Living as an Expat in Bermuda

1. What is the cost of living like in Bermuda for expats?

Living as an expat in Bermuda can be quite costly compared to many other countries. The cost of living in Bermuda is generally high due to its isolated location, limited land availability, and high import duties. Housing costs are particularly expensive, with rental prices being one of the highest in the world. In addition to housing, expats will also find that groceries, dining out, transportation, and healthcare are all relatively pricier in Bermuda compared to most Western countries. It is essential for expats considering a move to Bermuda to thoroughly research and plan their budget to ensure they can afford the high cost of living on the island.

1. Housing: Rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment can range from $2,000 to $3,500 per month, depending on the location and quality of the accommodation.
2. Groceries: The cost of groceries in Bermuda is higher compared to many Western countries, mainly due to the island’s reliance on imported goods.
3. Dining out: Eating out at restaurants in Bermuda can be expensive, with a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costing around $80 to $120.
4. Transportation: Owning a car in Bermuda can be costly due to high import duties and insurance premiums. Public transportation, such as buses and ferries, is available but can also add up over time.
5. Healthcare: Expats living in Bermuda are required to have health insurance, which can be pricey. Medical costs in Bermuda are generally high, so having comprehensive health insurance coverage is essential for expats.

2. How easy is it to find accommodation as an expat in Bermuda?

Finding accommodation as an expat in Bermuda can be a bit challenging due to its small size and high demand for housing. However, there are various options available for expats looking for a place to live on the island.

1. Rental properties: Many expats choose to rent accommodation in Bermuda, as it offers them flexibility and the ability to move if needed. Rental prices can vary depending on the location and size of the property, with areas like Hamilton and St. George’s being more expensive than other parts of the island.

2. Company-provided housing: Some expats are fortunate enough to have their employer provide housing as part of their relocation package. This can greatly simplify the process of finding accommodation and can also help with settling into life on the island.

3. Real estate market: For expats looking to buy property in Bermuda, the real estate market can be competitive and prices are generally high. It’s important to work with a local real estate agent who can help navigate the market and find a property that meets your needs and budget.

Overall, while finding accommodation as an expat in Bermuda may require some effort and patience, there are options available for those looking to make the move to this beautiful island.

3. What are the healthcare options for expats in Bermuda?

Healthcare options for expats in Bermuda are quite comprehensive and of high quality.

1. Public healthcare system: Expats who hold a valid work permit are eligible to access healthcare services through the Bermuda Government’s public healthcare system. This system provides basic medical care at a subsidized cost.

2. Private health insurance: Many expats opt to take out private health insurance to ensure more comprehensive coverage and access to private healthcare facilities on the island. This can provide a wider range of medical services and faster access to specialists.

3. Healthcare facilities: Bermuda has a range of healthcare facilities, including the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, which is the island’s main hospital. There are also private clinics and specialist medical practices available for expats to access.

It is essential for expats to thoroughly research and consider their healthcare options in Bermuda to ensure they have the coverage and access to medical services that meet their needs.

4. How do expats typically find employment in Bermuda?

Expats typically find employment in Bermuda through various channels such as:

1. Networking: Networking is a key way for expats to find job opportunities in Bermuda. Attending industry events, meetups, and social gatherings can help expats connect with potential employers and learn about job openings.

2. Online job portals: Many expats also find job opportunities in Bermuda through online job portals that list vacancies in various industries. Websites like and are popular platforms for expats to search for job listings.

3. Recruitment agencies: Expats can also seek assistance from recruitment agencies that specialize in placing foreign workers in Bermuda. These agencies can help expats navigate the job market, connect with potential employers, and secure job offers.

4. Direct applications: Expats can directly apply to companies in Bermuda that they are interested in working for. Sending out targeted resumes and cover letters to potential employers can sometimes result in job offers, especially for specialized roles.

Overall, the job market in Bermuda can be competitive for expats, so it is important for individuals to leverage multiple channels and be proactive in their job search efforts.

5. Are there any specific visa or residency requirements for expats living in Bermuda?

Yes, there are specific visa and residency requirements for expats living in Bermuda. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Work Permit: Expats who wish to work in Bermuda need to secure a job offer first. Employers in Bermuda must apply for a work permit on behalf of their foreign employees. The work permit is typically granted for a specific job and employer.

2. Resident Certificate: Expats who are not Bermudian but wish to reside in Bermuda long-term must apply for a Residential Certificate. This certificate allows non-Bermudians to live in Bermuda for an extended period, as long as they can demonstrate that they have the financial means to support themselves without requiring employment in Bermuda.

3. Permanent Residency: Expats who have been living in Bermuda for a certain period of time may be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency. This status allows individuals to live and work in Bermuda indefinitely.

4. Status for spouses and dependents: Spouses and dependents of expats living and working in Bermuda may also be eligible for residency status, depending on the circumstances.

5. It is essential for expats to consult with the Bermuda Department of Immigration or seek professional legal advice to fully understand and comply with the visa and residency requirements in Bermuda. Visas and residency rules can vary based on factors such as employment status, nationality, and the intended length of stay in the country.

6. What is the process of moving belongings to Bermuda as an expat?

The process of moving belongings to Bermuda as an expat involves several key steps to ensure a smooth transition:

1. Research import regulations: Before shipping your belongings, it’s important to research Bermuda’s customs regulations to understand what items are allowed and any duty fees that may apply.

2. Choose a reputable moving company: Select a reputable international moving company with experience in shipping belongings to Bermuda. They can provide guidance on packing, shipping methods, and customs clearance.

3. Pack and label belongings: Properly pack and label all your belongings to ensure they arrive safely and are easily identified during customs inspections. Make an inventory list of your items for reference.

4. Obtain necessary documents: Ensure you have all required documents for customs clearance, including your passport, visa, residency permit, and a detailed inventory of your belongings.

5. Arrange shipping logistics: Coordinate with your moving company to schedule the shipment of your belongings to Bermuda. They will handle the transportation and delivery of your items.

6. Clear customs: Once your belongings arrive in Bermuda, they will need to go through customs clearance. Present all required documents and pay any applicable duties to release your belongings.

By following these steps and working with experienced professionals, you can successfully move your belongings to Bermuda as an expat.

7. What is the education system like for expat children in Bermuda?

Expat children living in Bermuda have access to a high-quality education system. The education system in Bermuda is based on the British system, with a mix of public and private schools offering excellent academic programs. The public school system in Bermuda is overseen by the Ministry of Education and provides education from preschool through to the end of high school. Expats also have the option of sending their children to private schools, which often offer a more international curriculum and smaller class sizes.

1. Admission to public schools in Bermuda is generally based on the child’s address, so expat families living in specific areas will be assigned to a particular school.
2. Private schools in Bermuda may have more flexibility in terms of admission criteria and offer a wider range of options for expat families seeking a specific educational approach or curriculum.
3. It is important for expat families to research and understand the education options available in Bermuda to ensure they find the best fit for their children’s needs and academic goals.

8. How do expats navigate the transportation system in Bermuda?

Expats in Bermuda have several options for navigating the transportation system on the island:

1. Public Transport: Bermuda has a reliable and efficient public bus system that covers most parts of the island. Expats can purchase tokens or passes for the buses, which run regularly throughout the day.

2. Scooter Rentals: Many expats choose to rent scooters as a convenient and popular mode of transportation in Bermuda. Rental companies are widely available, and the island’s size makes it easy to navigate on a scooter.

3. Taxis: Taxis are another option for expats looking to get around Bermuda. While they can be more expensive than other modes of transportation, taxis offer a comfortable and convenient way to travel around the island.

4. Car Rentals: Some expats opt to rent cars during their stay in Bermuda, especially if they plan to explore more remote or less touristy areas of the island. Renting a car allows for greater flexibility in terms of travel schedule and destinations.

Overall, expats in Bermuda have a variety of transportation options available to them, making it relatively easy to navigate the island and get around efficiently and comfortably.

9. What are the options for socializing and meeting other expats in Bermuda?

1. One of the main ways to socialize and meet other expats in Bermuda is through expat groups and communities. There are several expat organizations in Bermuda that regularly host social events, networking opportunities, and cultural activities for expats to get together and connect. These groups often provide a platform for expats to share tips, advice, and support with each other, as well as organizing excursions and gatherings to explore the island together.

2. Another option for socializing with other expats in Bermuda is through sports clubs and recreational activities. Joining a sports team or a fitness group can be a great way to meet like-minded expats who share similar interests and hobbies. Whether you enjoy playing tennis, golf, sailing, or hiking, there are various clubs and organizations in Bermuda that cater to expats looking to stay active and socialize at the same time.

3. Attending social events and networking mixers organized by local businesses, embassies, and cultural institutions can also be a good way to meet other expats in Bermuda. Keep an eye out for upcoming events, workshops, and seminars that cater to the expat community, as these can provide valuable opportunities to meet new people, make connections, and expand your social circle.

By exploring these different options for socializing and meeting other expats in Bermuda, you can immerse yourself in the local expat community, forge new friendships, and create a support network during your time living abroad.

10. How does the tax system work for expats living in Bermuda?

As an expert in living as an expat in Bermuda, I can provide a comprehensive overview of how the tax system works for expats residing in the country.

1. Bermuda operates on a territorial tax system, which means that individuals are only taxed on income earned within the country’s borders. This is advantageous for expats as any income earned outside of Bermuda is typically not subject to local taxation.

2. Residents in Bermuda are not required to pay income tax, capital gains tax, or inheritance tax, making it an attractive destination for many expats seeking to minimize their tax liabilities.

3. However, there is a payroll tax in Bermuda that is levied on employers, which may indirectly impact expats working in the country if their employer passes on these costs.

4. Expats may also be subject to certain customs duties and fees on imported goods, so it is important to be aware of these potential costs when relocating to Bermuda.

Overall, the tax system in Bermuda is relatively favorable for expats, especially when compared to other jurisdictions with higher tax burdens. It is essential for expats to understand the specific tax laws and regulations in Bermuda to ensure compliance and to take advantage of any available tax benefits.

11. What are the popular expat neighborhoods in Bermuda?

Popular expat neighborhoods in Bermuda include:

1. Hamilton: The capital city offers a bustling atmosphere with a range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The proximity to business and financial districts makes it convenient for expats working in these areas.

2. Devonshire: This neighborhood is known for its peaceful residential streets and proximity to amenities such as schools, parks, and grocery stores. It appeals to expat families looking for a quieter, family-friendly environment.

3. Warwick: Warwick Parish offers a mix of suburban and rural landscapes, with beautiful beaches and parks. Expats seeking a relaxed beach lifestyle often choose to live in Warwick.

4. Southampton: Known for its stunning beaches and golf courses, Southampton Parish is a popular choice for expats looking for a luxurious lifestyle. The area offers upscale housing options and a tranquil environment.

5. Paget: Situated between Hamilton and Warwick, Paget Parish is convenient for expats commuting to the city. The neighborhood features a mix of historic homes and modern developments, along with easy access to beaches and amenities.

These neighborhoods offer different atmospheres and amenities, catering to a variety of expat preferences in Bermuda.

12. What are some cultural norms and customs expats should be aware of in Bermuda?

Expats living in Bermuda should be aware of several cultural norms and customs that are important to the local community.

1. Respect for Others: Bermudians place a strong emphasis on politeness, respectful behavior, and good manners. It is important to always greet people with a smile and be courteous in all interactions.

2. Formality: Bermudians tend to be more formal in their behavior and dress compared to other cultures. It is common to address people with their titles and surnames, especially in business settings.

3. Punctuality: Being on time is highly valued in Bermuda, so expats should make an effort to be punctual for meetings, appointments, and social events.

4. Beach Etiquette: Bermuda is known for its stunning beaches, but it is important to be mindful of local customs when visiting. For example, excessive noise and littering are frowned upon, and topless sunbathing is not socially acceptable.

5. Food and Drink: Bermudian cuisine is influenced by British, African, and Caribbean flavors. When dining out, it is polite to wait until everyone at the table has been served before starting to eat.

6. Socializing and Networking: Building relationships is key in Bermuda, and expats should make an effort to attend social events and networking opportunities to connect with locals.

7. Celebrations and Festivals: Participating in local celebrations and festivals, such as Bermuda Day and Cup Match, can provide expats with insight into the island’s culture and traditions.

Overall, expats in Bermuda should approach interactions with respect, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn about and adapt to the local customs and way of life.

13. How is the weather and climate in Bermuda for expats?

The weather and climate in Bermuda are generally favorable for expats, with mild winters and warm summers. The temperature typically ranges from 70°F to 85°F throughout the year, making it comfortable for outdoor activities and beach days. However, expats should be prepared for occasional storms and hurricanes, especially during the Atlantic hurricane season from June to November. It is important for expats to stay informed about weather forecasts and be prepared for any potential disruptions that may arise. The moderate climate in Bermuda is one of the appealing factors for those considering living as an expat on the island.

14. What leisure and recreational activities are available for expats in Bermuda?

Expats in Bermuda have access to a wide range of leisure and recreational activities to enjoy in this beautiful island setting. Some popular options include:

1. Beach activities: Bermuda is renowned for its pink sandy beaches, allowing expats to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and sunbathing.

2. Golfing: Bermuda boasts world-class golf courses with stunning ocean views, providing expats with fantastic opportunities to tee off in a tropical paradise.

3. Water sports: From sailing to diving, water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to engage in exciting aquatic activities.

4. Hiking and nature walks: The island’s lush greenery and scenic landscapes offer expats the chance to explore numerous hiking trails and nature reserves.

5. Cultural events: Bermuda hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, providing expats with a chance to immerse themselves in the local arts and traditions.

6. Dining out: The island has a vibrant culinary scene with a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and bars serving up delicious cuisine from around the world.

7. Shopping: Expats can enjoy shopping in Bermuda’s boutiques, markets, and malls, where they can find unique souvenirs and locally made goods.

8. Fitness and wellness activities: Gyms, yoga studios, and wellness centers are plentiful in Bermuda, allowing expats to stay active and prioritize their health and well-being.

Overall, expats in Bermuda have a plethora of leisure and recreational activities to choose from, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy in this idyllic island destination.

15. What are the banking and financial services available to expats in Bermuda?

Expats in Bermuda have access to a wide range of banking and financial services to meet their needs. Some of the main services available include:

1. Retail banking: Expats can open a local bank account with major banks such as HSBC, Butterfield Bank, and Clarien Bank. These banks offer typical banking services like savings accounts, current accounts, and online banking facilities.

2. Wealth management: Bermuda is known as a jurisdiction for offshore wealth management services, making it an attractive destination for expats looking to manage their investments and assets.

3. International banking: Many banks in Bermuda offer international banking services, including multi-currency accounts, foreign exchange services, and international wire transfers, making it convenient for expats with global financial needs.

4. Insurance services: Bermuda is a leading global insurance hub, and expats can access a wide range of insurance products, including life insurance, health insurance, and property insurance from local and international insurance providers.

5. Investment opportunities: Expats in Bermuda can access various investment opportunities, including local stock market investments, offshore investment funds, and real estate investments, with the assistance of local financial advisors and wealth managers.

Overall, Bermuda’s robust banking and financial services sector caters to the diverse needs of expats, offering convenience, security, and tailored solutions to help them manage their finances effectively while living in the country.

16. How do expats handle language barriers in Bermuda?

Expats in Bermuda typically handle language barriers in a few ways:

1. English as the Official Language: Since English is the official language in Bermuda, most expats should have no trouble communicating with locals, as English is widely spoken and understood.

2. Learning Bermudian English: Although English is the primary language, Bermuda has its own dialect called Bermudian English. Expats may encounter some linguistic differences or local slang, but with time and immersion, they can easily adapt and understand the nuances of Bermudian English.

3. Utilizing Language Apps: For expats who want to improve their communication skills, language apps and online resources can be useful tools to learn the local language and facilitate conversations with Bermudians.

4. Seeking Language Courses: Some expats may opt to take formal language courses to improve their fluency and proficiency in English or Bermudian English. Local language schools or organizations may offer classes tailored to expats’ needs.

5. Engaging with Locals: Immersing oneself in the local community and engaging with Bermudians on a daily basis can also help expats overcome language barriers. Regular interactions with locals can enhance language skills and cultural understanding.

Overall, expats in Bermuda can navigate language barriers effectively by leveraging the resources available, embracing cultural differences, and actively participating in the local community.

17. Are there any specific challenges expats face when living in Bermuda?

Living as an expat in Bermuda does come with its own set of challenges that individuals should be aware of before making the move. Some specific challenges expats may face include:

1. Cost of living: Bermuda is known for being an expensive place to live, with high costs for housing, groceries, and other essential items. Expats may find it difficult to adjust to the higher prices compared to their home country.

2. Work permits: Expats wanting to work in Bermuda will need to obtain a work permit, which can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Employers are required to prove that no Bermudian is qualified for the position before hiring an expat.

3. Limited job opportunities: The job market in Bermuda can be competitive, especially for expats who may face restrictions on the type of work they can do. Expats should carefully research job opportunities before relocating.

4. Integration: Bermudian culture and customs may be different from what expats are used to, making it challenging to integrate into the local community. Building relationships and establishing a support network may take time.

5. Health insurance: Expats living in Bermuda are required to have health insurance, which can be costly. Understanding the local healthcare system and finding the right insurance coverage can be a challenge for newcomers.

Overall, while living in Bermuda can be a rewarding experience, expats should be prepared to face these challenges and take proactive steps to overcome them for a successful life on the island.

18. What are the shopping options like for expats in Bermuda?

Shopping options for expats in Bermuda are generally quite good, although prices can be higher than what expats may be used to in their home countries due to import costs. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Hamilton, the capital city, offers a variety of upscale shops and boutiques where expats can find designer clothing, jewelry, and other luxury goods.
2. There are also several shopping malls located around the island, such as the Washington Mall and the Clocktower Mall in the Royal Naval Dockyard, which offer a mix of international brands and local products.
3. Grocery shopping is primarily done at supermarkets like Lindo’s, Marketplace, and Miles Market, where expats can find a range of imported goods alongside local produce.
4. For unique souvenirs and locally-made products, expats can explore the many craft markets and specialty stores scattered throughout the island.
5. It’s important to keep in mind that Bermuda has strict import regulations, so certain items may not be readily available or may be more expensive than in other countries.

Overall, while the shopping options in Bermuda may be limited compared to larger countries, expats can still find a good selection of goods to meet their needs, from everyday essentials to luxury items.

19. How do expats access healthcare services in Bermuda?

Expats in Bermuda can access healthcare services through the local healthcare system, which is known for its high quality but can also be quite expensive. Here’s how expats typically navigate healthcare services in Bermuda:

1. Health Insurance: Expats are generally required to have health insurance in Bermuda, either through their employer or by purchasing coverage privately. This insurance is essential for accessing medical services on the island.

2. Private Healthcare Providers: Bermuda has a mix of public and private healthcare providers. Many expats opt for private healthcare providers to access more specialized treatment and services.

3. Hospital Services: The main hospital in Bermuda is the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, which provides a range of medical services including emergency care, surgery, and specialist clinics. Expats can access these services with their health insurance coverage.

4. General Practitioners: Expats can also seek care from general practitioners (GPs) in Bermuda for routine medical needs and referrals to specialists if necessary.

5. Pharmacies: Expats can fill prescriptions and purchase over-the-counter medications at local pharmacies in Bermuda.

Overall, expats in Bermuda have access to a high standard of healthcare services, but it’s important to be aware of the costs involved and ensure that you have adequate health insurance coverage to support your medical needs.

20. How do expats maintain a work-life balance while living in Bermuda?

Expats in Bermuda can maintain a work-life balance by:

1. Setting boundaries: Clearly defining work hours and personal time can help expats separate their professional and personal lives.
2. Prioritizing self-care: Engaging in activities such as exercise, hobbies, and socializing can help expats relax and recharge outside of work.
3. Taking advantage of Bermuda’s natural beauty: Expats can explore the island’s beaches, parks, and scenery to unwind and enjoy recreational activities.
4. Using technology strategically: Leveraging tools like remote work options and communication apps can help expats stay connected with colleagues while also disconnecting when needed.
5. Seeking support: Building a network of friends, colleagues, and fellow expats can provide emotional support and help expats navigate challenges related to work-life balance.
6. Planning ahead: Creating schedules, setting goals, and being organized can help expats manage their time effectively and ensure they make time for both work and leisure activities.

By incorporating these strategies into their daily routine, expats in Bermuda can strike a healthy balance between their professional responsibilities and personal well-being.