Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown has put forward an enhanced immigration policy to boost business for Bermuda’s for local entertainers.

The new policy is set to get into effect at the end of August.

In a Ministerial Statement delivered on Friday, Mr Brown put local employers on notice that they will come under closer scrutiny moving forward.

The changes pending will also entail checking that advertisements are not “tailor-made” by employers.

Under the new policy, local entertainers must be included in promotional campaigns featuring non-Bermudian entertainers.

And non-Bermudian entertainers will also be required to maintain membership with the Bermudian Entertainment Union before work permits will be granted.

But the Bermuda Festival will get a special exemption, based on its past work and current plans.

Applicants will also have the right to appeal decisions to the Minister.

Referring back to another Ministerial Statement delivered on September 15, 2017, entitled ‘The Next Wave of Changes to Immigration Policies and Procedure’, the Minister recalled that he mentioned that the Board of Immigration “would be giving closer scrutiny to statements of employment and to the recruitment process effected by employers”.

“I also mentioned the Ministry of Home Affairs was/is working to return the full processing of BOTC (Bermuda) passports to Bermuda. And finally, I talked about enhancements to the musicians/entertainers policy,” he added.

He also noted that “work continues with respect to the processing/printing of BOTC (Bermuda) passports and the return of such processing to Bermuda”.

“I am minded to continue the theme of ‘The Next Wave of Changes…’ as I stand today to announce that ‘A New Entertainers Policy for Immigration’ will be introduced effective 30th July.
“Bermudian entertainers, musicians, and all those who love a bit of dance, rhythm, fun, and entertainment, should get ready to ride the wave of music with heartfelt meaning.”
Since last September, he said: “The Department of Immigration and the Bermuda Entertainment Union (BEU) have worked together to draft the new policy. It should be noted that there is a Musician/Entertainer Policy in the current Work Permit Policies 2015.”
But he said “that policy needed to be enhanced” and “following the joint efforts by the Department of
Immigration and the BEU, the new policy, called the Entertainment Policy, was circulated to key stakeholders on
June 14, 2018 with an invitation to provide feedback by July 13, 2018″.
“All feedback was positive, including comments that assisted with making further improvements to the policy”, said the Minister.
“The new Entertainment Policy will ensure that Bermudian musicians and entertainers are given fair opportunities for employment.
“Specifically, the purpose of the policy is “to detail the employment process/procedures for non-Bermudian entertainers and support staff, music school teachers and other work permit holders whose aim it is to provide entertainment services in Bermuda.”
The new policy will:
  • address the recruitment process for all forms of possible employment for non-Bermudian and Bermudian musicians/entertainers throughout Bermuda;
  • ensure advertisements are not tailor-made;
  • judiciously review work permit applications where one genre of music is appropriate for an occasion/event;
  • support tourism initiatives aligned with the Hotel Concession Act 2000; and
  • mandate that Bermudian musicians/entertainers are included in all promotional campaigns with their non-Bermudian musicians/entertainers.
Minister Brown also noted that “the BEU will be actively involved in the new processes”.
“For example, all entertainers and support staff must be first vetted through the BEU, prior to any processing of a work permit by the Department of Immigration.
“I believe this new policy puts us in the right space for meting out fairness and equity for Bermudian musicians and entertainers while welcoming non-Bermudian musicians and entertainers to our shores, as needed.”
The new policy will be uploaded on the Government portal (www.gov.bm) by the end of July.
Any applications submitted prior July 30th July will be processed according to the existing policy.
Where questions or concerns arise, inquiries should be directed to the Department of Immigration.
  • Top Feature Photo by mrfotogenik at CultureShock 18, July 7, 2018 at Snorkel Park, Dockyard, Bermuda, Concert Photos by Bermuda Real – by Ceola Wilson