Bermuda officially opened applications for their new ‘Work From Bermuda’ visa on August 1st, which is aimed at attracting digital nomads and remote working professionals to the island.
David Burt, the Premier of Bermuda, announced his excitement for the new program in a recent press release:
“If you are working remotely from home, please take the opportunity to explore the option of working remotely from Bermuda for the next year. Bermuda is safe, Bermuda is friendly, Bermuda is close, and Bermuda is beautiful.”
The ‘Work From Bermuda’ certificate allows digital nomads and professionals who normally work from home, a 1-year pass to live and work on the island instead. The program is very attractive for those who have been stuck in cities with high infection rates, or working from a home office longer than they expected.
“As a holder of a residential certificate you will be a long-term visitor in Bermuda and we are ready to share our vibrant culture and unique brand of hospitality to cure the Coronavirus blues. No need to be trapped in your apartment in a densely populated city with the accompanying restrictions and high risk of infection; come spend the year with us working or coding on the water.” Said Premier Burt.
The application process is relatively easy, boasting it could have you on the island in less than a week.
Bermuda is the second Caribbean nation to release this type of digital nomad visa, following Barbados launching applications for their brand new ‘Remote Work’ visa on July 18th, calling it the 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp.
One of the biggest differences between the Bermuda and Barbados programs is the price. The Barbados Welcome Stamp program comes with a whopping $2000 price tag, while the Work From Bermuda program only costs $263.
The Work From Bermuda program has some pros and cons, which we will go over in detail below, along with total costs, and how to apply.
‘Work From Bermuda’ Visa Program
everything you need to know
The FAQ page for the application just states “have substantial means and/or have a continuous source of annual income.”
We have emailed the government to ask if there is a minimum threshold of income.
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Clean criminal record
- Proof of travel health insurance
- demonstrate employment with a legitimate company or your own company registered and operating outside of Bermuda, in the case of a remote worker. For self employed this could also include a simple letter outlining the details, a certificate of incorporation, or other appropriate documentation.
- Completed application form
- Payment of application fee
Pro's of ‘Work From Bermuda' Program
Application is fast and easy
The application process takes about 30 minutes to fill out online and around 5 business days to be approved. The entire process is done online.
Once the approval email is sent, the 12 month period will begin.
Bermuda is Open For Tourism – But With Strict Rules
Bermuda reopened for tourism on July 1st and is accepting tourists arriving by air from all countries, as long as they adhere to health protocols set out by the local government, which include a strict set of entry requirements, like PCR testing.
The strict rules might be inconvenient for a remote worker entering the country for the first time, but they are good thing to keep virus levels super low on the island.
As of August 7th, Bermuda has only seen 157 total cases, 4 of which are active now. They are one of safest nations in the world right now when it comes to covid.
Especially compared to Barbados’ $2000 entry free, Bermuda’s $263 fee is extremely affordable.
Digital nomads can save some cash on what they normally spend doing visa runs. Visa runs can cost a lot of money when you factor in flights in and out of the country, visa extension fees, or having to move countries because of a visa expiry.
Bermuda’s remote work visa breaks down to $22/m, which is an amazing cost to be able to stay in one place without having to worry about visa runs.
Internet speeds are blazing fast on the island, which is exactly what every remote worker is looking for. The Bermuda Tourism Authority states:
“Remote workers looking for connectivity – speed, seamless coverage and a solid WiFi connection – will find it all in Bermuda. The island has the fastest “true” Fibre offering of any other country across the Caribbean and is connected by 3 subsea cable systems. Bermuda’s connectivity up to 500Mbps speeds, and available WiFi mesh technology, in particular, allows for ‘all over' coverage so there is no worry about spotty service.”
Allows For Routine
We personally know from experience that staying in one place for an extended period of time means we can get into a good routine. Being digital nomads for the past 5 years has taught us that the more we move around, the less we seem to accomplish. It takes time to learn new cities, new currencies, and to get your bearings in a new environment. If we find a great place to unpack the bags for a while, we can set up efficient routines and get more quality work done.
Bermuda has all the island vibes you’re looking for. Who wouldn’t want to trade in the busy city life for something a little more relaxed?
Many people thrust into the remote work world due to Covid-19 have realized just how hard it can be from their dark home office with views of the towering parkade beside them. Working from an island with views of the ocean and sounds of the waves brings a much higher quality of life and happiness when working remotely.
Easy Fine Print
The 1-year long remote work visa does not come with a ton of scary fine print. At this point, we are unsure if they will even check income, as they are only asking that applicants declare they make enough to support themselves. The program is renewable for additional years, they do not tax you as a resident, and they even have systems in place should you want to move your company there full time.
Decent Direct Flight Options
Bermuda flies directly to the USA, Canada and UK
- From Toronto: 3 hours and under $300
- From New York: 2.5 hours and under $250
- From London, UK: 6.45 hours and around $500
- Other US direct flights available from Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, and Atlanta
Con's of ‘Work From Bermuda' Program
Cost Of Living
Bermuda is the most expensive place to live on the planet. Really! It’s has a higher cost of living index than even Switzerland, Singapore, Japan and Iceland.
Unless you are making the big bucks, deciding to spend a year working remotely in Bermuda might not be financially feasible in the least.
Here are some average costs according to Numbeo (In USD)
- Gallon of gas $8
- Loaf of bread $6
- Domestic Beer $9
- 1 meal at an inexpensive restaurant $40
- 1 kg of beef $23
- 1 bedroom apartment $2500/m
- 3 bedroom apartment $5100/m
Can Be Isolating
Many digital nomads, especially ones who normally live in big cities in Asia or Europe, might find Bermuda to be a little isolating. It will be harder to find certain products, brands and supplies, not to mention there won't be as many direct flight options as other major nomad hubs.