No two ways about it, getting the immigration application form filled out before you get here is the single most complicated thing you will have to do in your life. And there is little information out there to help (well, that’s why we’re writing this).
The information contained on www.immigration.gov.bm has definitely been updated in the past year, but it still doesn’t help that much – it’s badly written and doesn’t make much sense to anyone but the person who wrote it. There used to be a link to the actual form, but the link I had is broken – let me know if you have one.
www.bermuda-online.org/employwp.htm has a LOT of information about work permits, so I’m not going to repeat it, it looks useful.
Permission to Reside for Partners and Spouses
There is very little information on bringing a partner or spouse to the island, but it can be done. There is such a thing as a Permission to Reside. You have to supply lots of additional information such as both sets of bank details, and the working partner has to write a letter stating they will kick their partner off the island if they split up. A note of warning though, once a partner has this type of visa, they will not be able to look for work or even get a Permission to Reside and Seek Employment form. Spouses are ok though, they should be able to get the Permission to Seek Employment.
There are a series of strange requests that take time and effort to get, and are met with strange looks. Our experience with getting a chest x-ray was odd. The first stop is to go to your GP, but ours didn’t understand why we needed this and I had to go back three times to get the right green form. You then have to go to the hospital and pay around £65 to get a copy of it – the hospital seemed to understand what you need so it’s fine once you get there.
Notarised copy of passport & certificates
I paid a fortune for notarised copies from an actual notary (http://www.thenotariessociety.org.uk/) – bear in mind it costs about £100 for each certificate and you have to get your GCSE certificates notarised! But it turns out you just need a solicitor to sign that it is a true copy which costs about £3 per document.
Again, pop in to your local police station to get this form and they don’t know what you’re on about! There is a downloadable form on this website: www.acpo.police.uk/certificates.asp
Things might have changed, but we applied for a different type of police certificate, which I think was slightly cheaper and had no option of the express service, but I’m sure this one would be fine!
How long does all this take?
Anywhere between 6 and 10 weeks, less if you get a temporary visa. But is always talkes longer than they say it will, particularly during the summer months.