Johnson supports ERC work visa recommendation

Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Elsworth Johnson said yesterday he believes the Cabinet is inclined to accept a recommendation from the Economic Recovery Committee that would allow foreigners to work from home in The Bahamas for a year, similar to the policy launched in Barbados.

Last week Barbados launched the Barbados Welcome Stamp, which allows visitors who can work remotely to stay in that country visa free for up to one year without paying local income taxes.

Johnson said The Bahamas already has similar residency permits.

“It’s not far fetched from what we do have. Persons can come and get a permit to

reside for a year to live in The Bahamas. What the Economic Recovery Committee is suggesting, and I think that the government is inclined to accept it, is that we allow students and/or persons who want to come and live in The Bahamas and work from within The Bahamas and obviously not taking job opportunities in The Bahamas,” he said in an interview with Guardian Business.

“So, say they work for a Fortune 500 company and they want to come here with information technology and perform their duties, obviously that brings a lot to the country. It’s something that I support. We have permanent residents who are living here now without the right to work and some of them are doing the same thing.”

Last year Parliament passed the Immigration (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which paved the way for the BH-1B visa and BH-4S work permit, which are aimed at recruiting those tens of thousands of people in technology firms that are able to work remotely.

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