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Residency In Bermuda: What's Available For You And Your Family

9 min read

Residency In Bermuda: What's Available For You And Your Family

With its pink beaches and sparkling water, Bermuda is a top-notch tourist destination, and its position just off the United States east coast makes it the ideal offshore financial hub. These assets, combined with its rich heritage, make Bermuda a unique and diverse island, with most people residing on the main islands of Bermuda. The capital is Hamilton; the largest town is St.George’s.

The island is the enigmatic Bermuda Triangle's mysterious northeastern tip. Since its discovery and colonization, Bermuda has grown into a prosperous and well-liked country. It is the oldest self-governing British overseas territory, and its parliament is the third-oldest continuously operating one in the world.

Beyond the allure of the ocean, Bermuda offers a tranquil atmosphere for relaxation. Whether it's strolling along pink-sand beaches, unwinding in lush gardens, or experiencing the island's captivating sunsets, residents can embrace a slower pace of life and find solace in the island's natural wonders.

 

ABOUT BERMUDA

 

BERMUDA’S CLIMATE

The Bermudas have a subtropical climate. As a result, it is significantly warmer and drier than the United States, Canada or Central Europe. The intensity of the rain only slightly increases during a few humid months each year. The typical daily temperature fluctuates between 68°F (20°C) and 86°F (30°C) depending on the season. The standard nighttime temperature in the cooler months is 60.8°F (16°C).

Bermuda's residency programs provide various options and details for applicants seeking to make this turquoise-blue haven their home. Successful applicants are granted residency status, allowing them to enjoy the many benefits of living in this breathtaking destination.

As residents, families can immerse themselves in Bermuda's abundant natural beauty, with its vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. Exploring the underwater world through diving and snorkeling becomes a regular part of life. The crystal-clear waters also provide the perfect setting for yachting and indulging in water-based activities.

 

Bermuda has grown into a prosperous and well-liked country

Bermuda has grown into a prosperous and well-liked country

THE PEOPLE OF BERMUDA

Bermuda has a population of 61,786 as of this writing. About three-fifths of the population is of full or mixed African ancestry. European ancestry constitutes another one-third of the population and includes those of British and American descent, Asians and Portuguese.

English is the official language, but some Portuguese is also spoken. Christianity is the dominant faith in Bermuda. By international standards, Bermuda's population growth rate is slightly lower than that of the United States. Less than one-fifth of the population is under the age of 15.

 

ECONOMY IN BERMUDA

Bermuda's two major industry areas are international business and tourism. Bermuda is recognized for its (re)insurance business and is one of the world's top International Financial Centres (IFCs). Bermuda also provides a variety of banking and investing services. The second-largest industry is tourism, which draws more than 500,000 tourists annually, most of whom are from North America. In 2012, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was US$ 5.5 billion. GDP per capita is around US$85,381.

 

TAXATION IN BERMUDA

Bermuda is renowned for being a tax haven. No wealth tax, capital gains tax, sales tax, VAT, or income tax are imposed in Bermuda. It is understandable that many multinational corporations have established new offices or moved their headquarters to Bermuda.

Hundreds of foreigners seek work in Bermuda to profit from high salaries and no income tax. Despite this, because of indirect taxes and duties, Bermuda has a higher cost of living than other countries.

 

Related content: What Is An International Business Corporation (IBC)?

 

Bermuda's residents can embrace a slower pace of life and find solace in the island's natural wonders

Bermuda's residents can embrace a slower pace of life and find solace in the island's natural wonders

POLITICS IN BERMUDA

Bermuda is Britain's biggest and oldest existing Overseas Territory; the UK handles its foreign affairs there, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State. Bermuda has the most constitutional sovereignty of any Overseas Territory and is self-governing on the inside. The Premier is in charge of the government and appoints a Cabinet that the Governor formally chooses. A bicameral Parliament modelled after the Westminster system in the UK makes up the legislative branch. The House of Assembly, the "Lower House," of 36 elected members, and the Senate, the "Upper House," of appointed members, make up the two houses of parliament.

 

LEGAL SYSTEM IN BERMUDA

Bermuda's legal system is totally independent. Bermuda has historically been a British overseas territory; however, none of the British laws are applicable, yet, it is remarkably similar to English common law and, according to some, evolved from it and has continued to be that way.

Bermuda's laws diverge significantly from the democratic laws of the west, including the US, Canada, and the UK. Any lawful resident, regardless of nationality, in any of the aforementioned western countries would be subject to the constitution.

However, the constitution of Bermuda is solely applicable to the Bermudians. Even after years of residence on the island, a non-Bermudian is not eligible for citizenship unless they marry a native and live with them for at least ten years. The Human Rights laws do not apply to non-citizens as they do to Bermudians.

The court system is also very open and includes a commercial court. Bermuda courts operate under a three-tiered system:

Magistrate court: primarily deals with criminal cases.

Supreme Court: Both in civil and criminal cases. It functions more like a High Court, County Court, or English Crown Court.

Court of Appeal: This is comparable to the English Court of Appeal. One has an additional right to appeal to the Privy Council of London.

Even though the English House of Lords and other English Courts do not have any authority over Bermuda's courts, the House of Lords rulings on common law issues is often upheld by Bermuda courts as binding. In addition, the Bermuda court makes use of and relies on judgments from other Commonwealth nations, like Hong Kong and Australia.

 

Bermuda (3)

Bermuda offers satisfactory medical care for you and your family.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION

Despite the high cost, routine operations can be treated with adequate medical attention. The hospitals also have an emergency department, intensive care unit, and perform general surgery. Medical evacuation to the United States will probably be needed for severe or complicated medical regimens. Most medical professionals in Bermuda, including the regional hospital, do not take foreign insurance and demand payment upfront.

 

BERMUDA TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS

Compared to the United States or Canada, Bermuda's roads have very different conditions. Bermuda's roadways are pretty small and sometimes lack a clear shoulder. Traffic is on the left. In Hamilton, the top speed limit is 25 km/h (15 mi/h), whereas the remainder of the island's maximum speed limit is 35 km/h (21 mi/h). According to the legislation, non-citizens are prohibited from owning, leasing, or operating four-wheeled cars in Bermuda. Non-citizens are restricted to using taxis, the community bus system, or rental scooters and mopeds, and you can ride all through the country with any of these methods. Rental motorcycles are easily accessible, and they come with the necessary helmet. 

The greatest risk on Bermuda's roads comes from motorcycles since local riders frequently exceed the posted speed limit and pass on the left or right without signalling. Roundabouts and the rules for yielding at intersections are likely to be challenging to understand and dangerous for those who are not used to driving on the left. Additionally, a traffic lane is frequently blocked when cars stop on the side of the road. Main roads tend to be relatively narrow and have thick vegetation or stone walls on each side while typically in decent shape. Taxis are readily available. The local bus service covers the whole island and makes stops near most of the beaches, hotels, the central retail district, and other attractions. In addition, water ferries are a very safe and entertaining way to go across the island, and they run seven days a week to several different places.

 

RESIDENCE IN BERMUDA

The sole option in the past for someone who is not a Bermudian and wants to go to Bermuda but does not want to work there was to purchase Bermuda real estate. There were significant difficulties with this choice since only a small selection of Bermuda real estate is generally available to non-Bermudians, and ownership of Bermuda real estate is mostly confined to its people. Usually, that inventory is highly pricey. A one-time licence to acquire real estate in Bermuda, the fee of which was once 25% of the property's value but has since been decreased, was necessary to purchase Bermuda real estate.

While buying Bermuda real estate remains a popular choice for many foreign clients, since 2012, the government has reviewed Bermuda's immigration laws regarding non-Bermudians residing in Bermuda. Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act of 1956 (BIPA) is the main piece of law in Bermuda. There are now two appealing possibilities for establishing residence in Bermuda, as long as a non-Bermudian is not currently employed there and can fulfil specific criteria. One may first submit an application for 'Permission to Reside on an Annual Basis' or secondly submit a 'Work From Bermuda One Year Residential Certificate' application.

Bermuda's residency programs come with the added advantage of keeping up-to-date with the latest news and developments. Residents can stay informed about the island's vibrant culture, events, and opportunities, ensuring they are fully integrated into the local community.

Certificates and residency programs in Bermuda provide a gateway to a truly extraordinary lifestyle. By meeting the necessary requirements and completing the application process, individuals can secure a place in this idyllic paradise, where natural beauty and a relaxed atmosphere await them and their families.

 

Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency

 

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Crystal Cave is one of many tour destinations you can visit during your stay in Bermuda

PERMISSION TO RESIDE ON AN ANNUAL BASIS

People who want to live in Bermuda must request authorization from the Minister in charge of immigration (the "Minister"). An applicant granted permission to remain in Bermuda may renew their permit annually at least three months before the initial one-year term expires. Although it is referred to as "Licence to Reside on an Annual Basis," in reality, this permission can be granted for up to five (5) years at a time. Candidates must be above 18 and are not permitted to work in Bermuda. However, they may work remotely from Bermuda for any position held outside Bermuda. When applying for permission, the applicant must demonstrate good character, adequate financial resources, and continued medical insurance coverage.

If one merely wants to rent, there is no necessity to buy property, and leasing may be the fastest way to get a place to live. If the applicant intends to rent, we advise that he or she get in touch with a rental agency, who can then affirm in writing that they are helping to secure a rental home for the client while waiting for the application to be approved. For people who may not plan to live in Bermuda for a more extended period of time, such as those who want to come for a lengthy stay to see family, permission to dwell on an annual basis is an excellent alternative for people who are new to Bermuda who want to "get their feet wet" for a year or two as well.

 

RESIDENCE AND EMPLOYMENT IN BERMUDA

The government has revised its regulations to allow non-Bermudians who want to live in Bermuda and work there. Initially, an application for an Economic Five-year investment certificate with a valid length of time. Following that, an application for a Residential Certificate may be submitted in accordance with the recently modified regulations.

 

RESIDENTIAL CERTIFICATE

A Residential Certificate, issued in accordance with section 32 of the BIPA, enables the bearer to live and work in Bermuda with unrestricted entry and departure. In essence, the bearer of a Residential Certificate is unrestricted in his or her travel to and from Bermuda.

Only individuals who have had an Economic Investment Certificate for at least five years may apply for a Residential Certificate.

The same policy considerations and regulations placed on or before February 28, 2021, will continue to be in force and apply to date.

A non-Bermudian who wants to apply for a residential certificate must be older than 18, of good moral character, not previously convicted of an indictable or dishonesty offence, and have current health insurance. The applicant must also show that he has the necessary resources and/or a reliable source of yearly income to avoid needing to find meaningful employment in Bermuda.

If you have an interest in living abroad and working, check out this amazing article.

People who retrospectively satisfy the EIC eligibility conditions may be eligible to apply for a Residential Certificate, which the Minister may decide to provide.

A residential certificate can be obtained without having to buy any real estate. A certificate holder must, however, submit an application for a licence under the BIPA if they desire to possess or purchase Bermuda real property. In accordance with BIPA as it pertains to non-Bermudians, they are permitted to acquire any home, business, or condominium.

The Minister in charge of Immigration may revoke a Residential Certificate at any moment, subject to the laws of natural justice. A Residential Certificate may be withdrawn if the holder consistently remains outside of Bermuda for two years or longer without first requesting permission from the Minister.

 

Bermuda's residency programs provide various options and details for applicants seeking to make this turquoise-blue haven their home

Bermuda's residency programs provide various options and details for applicants seeking to make this turquoise-blue haven their home

DEPENDENTS

A related certificate will be issued entitling the spouse, partner, and any sponsored dependent children mentioned on the application by the holder of an Economic Investment Certificate or a Residential Certificate to remain in Bermuda without the ability to work. Spouses, partners, and children must all have high moral character, be in accordance with the standards and procedures of the Bermuda Department of Health, and not have been convicted of any crimes in Bermuda or elsewhere. 

The Bermuda Work Permit policy, as set forth by BIPA, will apply to the spouse or dependent if they seek to work in Bermuda.

Absent exceptional circumstances, a dependent child's right to live in Bermuda lasts until either they reach age 25 or complete a full-time postsecondary education, whichever comes first.

An Economic Investment Certificate or a Residential Certificate may be changed or amended by the Minister at his or her discretion to add or remove a spouse or dependent at the holder's request.

The dependents’ right to continue residing in Bermuda may be terminated by death, separation from, or divorce from, a surviving partner or spouse.

 

CONCLUSION

Despite the Bermuda Triangle's mystique and controversy, foreigners worldwide have been flocking to this captivating cluster of tiny islands in the North Atlantic for a hundred years. It will be simple for you to fit in with the locals and the community in Bermuda because of the unique blend of British and American culture there.

Expats who enjoy pristine beaches will consider Bermuda to be an excellent location. Be ready to obtain a tremendous permanent tan because the weather is fantastic, and the sun shines most of the year. What for some people is only a quick trip to the Caribbean; for others, it will appear like a place for you to live on the most beautiful island in the Atlantic.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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