Today the Department of Immigration provided new guidelines for visitor extensions.
The Department reminded the public that as of August 1, 2020, the Bermuda Government increased the maximum length of stay for all Tourist Visitors to a maximum of 180 days; at the end of which, visitors are expected to depart Bermuda.
The Department of Immigration notes that visitors wishing to remain in Bermuda beyond the maximum period allowed should submit an application requesting permission to reside on an annual basis.
Visitors who require an extension based on extenuating circumstances should follow the new visitor extension procedure outlined below.
I. Annual Residency Application:
In an effort to adjust to the global pandemic and its associated challenges, the Bermuda Government recognizes that visitors may desire to remain on island longer than the allotted 180 days.
In conjunction with the increasing health and safety measures being implemented globally, and Bermuda’s relatively low per capita infection rate of COVID-19, the island has had success in opening its borders to individuals who possess an adequate independent means to remain as ‘long-term’ visitors to the island.
This should not be confused with the current Work From Bermuda certificate already in place, which is designed for students and digital nomads.
This new initiative will appeal to those visitors who do not have a need to work while on the island. Instead, these visitors can simply enjoy the safety and beauty of Bermuda’s shores for a longer, extended period of time.
Interested individuals should follow this application process:
Place a sealed envelope in the drop box located on the 1st floor of the Government Administration Building outside of the Department of Immigration Headquarters. The application must consist of the following documents:
- Application for Residence Form complete with all requirements listed within (such as, but not limited to photographs), which may be found by following this link: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/residence_application_2.pdf;
- Evidence of financial means (copy of current bank statement would be sufficient);
- Evidence of local health insurance policy for the period of requested residency;
- An official police certificate from the country where the applicant has been resident within six months preceding the date of your application. This certificate must be signed by the issuing authority and must bear an embossed seal or rubber stamp;
- Proof of online payment of the applicable fee of $263 per application. Online payment details may be found at: https://www.gov.bm/all-immigration-fees
- Please note that fees are subject to change.
II. Visitor Extensions (Business Visitors/Periodic Work Permits):
For all business visitors who were granted 21-days or persons who arrive in possession of a Periodic Work Permit who are granted 30 days to remain, the procedure for requesting an extension has changed, and is as follows:
- All applications are initiated by forwarding requests via email to the Department of Immigration’s visitor extension mailbox at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are no in-person interviews conducted until further notice. All correspondence (including payment) is to be sent online.
- To complete a visitor extension application, applicants must use the link provided below: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/6039_visitors_extension_application2.pdf.
- Where possible, persons must submit an application at least 2 weeks in advance of the expiration of their existing permission.
The following documents must accompany the application by scanning them to Immigration officials via the email address listed above:
- Letter of support from the local company with whom you are doing business (on company letterhead) providing rationale for the extension;
- The original confirmed booking for return passage (to a destination for which the applicant has the right of entry). Do not purchase a new ticket prior to being granted approval;
- The valid passport or travel document upon which the visitor landed in Bermuda, must be valid for 45 days past the intended departure date in accordance with the Visas and Visa Controlled Nationals Policy;
- Valid visa for the United States, Canada or United Kingdom (if required); and
- A copy of the Periodic (or Representative) Work permit.
III. Time limits:
Further guidance regarding overall time limits for business visitors is found at Section 2.1 of the current Work Permit Policy 2015: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/WORK-PERMIT-POLICY-1st-MARCH-2015--as-at-27-March-2017.pdf
Periodic (or Representative) Work permit holders will find similar guidance at Section 2.3 regarding overall time limits which differs from that of business visitors.
All applicable fees will be paid only after permission has been granted. An officer will contact the applicant(s) via email with specific instructions for online payments. These fees are non-refundable, therefore, applicants are urged to avoid making any payments prior to receiving notification of an approved visitor extension application.