Connecticut, US

Aug 06 2020

One Year Residential Certificate Introduced for Remote Workers and Students

Bermuda

At a Glance

  • The One Year Residential Certificate allows foreign nationals who are employed with or own a company operating outside of Bermuda to reside in and work remotely from Bermuda.
  • It also allows university-level students to continue their studies remotely from Bermuda.
  • Applicants must demonstrate sufficient means or continuous source of income to support themselves and their family during their stay in Bermuda.
  • The visa does not allow gainful employment in Bermuda.
  • Interested applicants can complete and submit the application online.

The situation

Bermuda has introduced a Work from Bermuda One Year Residential Certificate (1Yr Certificate) which allows remote workers and self-employed digital nomads to work remotely from Bermuda, and university students to study remotely from Bermuda.

A closer look

Remote workers must demonstrate employment with, or ownership of a company registered and operating outside of Bermuda; and students must provide evidence of enrollment in a research, undergraduate, graduate or doctorate program, among other requirements. All applicants must show sufficient means or continuous source of annual income to support themselves and their family during their stay in Bermuda.

Impact

  • Working remotely. The 1Yr Certificate offers foreign nationals the option to reside and work remotely or study from Bermuda for one year initially, whereas other residence or work authorization options have not traditionally expressly allowed remote work in Bermuda.
  • Local work not allowed. Holders of the 1Yr Certificate or their dependents cannot seek or obtain gainful employment in Bermuda during the term of the certificate.
  • Employers should assess compliance risks. As remote work programs are developed during COVID-19 and beyond, it remains increasingly important for employers to analyze strategies and assess risks associated with implementing and/or continuing remote work policies (both in the home and host countries) with a trusted immigration partner since such programs are relatively new, subject to change and can create compliance risks for employers and employees alike.

Background

According to the Minister of Labor of Bermuda, the COVID-19 health crisis has had a significant impact on the local economy resulting in mass unemployment and decreased economic activity. With this residence program, the government seeks to promote Bermuda as an attractive destination for foreign nationals, increase economic activity and provide greater job security for Bermudians.

Remote work has been a growing trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, with countries like Estonia and Barbados recently implementing visas for remote workers.

Looking ahead

As the non-traditional workforce grows and countries focus on post-COVID-19 economic remobilization, more governments will likely start to slowly adapt and update or implement remote work policies.

Fragomen will report on related developments

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].