The Ministry of Home Affairs takes this opportunity to offer the following regarding its upcoming meeting on Commercial Immigration.

In particular, the Ministry wishes to address some of the recent commentary being shared in the community which may have caused some sentiments of concern in the public.

The Ministry reiterates that tomorrow’s meeting is intended to be an information session where the matter of commercial immigration will be presented by an independent non-governmental organisation.

The discussion will focus primarily on how other jurisdictions have adopted the concept of commercial immigration.

Today, in addressing the matter, the Minister of Home Affairs, Sen. the Hon. Michael Fahy, JP, restated the Government’s Throne Speech pledge by saying, “In last November’s Throne Speech, Government announced its intention of exploring the concept of commercial immigration. Research has indicated that it has assisted in creating jobs and stimulating the economy in other jurisdictions.

“We have talked at length about various ways of stimulating our economy, with one of them being direct foreign investment. Globally, commercial immigration is viewed as an avenue which provides direct foreign investment.”

Models are being used in close to 20 countries, including St. Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Malta, Mauritus, the US, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Monaco, Portugal, Latvia and many others.

Minister Fahy continued, “To be clear, at this stage Government has not taken a position on the initiative, and tomorrow serves as an opportunity for the public to gain some knowledge and insight about what trends are taking place internationally regarding commercial immigration.

“I can appreciate that there are varying views regarding the subject matter, and I am tremendously sensitive regarding all aspects to do with immigration. But without the benefit of accurate information, there is the concern of misinformation. And the perpetuation of misinformation does a disservice to what is intended to be an open, transparent consultation process.”

The Minister concluded, “As I pointed out last week, it is my hope that the public can keep an open mind regarding this issue. The ultimate goal is to ensure that we provide opportunities for Bermudians. And if we are to find solutions to the challenges that we face, we must all be committed to having a constructive, respectful and positive discussion, so that we can all come away better informed and better educated as to what commercial immigration entails.”

Tomorrow’s meeting will take place at the Cathedral Hall on Church Street from 6.00 pm - 7.30 pm. The presentation will be facilitated by an independent think tank, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) - an organisation based out of Washington DC. MPI is dedicated to the analysis of the movement of people worldwide and they have extensively researched other governments' commercial immigration policies.