Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The skinny on the work permit

Bermuda's immigration laws are restrictive when it comes to foreign workers & work permits. As a work permit holder, you can only have two employers in your first five years and a third employer in your sixth year. If you are a key employee then you may stay here longer than the six years, but with the same employer. Most expats have no choice but to leave after their sixth year if they feel like they have to change employers. There's nowhere to go but back home or to another island.

The most logical island would be Cayman, I suppose, although many move to Guernsey (Channel Islands) or to the Bahamas or even Singapore or Ireland. The choices when you are in the Fund industry are limitless. If you do move to Cayman you will find that as a foreign worker there are fewer restrictions than Bermuda. While Cayman does have the term limit, it's a limit of seven years, after which as a key employee one can stay on and continue to work. Once you pass your eighth year you are eligible to apply for residency - a route that many expats take, if they are key employees. This is not an option available in Bermuda which no longer allows persons to apply for residency unless they are married to a Bermudian for more than 10 years. And while Cayman may have no restrictions on the number of employers like Bermuda does, it still frowns on a foreigner changing employers too often. Which basically means I have no idea what number the government likes. I guess we have to pick one!

1 comment:

bichonpawz said...

So.....I guess you'll be doing some more island hopping then? I always wondered how on earth people actually applied for a work permit in Bermuda. That's one place I really would like to move to. One day.