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Information for employers filling job vacancies

Employers applying for work permits must ensure that:

  • all jobs are advertised on the Government Job Board, with their advertisements running for eight consecutive days);
  • they satisfy the Bermuda Government that they have informed all unsuccessful Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians, and Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC) holders of the outcome of their applications, prior to the submission of a work permit application.
  • where an established graduate training programme or an established exchange internship programme exists, that Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians, and PRC holders are given equal opportunities to participate in related programmes; and
  • they may be asked to participate in initiatives led by the National Training Board to boost the number of Bermudians employed in job categories where there are currently high numbers of work permit holders. Employers who employ more than five work permit holders may be invited to participate in such initiatives.

Work permit policies are strictly enforced.

Learn about the various types of work permits depending on the type of work and the length of time the person will be working in Bermuda.

Responsibilities of the employer

In most cases, the main criterion in assessing whether or not to grant foreign nationals permission to work in Bermuda is whether there is a suitably qualified Bermudian, Spouse of a Bermudian or PRC holder who is interested in the job and available to do it. Consequently, most work permit categories require employers to conduct a bona fide search including advertising vacancies on www.bermudajobboard.bm and in the newspaper.

Additionally, employers should take care to hire suitably qualified Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians or PRC holders who fulfil the minimum advertised requirements. An employer who applies to employ a foreign national in a job for which there was a Bermudian, Spouse of a Bermudian or PRC holder applicant is required to give clear, satisfactory reasons for not employing the Bermudian, Spouse of a Bermudian or PRC holder.

The employer of the work permit holder who signs the application documentation is responsible for its contents. This responsibility cannot be delegated under the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment (No. 2) Act 2013.

It is important to note that although the Department of Immigration carefully scrutinises each application submitted by employers, the Department does not possess the power to force an employer to hire Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians, PRC holders or any particular person. The Department can only prevent the hiring of a foreign national by refusing to grant permission to work.

How long does it take for applications to be approved?

For applications properly submitted, employers can expect the following turnaround times:

APPLICATION TYPE

TIME

(for approved applications from day of submission to issuance of documentation)

Standard, Seasonal and Occasional Work Permits

20 working days

Short Term, Periodic, Global, New Business, and Global Entrepreneur Permits, Travelling Salespersons, Letters of Permission

10 working days

Landing Permits

Five working days

Emergency Permit

Within 48 hours

Employers should note that when the Department of Immigration experiences a high volume of submissions, applications may sometimes experience processing delays.

Please note that application forms are not available at the department, and completed applications are not accepted by email.

Appealing a Decision of the Board of Immigration or the Minister

Employers have the right to appeal to the Minister following any decision made by the Board or the Minister.

Appeals should be submitted in letter form to the Department for the attention of the Chief Immigration Officer and marked Immigration Appeal within seven working days of the date of the refusal letter.

The appeal must clearly specify the rationale for reconsideration of the application. If the appeal is in relation to a new work permit application for a work permit holder whose work permit has expired, the employee may continue to work while the appeal is being considered provided that the appeal is submitted on time.

For the sake of clarity, if an appeal is submitted outside the set time frame, then the employee must stop working. If a work permit is revoked/withdrawn by the Minister there is a right to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal per the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.

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