How To Move To Bermuda
The complete guide!

Find A Job

The wealthy island of Bermuda is an appealing prospect for expats seeking work. It is a beautiful island with opportunities for a high-end lifestyle, plus high wages and tax breaks. 20% of Bermuda’s population are expats and the island has zero unemployment. You will, however, need to go through some bureaucracy, so we are going to look below at some of the pros and cons of working on the island.

Unless you fall under one of the limited work permit exemption categories (for example, if you have permanent residency), you will have to apply for a work permit: it is not legal to work without one and you are not allowed to seek employment while visiting the island as a tourist.

If you wish to work in Bermuda, therefore, you must set up employment before you arrive on the island. In addition, a work permit is issued to an employer, not to the employee – if you lose your job, your new employer will have to re-apply.

Most work permits are issued for 1-3 years (the maximum term limit of 6 years no longer applies: this ended in 2013). You have several options.

A standard work permit is issued for 1-5 years.

A periodic work permit is issued when an employer hires a non-resident who will need to visit the island several times over a period for short intervals (for example, for up to 30 days). This might apply to you if you are contracted for consultancy work, for instance. Because work permits are issued to employers, a Bermudan company is likely to obtain the permit for your consultancy firm and if this consists of staff other than yourself, the same work permit can apply to different people.

Short term work permits are issued if you are visiting Bermuda for a brief period (for instance, as an entertainer doing a performance).

A global work permit is for people who are already working for an overseas company and are relocated to their branch in Bermuda.

There are also new business start-up work permits for new companies, and global entrepreneur work permits, for hiring consultants for up to one year.

Residents do not need a work permit but residency is not offered to foreign nationals and in addition to this, employers must try to find local hires first. This is common to many smaller countries, who try to prioritise jobs for their own populations. Employers must prove that they have tried to hire Bermudans and must give good reasons for employing a foreign national instead.

You will also only be allowed to take up one job: you will not be able to take up a main job with a part time evening job as well, for example. You will also need to remain in your job for up to two years before applying for another, unless you are made redundant. It is hard to find casual labour in Bermuda due to the governmental restrictions and the island’s working climate is most rewarding to those who have a high level of academic or professional qualifications.

The island does have a few skills shortages but seeks to plug these with local hire.

Bermuda has a legal requirement for proficiency in English, particularly in the construction industry (this relates to health and safety standards) and for contract work (this falls under what is known as the ‘Portuguese Accord’ relating to contractual hire). The Department of Immigration is allowed to test people’s proficiency in English if there is any doubt.

The main sectors for employment are in IT, accounting, law, reinsurance, banking and tourism, so if you have experience and qualifications in these sectors you should have a good chance of finding employment.

The standard working week consists of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week, Mondays to Fridays. Working hours typically run from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. with an hour allotted for lunch. If you work more than 40 hours, you are entitled to receive overtime pay at 1.5 x your basic salary.

From May 2019, a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour has been introduced, representing a gross income of $25,480 per year: this is about 40 per cent of the median wage income of $63,712. This is part of a policy to address the high cost of living on the island and establish a national living wage by 2021 – estimated to be around $18 per hour.

You will be entitled to 8 weeks of maternity leave if you have been working for your employer for less than a year. If you have been employed for over a year, you will be eligible for 12 weeks of maternity leave, 4 of which will be unpaid. There is no legal provision for paternity leave but in practice some employers do offer you a week after the birth of your baby.

Your spouse will be able to work, but will need their own work permit.

You can make speculative applications but note that, as above, you will need to set up employment before entering the island.

There are a number of job fairs but these tend to be in Bermuda itself. There are, however, a number of recruitment agencies.

 

Applying For A Job

A single page resume should be sufficient. Bermuda is a British territory, but there are a number of American companies on the island and the terms ‘CV’ and ‘resume’ are used interchangeably. If you are applying through a job agency, you can ask if anything specific for your chosen sector or prospective employer is required.

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, gender, marital status, disability, religious or political beliefs are all prohibited by law (note that age is not included). It is even illegal to discriminate against someone with a criminal record, unless the offence might have a specific impact upon a particular job.

 

Qualifications And Training

As mentioned, your chances of finding a job in Bermuda will be best if you are seeking work as a highly-qualified expat in a profession such as the financial industry. A minimum of an undergraduate degree is desirable.

 

Apply For A Visa/Permit

All foreigners entering Bermuda must have at least 45 days’ validity left on their passport from the date of their intended entry. Any foreigners wishing to stay in Bermuda for a period of longer than three weeks, but not for the purpose of business or working, must apply for an extension from the Chief Immigrations Officer at the Government Administration Building (30 Parliament St., Hamilton, HM 12). You can telephone them on 441/295-5151. You must apply for an extension before you have been in Bermuda for 21 days.

Some passport holders, depending on your nationality, will not require a visa to enter Bermuda, but it is a prerequisite that accommodation is booked before you arrive. The majority of nationalities are entitled to stay for up to 90 days in Bermuda without a visa. If you are not sure what agreement your country has with Bermuda, you can check on either your own government website, the Bermuda embassy website in your country, or the Bermuda government website.

US citizens travelling on a “closed loop” (such as a direct round trip cruise to Bermuda starting and ending at the same port in the US), will require either a valid passport or a combination of proof of citizenship and a photo ID issued by the US government. However, US passport cards are not accepted in air travel.

 

Visas

Bermuda does not issue work visas, only work permits. Foreigners wishing to work in Bermuda must secure a job before they arrive in the country. Your employer will then file an application with the Department of Immigration for a work permit on your behalf. You may only enter the country to work once this has been received. You cannot seek employment while visiting Bermuda as a tourist or a visitor. Only an employer can apply for a work permit on behalf of their employees, so you can neither make an application yourself nor enter the country to work until you have received this from them.

Jobs in Bermuda have to be advertised locally first, to see whether a suitably qualified Bermudian, or their legal spouse, or a PRC holder is interested in the job and available to do it. Only after the authorities can be satisfied that the employer is not able to employ a local can they appeal to the wider market and offer foreign talent a job.

There are various types of work permit depending on the type of work and the length of time you will be working in Bermuda. You can find more information on this below.

 

Work permits

Work permit cards are available to employees and their sponsored dependants. The card is to facilitate travel to and from Bermuda. Employers must submit a completed application form, supporting documents, and applicable fees for the work permit application and the work permit card.

There are seven different types of work permit in Bermuda:

Standard work permit

This allows all organisations in Bermuda to employ foreign nationals, provided that they can prove they have advertised the job locally first and were unable to find qualified and suitable candidates. Employers may apply for standard work permits for periods of one, two, three, four or five years.

Periodic work permit

This permit is used by employers seeking to hire foreigners for short periods of work on multiple occasions. The periodic employee would make multiple visits to Bermuda, but not stay for longer than 30 days consecutively. For this type of work, there is no obligation on the employer to advertise locally first.

Short-term work permit

A short-term work permit can be used by any employer, including NGO organisations, registered charities and religious institutions, to employ an individual from abroad to work for periods of up to six months.

New business work permit

This type of work permit allows an exempted company that is new to Bermuda to receive automatic approval of work permits for the first six months.

Global entrepreneur work permit (a.k.a. GE permit)

The global entrepreneur work permit is available to exempted companies OR section 114B start-ups. It allows employees from abroad to live and work in Bermuda for up to one year.

Global work permit

A global work permit allows a person who is already employed by a global company in another jurisdiction to transfer to the Bermuda office of said company, negating the requirement to advertise the job first. Employers may apply for global work permits for periods of one, two, three, four or five years.

Fintech business work permit

A fintech business work permit is similar to the global entrepreneur work permit, in the sense that it allows a new company in Bermuda to receive automatic approval of work permits for the first six months – the difference is that it applies only to fintech companies. There is a cap on this, which means that only five fintech business work permits can be automatically approved and issued. Such positions do not need to be advertised in the local job market first. The permits can be issued for two, three, four or five years.

Please note that, when a work permit is due for renewal, the employer must advertise the job locally first, and give full consideration to qualified Bermudian applicants or permanent residence card holders.

 

Residency

All foreign workers and work permit holders in Bermuda are required to sign a declaration acknowledging that they are not entitled to permanent residency. Many workers can remain employed in Bermuda indefinitely.

In order to be considered eligible for permanent residence, you must have been residing in Bermuda for a period of at least 10 years, or one or both of your parents must possess a Permanent Residency Certificate. You must also be over the age of 18 years old.

If you meet the criteria and wish to file an application, you will need to submit this to the Department of Immigration, along with completed and signed forms, supporting documents, and the appropriate fee.

 

Get Health Insurance

Many expats take out private medical insurance, even if this is not a requirement of residence, because healthcare is expensive in their destination country or because certain treatments and procedures are not available.

When taking out health insurance, be sure to check factors such as the annual and lifetime policy limits, whether there are any exclusions which are likely to affect you, whether you are limited to treatment from specific types of healthcare providers, and whether the policy covers emergency evacuation for medical treatment.

Too frequently, potential buyers of health insurance look only for the lowest cost of premiums before really considering the specific benefits and areas of cover they may actually need. Some plans are cheaper for a reason. Often they include large voluntary deductibles on any claim you might make in the future and may severely cap the benefits received under the plan. Clients should define their needs first, establish the particular area of cover they need, then determine their annual healthcare insurance budget. Only then should they look to premium comparisons, last of all.

Do not buy a plan without studying the policy wording carefully. If in doubt, ask, and only when completely satisfied complete all application forms fully, to the best of your ability.

Important questions to ask the insurance provider:

1. Does the plan allow for cooling off periods, cancellation and then repayment of premium in full?

2. Does the plan offer “Moratorium” or is it “Full underwriting” and do you need to have a medical examination before joining?

3. Does the insurer offer a 24 hour help line, 7 days a week, available from anywhere in the world (freephone)? Most insurers now offer this facility.

4. Are pre-existing conditions excluded when joining and if so, for how long are such conditions excluded?

5. Are all and any nationalities accepted or are there restrictions which apply to local nationals? Some insurers will only take expatriates abroad and not local nationals into an overseas plan.

6. Does the plan allow you to continue cover unbroken through your lifetime? In most cases insurers will continue to offer existing clients cover year on year, irrespective of age or claims history, although premium rates charged can increase dramatically with age.

7. Does the insurer allow for any doctor or consultant or hospital within the plan? Are there any restrictions in this respect? Most international plans do not place restrictions on either hospitals or doctors, but almost all demand that their help lines are called first, prior to approval of any inpatient care.

8. Does the insurer provide for the direct settlement of bills presented by hospitals worldwide, regardless of location (or do you have to pay first)?

9. What are the insurers procedures for outpatient claims? Do these require any pre-authorization or if stated in the plan can you just pay and claim? How long before you get money back from the insurer? 14 days? 28 days?.

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Rent Or Buy Property

 

Renting Property

 

Buying Property

 

Move Your Belongings

Consider if you want (or are able) to transport your belongings yourself or whether you will need the services of a removals company that deals with international moves. Unless you are travelling very light, or making a fairly short move by road, you will probably need professional help to ship your possessions. Ask for quotes from several companies first, ensuring that they visit your home to carry out a survey of your requirements. It may be worth paying extra for the removals firm to pack your possessions for you, particularly if they are going to be transported to a distant country and need special protection for the long journey. Make sure you bring to their attention anything fragile or precious that needs particularly careful wrapping and packing.

Before agreeing to a quotation, ensure that you are fully aware of exactly what is covered in the price, and that the service to be provided meets all of your requirements. For example, does the service include both packing and unpacking of your household effects? What about disassembling and reassembling of furniture? If you are planning to put anything into storage in your destination country while you find accommodation, does the price include final delivery and unpacking at your home, or will you need to arrange collection of the items? Obtain a firm estimate of the likely arrival date of your items and obtain contact details for any agents that will be dealing with the removal in your destination country. Ensure that the removals company is aware in advance of any practical considerations such as the lack of an elevator to your apartment, or likely parking problems.

If using a removals company, you may be required to take out their insurance cover for your possessions. Whether or not this is the case, ensure that you have adequate insurance for anything of actual or sentimental value that could get lost or damaged during the move. Take the time to accurately complete or check an inventory of your possessions to be moved, as this will form the basis for any insurance claim for losses or damages. Find out if insurance is included in the price quoted by the removals company, or whether you are required to pay extra for this.

The removals company should arrange any customs and importation documents on your behalf, but if you are arranging the move independently you will need to find out what documents are required and what import duties and taxes are payable (and whether you are eligible for exemption from these).

Make sure that you set aside the important documents you will need for the journey, such as passports and air tickets, and keep these easily accessible in your hand luggage.

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Register For Healthcare

QUICK LINK: Bermuda health insurance

Healthcare in Bermuda is incredibly expensive, and is roughly at the standard of expense found on the USA. There is no government funded National Health Service.

 

Open A Bank Account

While many other countries have international banks, this is not the case in Bermuda. International banks are not allowed to operate in the country. There are four banks operating in Bermuda. All banks which are registered in Bermuda must be majority owned by Bermudians. Their head offices must be located within the country and most of their staff must be local people. However, the Bank of Bermuda is now owned by HSBC.

Other banks in Bermuda include the Butterfield Bank. This bank has a full range of financial services and can handle many international transactions. Other banks available to expats are the Bermuda Commercial Bank Ltd and Capital G Bank Limited. The Bank of Bermuda and Butterfield bank both have ATMs around the country. Monies can only be withdrawn in Bermuda dollars and it may be that there are charges for using the ATMs which are owned by the other bank. Each bank is different and it is a good idea to check the fees and charges that are imposed by each one.

Deposits that are made with banks are not protected by the British Financial Services Compensation Scheme and UK regulations do not apply to the Bermuda banking industry at all but there are regulations in place which require Bermuda banks to keep a ‘capital buffer’ in order to prevent them from collapsing in the event of an economic crisis and the Bermudan banks are now considered to be more secure than some banks in other countries.

There are monthly charges for current accounts and these charges average around $6 per month. Opening a current account is very easy for expats. To have a current account you must be at least 18 years old and expats must show that they either own property or work in the country. A completed application form is required for the type of account that you wish to open along with the relevant identification. This is usually a passport or a driver’s licence and should be accompanied with proof of your eligibility to be in the country, so a copy of your visa documentation will be needed. Proof of address will normally be a utility bill or a copy of your tenancy agreement.

Some banks have a limit on the number of transactions if you want to pay a lower monthly fee. These accounts are available in US dollars and Bermudan dollars. Debit cards are available if required. Current accounts have no interest attached and the cheques can only be used in Bermuda. If you need to send money abroad in the form of a cheque then banks can offer you a banker’s draft instead.

Statement savings are an option for those who want to have regular access to their money. Online banking and telephone banking are available, usually at no extra charge. Statements can be issued monthly and debit cards are available if required. Fixed term savings accounts are another option for those who are happy to have limited access to their savings. Withdrawals are limited to just a few each year and in return the saver enjoys a higher rate of interest than they would get on an ordinary savings account.

The Bank of Bermuda has an international centre which can help to set up accounts for you before you move to the country and even allow you to apply for credit cards and other facilities before you arrive in Bermuda. This is ideal if you are expecting to have money regularly transferred to you from abroad, so for those who are retiring to the country and will be receiving regular pension payments from their country of origin.

Bills can be paid using cash or cheque, although it is very easy to set up direct debits and payments by standing orders. The Bermudan banks have branches in all towns and it is possible to use any branch for your transactions. Banks are open during normal working hours but if you have online or telephone banking you are able to carry out transactions at a time to suit yourself and most have a customer service department that can be contacted by telephone outside working hours.

 

Transfer Money

There are many ways of sending money from one country to another. As always, expats can save themselves a lot of trouble and expense if they do a little research and shop around for the best deal.

International Bank Transfers

For most expats, currency transfer involves transferring small to medium sized amounts regularly from an existing bank account back home into a new overseas bank account in the local currency. These may be pension payments, benefits, or any other form of income.

Your home bank will usually be glad to oblige. You can set up facilities with them “on demand” whereby you fax or call them on the phone, provide a secret code or two, tell them the amount in question, and they will transfer it to your new bank, automatically converting it into the relevant local currency. Some banks also allow you to make international payments online. Whatever method you choose, transfers normally take between 3-7 days although 1-2 day transfers are often available but be prepared to pay more for these.

You can also set up regular transactions that are processed automatically on a fixed day of each month. Many state pensions and benefits can be paid directly into your new bank abroad without going through your home bank at all. Some private pension organisations may also offer the same facility.

When you first set up a transfer of funds abroad, the sending bank or institution will ask you for various codes that identify the destination bank. Often they will ask for IBAN (International Bank Account Number), BIC (Bank Identifier Code) or SWIFT codes but don?t panic – your new bank will give these to you and they may even already be listed in your new chequebook or bank statements.

As far as charges are concerned, you will probably be required to pay a flat fee per transaction. Additionally a percentage fee is often charged for the currency conversion itself. You may also find that your receiving bank charges you for receiving the transfer. Charges vary by bank but can quickly add up – ask your bank(s) for an indication of the fees involved.

As a general rule, transferring larger sums less frequently usually works out cheaper than transferring smaller amounts more often. However, if you need to transfer regular amounts of at least a few hundred pounds/dollars or need to make a larger one-off payment (e.g. for a house purchase) you should consider the services of a currency broker.

Cash Machine/ATM Withdrawals

Thanks to modern technology, most people abroad can go to a cash machine/ATM and withdraw local currency funds directly from their home bank account. This is a useful option to have for expats but exercise caution – many banks make hefty charges for using this type of facility. You may also find that withdrawal limits are in place (as a security measure) even if you significant funds in your account back home.

You can also use VISA or Mastercard credit cards to obtain cash in this fashion and if you pay the amount off quickly and avoid interest charges then fine – but once again credit card charges for cash withdrawals can be high. Check the rates carefully.

Currency Brokers

Currency brokers (also called foreign exchange brokers) offer significant advantages over traditional banks. Firstly, brokers will often be able to offer you a better rate than your bank. Secondly, the entire process is more transparent – many banks require you to accept the exchange rate available on the day they process your transaction, whatever and whenever that may be, but a specialist broker will offer greater flexibility, even allowing you to specify the rate you want in advance.

Currency brokers are smaller companies than major banks so always check their background carefully. Ask existing expats for their own experiences and recommendations before choosing a firm to handle your own foreign exchange requirements.

A good broker will discuss all the options with you and enable you to make the best decision for your circumstances. Using a broker will typically off the following advantages:

1) Currency brokers generally provide superior exchange rates to the high street banks. The currency brokers have access to the interbank rate and do not have the high costs that the banks have. This means that they can usually offer better exchange rates.

2) Use of a free Market Watch/Order Service: This allows you to tell your currency broker your target or budget exchange rate and they will ring you if that exchange rate level is reached. As the rate moves every few seconds, currency brokers can act as your eyes and ears on the market.

3) Ability to fix the exchange rate in advance using a Forward Contract. If you know you need to convert/move funds in the future but don?t yet have the money you can reserve a rate in advance using a Forward Contract. During this period, you are exposed to exchange rate movements and therefore, a forward contract is ideal if, for example, you have agreed to buy a house and want to fix the rate now but will not be making payment for a couple of months.

Savings from currency brokers can vary from between 1 and 4 per cent on the exchange rate alone, and specialists do not typically charge any fees for transmitting the funds abroad, unlike banks which often levy expensive fees or charges. If you are emigrating and transferring a large sum of money – such as the proceeds of a property – a foreign exchange company could potentially save you thousands.

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Learn The Language

Situated about 650 miles off the US coast, Bermuda is made up of 181 islands, and is still a British dependency. The capital, on Main Island, is Hamilton.

The population of Bermuda is about 70,000, more than half of whom are of African descent. There are also sizeable groups of British, American, and Portuguese citizens.

Bermuda generates the vast majority of its income by providing substantial and lenient offshore financial facilities and banking. Major companies such as Google have offices in Bermuda.

There is some agriculture and light industry, but the half a million tourists per annum keep most of the locals employed. Living standards in Bermuda are very high.

The official language in Bermuda is British English, which is used in the media and communications. However, the spoken language is generally Bermudian English, which incorporates some West Indian and American English influences. A few immigrants speak Portuguese.

Expats in Bermuda quickly become aware of the strong and lyrical West Indian accent, and the associated slang, which varies considerably from island to island, and can take some getting used to, but it is part of the rich culture of the region.

If English is not your native tongue, then learning or improving it will naturally help you to communicate and settle better, and it will be vital in the workplace. It is preferable to possess a level of confidence and proficiency in English before you arrive.

You may need to consider an online English course, or attending an international school. This is especially important if you need occupation-specific proficiency, for example in banking, finance, or medical English.

There are many courses in English available on the internet catering for all levels. Some will be free to a certain level. There are also several international language schools in Bermuda with a wide variety of courses in English to help you when you arrive.

Commerce and general conversation on the island will be in English, but then these daily interactions will improve your level of proficiency fairly quickly, as you will essentially be immersed in the language and culture. You should also be able to find locals willing to coach you or encourage you by engaging in conversation over a coffee or a beer.

You may also wish to explore the idea of learning Spanish, which is the third largest language per capita in the world, spoken by almost half a billion people worldwide. The Caribbean is flanked by many Spanish speaking countries, and some facility in the language will help you if you wish to visit them.

There are many excellent Spanish language courses available on the internet, some free (if you don’t mind the advertising). There are also a number of Spanish learning opportunities, particularly in the capital, Hamilton, and plenty more in Latin America.

Linguistic experts recommend an immersive learning experience as the quickest and most reliable method to acquire or consolidate a new language. If you need to improve your English, this should be a matter of going about and engaging with the local population, reading English books or newspapers, and watching English-language TV or films without subtitles.

Similarly for learning or improving your Spanish, immersing yourself in Spanish language television and newspapers is a good plan. Expat learners report that teaching standards are generally very good. There are also a few locals who offer private coaching, particularly in Hamilton.

For conversation or practice, rely on your own knowledge and a good phrasebook rather than digital translation: although the islands have a good standard of internet connection, the wifi is not always reliable, and you may not be able to access your phone at all times.

There are limited employment opportunities in Bermuda, mainly in the specialist banking and securities sector, and perhaps some in education, but very few jobs available to expats in the tourist industry. Good qualifications and a high standard of English will be expected.

Teaching English in Bermuda is another possibility. There are a good number of schools, and it is probably best to apply direct to them. These teaching jobs would be available to anyone with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and a TEFL certificate. Please note that it is always easier to get work in international education if you have at least a certificate in either TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Most language teaching jobs would be in the capital, Hamilton. Rates of pay vary considerably, and if you are intending to stay long-term you need to factor in the cost of living, and your own desired lifestyle.

If you intend to teach English in Bermuda it is preferable to have experience in teaching schemes such as the Cambridge English exams or IELTS (International English Language Testing System): the English test for study, migration or work. Some teaching experience in the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will also be helpful. This assesses analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to graduate management programs, such as the MBA.

You may also find work more easily if you are experienced in teaching English for particular sectors, such as tourism and hospitality or medical English.

 

Choose A School

Given the small population of Bermuda (around 65,000), education choices will naturally be limited. For example, there is no university in the islands, but the government of Bermuda places a very high emphasis on improving education standards for its entire population, spending between 1% and 2% of GDP on the state education system, which while not a high percentage in comparison with many other countries, has nevertheless been sufficient to have raised the literacy rate to 98%.

The education system is organised and regulated by the Ministry of Education, which has set out strong curriculum guidelines for all schools, both public and private.

School tuition in Bermuda is provided free from ages 5 – 19. Attendance is compulsory up to age 16.

There are nursery and pre-school facilities, some government funded, and there are both state schools and private schools at primary and secondary level.

Those students who decide not to continue in senior school after age 16 have the opportunity to enrol with the Bermuda College, which offers diploma and vocational courses in applied sciences, business, technology, hospitality, and the liberal arts. It has a system of grants and awards to help towards finances, but students are expected to pay lab and tuition fees.

The education system in Bermuda is based firmly on the British system with the school year beginning in September and ending with exams in June, and the day starting at 08:30 and ending at 15:00.

The school levels are as follows:

• Pre-primary – (optional) age 4
• Primary – age 5 – 11
• Middle school – age 11 – 14
• Senior school – age 14 – 18

State senior school education is provided at either Cedarbridge Academy or the Berkeley Institute. Senior school studies culminate in the Bermuda School Certificate and potentially onward to A Levels for those who choose to stay on after 16.

In addition to the state-funded system there are also 20 private and international schools, often with their own philosophical or religious stances, dotted across the main island. These private schools offer tuition for all ages.

Additionally, homeschooling is another possible option in Bermuda, for which there is an active support network which organizes sports days and gatherings. There are many underlying reasons why parents choose to homeschool, and although the procedure in Bermuda is relatively simple if you choose this route, you will have to do your own research and contact the authorities in good time. You must register your decision to home school with the Ministry of Education, and full educational plans which adhere to Ministry standards must then be agreed upon. Home educated children may still be required to sit exams at appropriate times. Extra-curricular activities, such as sports, are also the responsibility of the parent. Home visits and regular reporting will be regularly carried out to ensure your child is being homeschooled adequately.

Whilst teaching in the state system is generally of a fairly high standard, most newly-arriving expats will also be looking at facilities at private and international schools, which can potentially offer a better fit for their circumstances, and perhaps allow their children to go on to other overseas schools or higher education establishments as seamlessly as possible. Admission numbers at private schools are limited by legislation, meaning there is strong competition for places at the best schools, so it is vital to contact your chosen school as soon as possible.

Private school curricula will adhere to Ministry of Education requirements as a minimum, but will differ in emphasis, especially in faith-based schools. The overall emphasis is on a well-rounded, multicultural, and multilingual education, to provide students with the best chance to succeed.

Top private and international schools in Bermuda include:

• Chatmore British International School (British system)
• Bermuda High School (IBDP)
• Mount St Agnes Academy (Catholic, North American system)
• Bermuda Institute (7th Day Adventist)
• Warwick Academy (British system plus IB)
• Somersfield Academy (Montessori plus IB middle years)
• Saltus Grammar School (co-ed British & North American)

Fees, curricula, and extra-curricular activities will vary considerably, and need to be ascertained with the individual school. You should always look at the small print as many schools require additional capital fund payments for structural and material improvements on top of tuition fees.

Higher education opportunities in Bermuda are non-existent due to the size of the population, so those A Level or IB students wishing to go on to university level education will be seeking opportunities overseas. However, the education system in Bermuda is well set up for their academic achievements to be recognised, and to enable them to fit in wherever they go in the world.