Work from Bermuda
One-Year Residency Certificate
Covid-19 situation has pushed Bermuda Government to think innovatively and start increasing the economic activity in the island at a time when its economy has been seriously battered due to lack of tourism activity in the island.
After Barbados announced their remote work visa for one year on July 18, 2020 (calling it a 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp), Bermuda too followed suit. Effective August 1, 2020, Bermuda has started issuing 1-year residency certificate to foreign nationals who can work remotely from Bermuda (such as digital nomads) without seeking a gainful local employment or those who want to complete higher education in Bermuda having completed a minimum of secondary education. This one-year residency is also known as Work from Bermuda Certificate.
However, the major difference between Bermuda's scheme and that of Barbados is, the application fee for Bermuda's 1-year residency is only $263 while that of Barbados is whopping $2,000.
For all practical purpose, this 1-year certificate is a 1-year visitor's visa in Bermuda. If you come to Bermuda as a tourist or visitor, you can stay in the island for a maximum period of 180 days (or 6 months). The 1-year residency is only an extension to that for an eligible group of foreigners.
To be eligible for such a 1-year residency is Bermuda, you need to fulfill the following conditions:
You should be employed in your home country and demonstrate that you can come to Bermuda and continue to work for the same company remotely over internet and the company would have no objection to that. Alternatively, you can work remotely in your own company. For self employed like bloggers, you can furnish a letter with other necessary documentation. However, in all the above cases, you need to demonstrate that you can self support yourself financially while in Bermuda and will not require to seek an employment in the island.
You are a student and have completed your secondary education, and now want to pursue and complete a higher education in Bermuda. In this case you should be able to provide evidence of your enrolment in Research, Undergraduate, Graduate or Doctorate Program in Bermuda. You must be able to support yourself financially in Bermuda during the period of your stay.
You must be minimum 18 years of age and not have any criminal records.
You must have a health insurance coverage in Bermuda.
Pay the application fee or 1-year residence. As of September 2020, this fee is $263.
How to Apply
You must visit the Government of Bermuda website and fill up this online application form and submit the same along with all necessary supporting documents (as mentioned in the form).
On receiving the submitted application, Bermuda's Department of Immigration will process the same.
The department will revert to you within 10 business days, and if the application is successful, will issue the 1-year residency certificate online. The period of one year residency starts once this certificate is issued.
Note that this 1-Year Residency Certificate can not be renewed. At the end of the year, if you want to stay longer, a new application will be required for 1-year certificate.
Pro's and Con's
The 'Work from Bermuda' or the '1-Year Residency' program has some positives and negatives, although the positives should clearly outweigh the negatives.
The application process is easy and should not take you more than 45 minutes to fill up the form if you have all the supporting documents ready at hand. The total turn around time is also quite fast and the Bermuda authorities try to issue the certificate within 10 working days.
Easy to go life in a picturesque island... imagine that the views and sounds of the waves could be yards away as you work in the island... a much needed break from the busy city life.
Bermuda's Covid-19 prevention mechanism has been one of the most successful and effective in the world and this has resulted in the least infection and spread of the cases in the island. So, you can work with peace in mind and enjoy the island without the daily worries in a typical city.
If you are a remote worker, you will need to be online and want to have good internet speed. Bermuda has already moved into 5G internet technology... the internet speed is blazing fast and reliability robust. Check out Internet and Wifi Access in Bermuda for more information.
There is no income tax imposed by Bermuda Government during this one-year residency. However, you should take advice from a tax consultant to understand full implication of tax back in your home country.
Bermuda is one of the most expensive countries in the world and cost of living here is one of the highest. So while working from Bermuda, unless you earn a substantial amount from your remote job or work, it will be very difficult to sustain yourself. Only to give you an idea, an average rent of a one bedroom apartment in Bermuda would be around $2,500-3,000 depending on your location. Check out Cost of living in Bermuda for details.
Way of life in Bermuda has been traditionally conservative and has mostly followed the old British style of living. So if you are from an happening city like New York or similar, you might be in for a shock and see that all shops in Bermuda close by 5:30pm (even in its capital city Hamilton), and there are not as many Nightlife options in Bermuda as you get in a large city.
While Bermudians are friendly, it won't be easy to make real friends here in the island for the same reason that islanders are conservative in nature. So it can feel a little isolating at times.
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