The Government of Bermuda tabled in the House today a Bill which would amend the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 to address certain issues facing 'mixed-status' families, where family members of persons who possess Bermudian status or a permanent residency certificate (PRC) are unable to remain in Bermuda because they cannot acquire either Bermudian status or PRC.
This is the beginning of the legislative process. After readings in the House, the Bill will need to progress through multiple readings in the Senate before Royal Assent is given and a commencement date set. The key features of the Bill are summarised below.
The Bill makes provision for a Commonwealth citizen who is born outside Bermuda to acquire Bermudian status at the time of birth if at that time, although neither parent is domiciled in Bermuda, at least one parent possesses Bermudian status. Currently, such persons do not acquire Bermudian status at birth but are deemed to possess status only until age 22. Such a person would also acquire status from birth under the Bill if at least one grandparent possesses Bermudian status. The position will be the same for adopted persons. The Bill is forward-looking only, so won't change the position of such persons who were born or adopted before it comes into force.
The Bill also creates a right to apply for Bermudian status for the children and siblings of persons who were previously granted status by virtue of long-term residency and to the children of persons granted status by reason of their naturalisation as British Overseas Territory Citizens. It also provides that the spouses and adult children of persons who were granted PRC via a historic route for certain long-term residents, can apply for PRC in the same way as the spouses and children of persons who achieved PRC via the current 'Job Makers' route can do at present. However, this will only be possible for two years from the commencement of the Bill, after which the right to apply will expire.
We will continue to keep you informed as the legislative process continues. Please reach out to one of our legal experts with any questions.
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