National Security Minister, Wayne Perinchief, has announced policy changes intended to assist the hospitality industry.
Visitors will be allowed to stay here for up to 90 days, extended from 21 days, with effect from May 1.
And visitors from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) with visas for the US, UK or Canada, will not be required to have an entry visa to come to Bermuda.
The changes were warmly received by the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce.
“I am delighted that this policy has been changed to permit visitors and even family of Bermudians who are not Bermudian to extend their stay in Bermuda without the inconvenience of applying for extensions,” said Chamber president Buddy Rego.
“This is good for restaurants, shops, taxis, hotels and guest houses and the entire Bermuda business and community family that can now say ‘welcome!’”
Minister Perinchief, whose portfolio includes responsibility for the Department of Immigration, announced the changes in a Ministerial statement yesterday.
“This provision for initial longer stays will compliment efforts to promote Bermuda to European guests who traditionally spend more time in their destinations of choice,” he told his House colleagues.
“Additionally, this extended stay will support the fractional housing product and efforts by hospitality providers to promote Bermuda as a genuine second-home to those who can afford to make it such.”
As with the current policy, visitors will have to apply to Immigration for longer stays.
“We have already provided the 90 day stay to visiting yachtsmen and their crews and this extension to land-based visitors is a logical one,” the Minister continued.
The visa waiver programme for the BRIC countries also becomes effective May 1 this year.
“Visitors from the BRIC countries will more readily consider Bermuda as a travel destination and a business-friendly jurisdiction,” explained Mr Perinchief.
“The elimination of the process requiring a Bermuda Entry Visa from the British Embassy in the visitor’s home country will make Bermuda more attractive and sets us apart from competitors who may still require such an entry visa prior to arrival.”
14 Apr 2012