Posts Tagged ‘permanent residency certificate’

The election is less than a month away but as yet, none of our local candidates have knocked on my door. Maybe they’ve done their homework and realised there is no point in canvassing someone who has lived on the Island for 30 years, owns a local business, is the father of a Bermudian child and pays taxes like everyone else but is still not permitted to vote in a democratic election.

It’s a pity they haven’t stopped by because I’d really like to hear what they think about the continued and unnecessary discrimination against long-term Residents and what their Government might do about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the few benefits that a Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC) gives me – for example, I can come and go as I please without needing a work or re-entry permit (albeit at the discretion of the Government) – but it falls woefully short of what most normal democracies would offer people in my position.

Without the right to vote and the absurd restrictions on buying property (more of which in a moment), PRCs are little more than second class citizens in the place that we and our children call home. In fact, we’re not even classed as full citizens in the same way that Bermudians and Status Bermudians (long-term residents who received citizenship up to the 1980s or obtained it through 10 years of marriage to a Bermudian) are – yet to even qualify for a PRC I had to have been on the Island before August 1, 1989, lived here for 20 years, and be over 40 years of age.

Between us, my wife (also a PRC) and I have 56 years residency in Bermuda, so our commitment to the Island is not in doubt – in fact I have lived here longer than I lived in my native UK – so why should we not have a democratic say in affairs that affect the lives of our family?

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