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CARIBBEAN | Bermuda takes in hurricane-hit Caribbean families

Featured Bermuda's Premier E. David Burt. Bermuda's Premier E. David Burt.
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Sep 27, CMC  – The Bermuda government has rolled out the welcome mat to families across the region whose homes have been devastated by hurricanes in recent weeks.

BermudaaA family of four from the British Virgin Islands (BVI), who have relatives in Bermuda, were processed by the Department of Immigration and arrived here last Saturday, officials announced on Tuesday.

The department has also processed 12 work permit applications for staff from overseas-based companies which want to relocate to avoid disruption and more requests are being considered on a case-by-case basis.

Several islands were badly damaged as Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria swept through the Caribbean this month.

A department spokeswoman said: “Due to the serious hurricane damage inflicted to our neighbour islands to the south, Bermuda stands ready to assist any personnel from overseas-based companies in those areas seeking to relocate to Bermuda for the duration of any possible disruption.

“We have already received and processed 12 work permit applications, some of which have dependents — spouses and children — relocating with them.As was the case in 2004 and 2007, Bermuda seeks no gain from the possible misfortune of our neighbours. On September 23, the Department of Immigration landed a family of four non-work permit holders from BVI who have family working in Bermuda.”

She noted that persons relocating under the listed conditions –  either for work or generally, will be expected to return to their respective overseas territories as soon as conditions allow.

“The Department of Immigration processes requests as they receive them. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis.”

The spokeswoman said the department would expedite short-term work permits for staff being brought in.

She said applications need to be complete, including the payment of fees, while local host companies should provide a list of all relocated staff and their dependents, their nationality, their expected length of stay, and their dates of arrival.

Companies may also need to consult with the Registrar of Companies, Bermuda Monetary Authority and Bermuda Bar Council over some aspects of their applications.

Meanwhile, a detachment of 30 Bermuda soldiers and six police officers flew to Turks and Caicos earlier this month on a mercy mission to help repair hurricane damage.

And a team of six linemen from the Bermuda Electricity Company (Belco) is scheduled to depart for the BVI on Wednesday.

The linemen were set to go 10 days ago but the approach of Maria forced them to delay their departure from Bermuda.

They will spend the next four weeks working with the BVI Electric Company to rebuild BVI’s electricity infrastructure and restore electricity.

Belco’s vice-president of grid operations, Dennis Pimentel, said: “I am extremely proud of these guys. This is no small task and will not be undertaken in an environment of comfort.

“Their expertise is going to be used to bring back some sense of hope to BVI residents as they work through the rebuilding of infrastructure and restoration of power.”

Last modified onWednesday, 27 September 2017 09:21

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