As of 29 February 2016, same-sex partners of Bermudians will have the same right to reside and work in Bermuda as spouses of Bermudians. This is following the landmark decision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ian Kawaley, in Bermuda Bred Company v The Minister of Home Affairs and The Attorney-General handed down on 27 November 2015. The Chief Justice held certain provisions of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (the “Immigration Act”) to be inoperative to the extdent that they discriminate against same-sex partners of Bermudians in stable relationships on the right to reside and employment rights when compared with spouses of Bermudians under those provisions.
Prior to 2011 immigration appeals from decisions made by the Minister were dealt with by the Appeal Tribunal within the Cabinet. In 2011, the Immigration Appeal Tribunal (the “IAT”) was established as an independent body by the Bermuda Immigration & Protection Amendment Act 2011. However, it was only following the implementation of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection (Appeal) Rules 2013 (the “Appeal Rules”) that the IAT was convened.