reside and invest in Bermuda.