Although Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory, its legal system is completely independent.
Here are some Bermuda laws and customs you might be curious about.
1. What Shall I Wear in Bermuda?
Bermuda, while very friendly and welcoming, is a conservative place. You should dress modestly and appropriate for the island. Bermuda clothing is as playful and vibrant as the island itself, so don’t be afraid of color in your attire.
Bathing suits, revealing tops and small shorts should only be worn on our pink-sand beaches or around pools. If in doubt, you can always sport a pair of fashionable Bermuda shorts.
Well-tailored shorts in this style are acceptable on almost any occasion and many men wear them with blazers and ties. On formal occasions, they must be accompanied by navy or black knee high socks.
Don’t forget your best golf gear, as Bermuda has more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the entire world.
2. What Are the Drinking Laws in Bermuda?
The legal drinking age is 18 in Bermuda, unlike the USA. Drinking alcohol in public places outside licensed premises isn’t allowed. However, there are plenty of restaurants and bars in which to enjoy a Rum Swizzle.
3. Is There a Custom for Tipping?
In most cases, a service charge is added to hotel and restaurant bills. The charge is typically in place of tipping various individuals, such as bellhops, maids and restaurant staff.
Make sure to take a look at your receipt carefully to avoid double tipping. Otherwise, a 15-17.5% tip for service is the standard.
4. What Are the Rules of the Road?
Much like their British counterparts, Bermudians drive on the left side of the road. Visitors can’t rent cars. Instead, electrical vehicles like Twizies, mopeds and bikes are readily available for getting you around the island.
When moving to Bermuda, if you choose to import your car to the island, here are the important things that you should know:
- The car should not be more than six months old at the time of transportation.
- You should be the car’s first owner.
- Your car should also meet Bermuda’s specifications and physical requirements.
Also, it’s worth noting that only one car is allowed per home by law, which is a good reason for considering buying a vacation home if you visit Bermuda frequently.
5. What Are the Visa Rules for Visiting and Moving?
Visitors are always welcome on the friendly island of Bermuda and can stay for up to six months with a short term permit visa if approved.
Bermuda requires that you have adequate unused pages in your passport. This allows for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. We recommend that you have at least two free pages in the Visas section of your passport before any international travel.
If you’re looking for something a bit more permanent than a vacation,you need to know about visas, employment and entry requirements.
6. Is It Possible to Find Employment on the Island?
For anybody wishing to move permanently to the island and who are not moving to join their Bermudian spouse, it’s necessary to secure a job on the island beforehand. Securing a job in Bermuda is only the first step to working on the island. There are lots of other important aspects like work permits that need to be finalised too.
Your employer would need to specify a period for the work permit and pay the relevant fees in full to the government. This period can be extended later if necessary (up to 5 years) but it doesn’t guarantee permanent residency.
It’s important to note that your spouse cannot work on the island from your permit and will have to go through the same process to acquire one.
7. Can I Bring My Pet To Bermuda?
Domestic animals like dogs, cats, fish and birds are welcome on the island. However, you need to provide your pet’s Import Certificate, which you can get in advance from Bermuda's Department of Environment Protection.
A health certificate issued ten days before your arrival by a licensed veterinarian from your country is also required before they clear the animal for entry. You should make sure that you have all these documents upon import so you can enjoy your trip without worry.
8. How Do I Purchase Property?
If you aren’t a Bermudian and you’re looking to purchase a slice of the island for yourself, you need to be aware of Bermuda’s real estate laws and legislations.
For non-Bermudians to buy Bermuda real estate, they must obtain a license from the Bermuda Government. The approval process can take up to six-months, so give yourself enough time for it to be approved.
Want to Know More About the Legalities of Moving to Bermuda?
It can be overwhelming buying accommodation and organising the paperwork you need to abide by Bermudian laws. However, it’s worth it for the rewarding experience when you can finally sit back and relax on your own terrace with a Dark ‘n’ Stormy in hand and start living like a local islander.
That’s why we have everything you need to know in this one place. For more information regarding your move to Bermuda, check out our one-stop resource below.