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These amendments will be contained in the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2016 which Government intends to table in the House of Assembly in the coming weeks.
First, let me just acknowledge the presence of my Junior Minister, MP Sylvan Richards.
I also acknowledge the presence of my colleague, the Attorney General, the Hon. He has rendered much assistance to our team in respect of the policy initiative I am about to announce.
This announcement today should finally bring the much-needed security and peace of mind to those in our community who have come to call Bermuda their home but yet, legally, are viewed as outside guests here.
In addition, adoptive children of Bermudians in Bermuda can automatically obtain status if they meet certain conditions; any person who was born in Bermuda, or who arrived before his or her 16th birthday, will be eligible for permanent residency after ten years of ordinary residency in Bermuda upon reaching their 18th birthday; and any person who has a “Bermuda immediate family connection” will be eligible for permanent residency after ten years of ordinary residency in Bermuda upon reaching their 18th birthday.
Chart provided by the Ministry: Minister Fahy said, “The unfortunate reality is that Bermuda’s immigration policy has allowed substantial numbers of people to live in Bermuda with no real hope or expectation that they can ever achieve the full rights associated with being Bermudian.“Likewise, permanent residents are growing up and having children of their own, and to these children, Bermuda is their only home; they know no other place.
The plight of people affected by our current restrictive immigration policy is a longstanding problem faced by successive Governments.”“In terms of providing pathways for Bermuda Status, the main reforms we are proposing will allow any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years to apply for Bermudian status.“In addition, such a person will need to be a Commonwealth citizen, must be of good conduct and character throughout the period of residency in Bermuda and must not be convicted of offences showing moral turpitude, as has always been the case.”Minister Fahy’s full statement is below: Good afternoon, Today I am here to announce that Government will seek to introduce new pathways to permanent residency and Bermuda status.
This will advance human rights in our island to bring us in line with important international human rights standards.
These people wake up day-to-day filled with uncertainty and anxiety; they do not know what Bermuda holds for them in the future.
These are our neighbors and friends – people who have put years of hard work and dedication to build Bermuda up.
Their children were born and raised here, and some of them were even born here themselves.