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Residential certificate policy

Residential Certificate policy pursuant to section 32 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 (“BIPA”) 

A person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and who satisfies the requirements set out below may apply to the Minister responsible for Immigration for the right to reside in Bermuda pursuant to section 32 of BIPA.  If the application is successful, the person will be granted a Residential Certificate. The Residential Certificate entitles the person to reside in Bermuda without the right to work.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to apply for a Residential Certificate a person must:

  • be at least eighteen years of age;
  • not have been convicted, whether in Bermuda or elsewhere, of an offence which, in the Minister’s opinion, shows moral turpitude on the applicant’s part;
  • not have been convicted, whether in Bermuda or elsewhere, of an indictable offence in Bermuda or have been convicted of an offence outside Bermuda which if committed in Bermuda, would have been an indictable offence;
  • be of good character and conduct conduct;
  • possesses valid health insurance coverage (not a Bermuda Government supported health coverage e.g. HIP or FutureCare);
  • be free of tuberculosis (TB) if they have ever resided in a high risk TB jurisdiction for a period of three (3) months or more (based on the World Health Organization’s Yearly Report on tuberculosis);
  • have substantial means and/or have a continuous source of annual income without the need to engage in gainful occupation pursuant to section 57 of BIPA.

Application Process

A person wishing to apply for a Residential Certificate must complete an application form and provide supporting documentation. The list of required information and documentation is attached to the application form. The completed application and its supporting documentation must be submitted to the attention of the Chief Immigration Officer at the Department of Immigration. The application will be reviewed for completeness and the applicant may be asked to provide further information. Once the applicant becomes fully compliant with all requirements, and this has been verified by the Department of Immigration, the application will be presented to the Minister responsible for Immigration for a decision. Once approved, a Residential Certificate will be issued.

Death of, separation or divorce from, the holder of a Residential Certificate 

Upon the death of, separation or divorce from the holder of a Residential Certificate, the right of the surviving or former partner or spouse to reside in Bermuda may be revoked at the discretion of the Minister responsible for Immigration. The surviving or former partner or spouse may, within a period of three (3) months of any revocation, apply for the grant of a Residential Certificate in their own right. The same eligibility requirements set out above must be satisfied. Where an application for a Residential Certificate has been made within three (3) months from the date of the revocation, the applicant's right to reside in Bermuda shall continue upon such terms and conditions until the Minister responsible for Immigration determines the application.

Sponsored Dependents of the holder of a Residential Certificate

To be eligible to be a sponsored dependent of a holder of a Residential Certificate the sponsored dependent must be:

The spouse or partner of the applicant or the dependent child(ren) of the applicant and

  • not have been convicted, whether in Bermuda or elsewhere, of an offence which, in the Minister’s opinion, shows moral turpitude on the applicant’s part;
  • not have been convicted, whether in Bermuda or elsewhere, of an indictable offence in Bermuda or have been convicted of an offence outside Bermuda which if committed in Bermuda, would have been an indictable offence;
  • be of good character and conduct conduct;
  • possess valid health insurance coverage (not a Bermuda Government supported health coverage e.g. HIP or FutureCare);
  • be free of tuberculosis (TB) if they have ever resided in a high risk TB jurisdiction for a period of three (3) months or more (based on the World Health Organization’s Yearly Report on tuberculosis).

The spouse or partner and any sponsored dependent child(ren) of a holder of a Residential Certificate that were listed in the application and who were approved by the Minister responsible for Immigration will be granted a Residential Certificate entitling them to reside in Bermuda without the right to work.

Sponsored Dependent Children of the holder of a Residential Certificate

The right of a child to reside in Bermuda as a sponsored dependent ceases upon completion of their full-time tertiary education or when they reach the age of twenty-five (25) years, whichever happens earlier, unless the Minister responsible for Immigration is satisfied that there are special circumstances. Any such sponsored dependents are not eligible to attend Bermuda public schools. Proof of enrolment in a private school must be presented to the Department of Immigration.

Variation

The Minister responsible for Immigration may vary or amend a Residential Certificate to add or remove a spouse, partner or sponsored dependent child(ren), after proper application has been made.

Revocation of a Residential Certificate pursuant to section 32(5) of BIPA 

The right to reside in Bermuda on the basis of a Residential Certificate may be revoked by the Minister responsible for Immigration if he is satisfied that:

  • the holder fails to maintain the necessary financial means and/or health insurance for him/herself and any sponsored dependents to reside in Bermuda without the need to engage in gainful occupation pursuant to section 57 of BIPA; or
  • the sponsored dependent(s) enroll in a Bermuda Government sponsored educational institution (i.e. enroll in public school); or
  • the holder was not physically present in the Islands for a minimum of thirty (30) days in aggregate in any calendar year; or
  • the Residential Certificate was obtained by fraud, false pretence or the concealment of a material fact; or
  • the person to whom the Residential Certificate is granted is convicted of an indictable offence in Bermuda or is convicted of an offence outside Bermuda which if committed in Bermuda, would have been an indictable offence; or
  • the holder is convicted, whether in Bermuda or elsewhere, of an offence which shows moral turpitude; or
  • the holder and/or sponsored dependents are engaging in gainful occupation without consent of the Minister responsible for Immigration; or
  • a spouse, partner or child(ren) or others have been residing with the Residential Certificate holder without the Minister’s permission. 

Appealing the Minister’s Decision

Appeals should be submitted in letter form to the Department for the attention of the Chief Immigration Officer and marked Immigration Appeal within seven (7) working days of the date of the refusal letter. 

Continuing Duty to advise the Minister Responsible for Immigration of change in circumstances and punishment for offences against BIPA

The holder of a Residential Certificate remains under a duty to inform the Department of Immigration via letter for the attention of the Chief Immigration Officer of any change in circumstances under which the Residential Certificate was granted as soon as is practicably possible after such change in circumstances.  Failure to notify the Department of Immigration may result in revocation of the Residential Certificate by the Minister responsible for Immigration.  In addition applicants are reminded of section 134 of BIPA which says that anyone who “…makes or causes or allows to be made any return, statement or representation, which is false in a material particular and which he knows to be false or which he does not believe to be true…” commits an offence under BIPA.  In addition section 141 of BIPA says that anyone who commits offences under BIPA shall be fined “…$10,000 or imprisonment for 3 months or both such fine and imprisonment for a first offence and $25,000 or imprisonment for 12 months or both such fine and imprisonment in respect of a second or subsequent offence. Punishment in respect of a continuing offence is $500 for each day during which the offence continues.”

Application and Fees

Residential certificate application forms and application fee information can be found on the fee schedule on the Department of Immigration website. 

This policy is made effective as at 15th December 2015 by order of the Minister of Home Affairs.

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