Visa-Free Europe Travel On Bermuda Passport

May 20, 2014

From 4th June 2014, Bermuda passport holders will be able to travel throughout the Schengen area within Europe without the need for a visa, Shadow Minister for Immigration and External Affairs Walton Brown has announced.

The Schengen area consists of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Mr. Brown said, “I am very pleased to report today that with effect from June 4 2014 Bermuda passport holders and other Overseas Territories passport holders will be able to travel throughout the Schengen area within Europe without the need for a visa.

“This is a lobbying effort I commenced in 2009 and it took until November 2012 before the EU would agree in principle to include the British Overseas Territories on its visa-free list. It was not until November 2013 that the formal document was prepared; final ratification comes with the publication in the official European Union journal, which has now been done.

“As a consequence, Bermuda passport holders have regained the right to travel freely throughout the European Union, a right they had until the UK misinformed the EU the BOTCs did not have the right of abode in the UK.”

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Ministry: Visa-Free Travel To Schengen Nations | Bernews.com | May 23, 2014
  1. Onion says:

    Look out, you could still be refused entry into the US if you’re flying from London. Also many people aren’t familiar with the Bermuda passport so you can be stopped at borders even if you don’t need a visa.

    Yes, this has happened to me.

    • micro says:

      Had a similar issue travelling to Costa Rica via MIA from here, thankfully a more senior agent actually had a clue what they were doing and sorted it out swiftly

    • ABM says:

      Never happened to me. You must have looked suspicious! lol

    • Let's Think About This... says:

      The best thing is to check prior to traveling, and if need be, carry a copy of the US Consulate statement about entering the USA on a Bermuda passport. Keep in mind that the rules are different for entering from London (the West) compared to entering from Asia (the East).

  2. Krys says:

    I travelled to Germany without a visa in December 2013. I was informed in England and upon departure from Munich that a visa was not necessary. I’m not sure about the other countries on the list, but could someone clarify who said that we needed a visa in the first place?

    • Bermudians were given rights to full UK citizenship in 2002 as a result of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002.

      From 2002-2007 Bermudians were entitled to visa free travel throughout the Schengen area.

      In 2007, the Schengen agreement was updated but unfortunately due to a mistake British Overseas Territories were excluded in this update.

      Thus, from 2007 if you were to travel into the EU it was possible that you could be refused entry (One of my family members was detained overnight in a cell and then deported the next morning) if you did not have a visa.

      Thanks to Mr. Brown’s efforts, British Overseas Territories have once again been included in the list.

      In your case it is likely that you were overlooked because you passed through the UK and they didn’t examine your passport very carefully if at all on entry into Germany. Also, some countries have been more relaxed about it while others follow the letter of the law to the absolute .

    • Steph says:

      I tried to travel to Spain last month with my son but was informed that he would need a visa (we didn’t have enough time to get one)

      And my brother was detained a few years ago in the Netherlands (travelled via the UK) because he was informed he needed a visa – even though we had happily travelled there many times before. Luck of the draw I guess.

      • Jonny rocket says:

        well it does say as of June 4th 2014 it comes into effect

  3. Redo says:

    Wonder why the EU wouldn’t “agree in principal” back then but they do now? Wonder what changed their mind? Hmmmm?

  4. RME says:

    Good news!! BUT I sure hope you’ve notified every Immigration official and border guard in the Schengen area. I’m still travelling on my UK passport next month. I’m not taking any chances that some over-zealous official didn’t get the memo and tries to send my butt back home. BTW where’s the official statement or document Mr. Brown stating such? I can’t simply say “See it’s on Bernews…”

  5. Yahoo says:

    Good work Wally, you’re the greatest. Toot toot that horn!

    • Spittal pond skink says:

      Does this also include Ewart’s Uighurs?

  6. JOSS says:

    Onion, you are so right about personnel are not up to date with our Bermuda passport.

    I was grilled at London Heathrow about a visa when I was flying home via US in April!!

    • Onion says:

      I got to watch a 747 pull out of the gate without me. Ended up having to fly through Canada a day later.

      Use your UK passport!

  7. The Fact says:

    I travelled to Spain in 2004 and didn’t need a VISA then. Oh Well.

    • Serengeti says:

      me too. Spain, France (several times) and Italy.

      Oh well. Bud wants to take credit for something, obviously.

      • Smh says:

        Read the story again and see which countries apply. Spain France etc are not in the Schengen Area being referenced.

        • Serengeti says:

          Maybe you need to read the story, mate. Spain, France, and Italy are listed in the story as being in the Schengen area.

          “The Schengen area consists of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.”

          • Redo says:

            Busted for being STUPID! Reading comprehension much? #idiot

  8. Thank You Mr. Brown for all your hard work and those that work along with you to make this happen.

    • Harold Godwinson says:

      or you could get your lazy behinds down to the passport office and just get a UK passport.

    • Redo says:

      Who’s this brown person you speak of?

  9. carobbermuda says:

    Does that mean we don’t need a UK passport to reside in England?

    • inuk says:

      You never needed a UK passport to reside in England. British Oversees Territory Citizens have always had that right.

  10. Terry says:

    Can I ask a really stooped, dumb , asinine question.

    This comes from the PLP Shadow Minister.

    Now they are reporting news for the Government?

    I need a rum.

    • underwhatrockdoyoureside? says:

      Too much rum Terry?

      Did you READ the article?

      “This is a lobbying effort I commenced in 2009 and it took until November 2012 before the EU would agree in principle to include the British Overseas Territories on its visa-free list. It was not until November 2013 that the formal document was prepared; final ratification comes with the publication in the official European Union journal, which has now been done.

      As a consequence, Bermuda passport holders have regained the right to travel freely throughout the European Union, a right they had until the UK misinformed the EU the BOTCs did not have the right of abode in the UK.”

      • Serengeti says:

        Well if he’s taking “credit” for things which commenced while the PLP were in power, why doesn’t he also take “credit” for the crappy economy, that started while he was in power? Or the Moody’s downgrade, due to the debt that his government ran up? Or unemployment? Or Grand Atlantic?

        • JUNK YARD DOG says:

          Wally, here is your chance . Get Cracking !

        • underwhatrockdoyoureside? says:

          Let go much?

          HE took “credit” for something HE started while the PEELP were in power.

          What have you ever done for the good and benefit of ALL Bermudians, aside from blaming everything on the PEELP up to and including Jetgate?

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            He’s grandstanding, pure and simple.

          • Heavens says:

            THe PEEELP did more damage to this country than good. And by the way, don’t you wonder why, if Wally started this initiative, why the Powers that be in the EU waited until a new govt was in place before granting? I’ll give you 3 guesses…. first 2 don’t count.

        • Gerri63 says:

          Serengeti, Why do you have to be so nasty??. Be thankful for small mercies. I do recall Mr Brown working on this committee, was patiently waiting over the years for this to come into effect.Futhermore the entire world is in a bad economic crisis including Europe. With people like you being so sarcastic we will remain in a bad state.

    • Hurricane says:

      @ Terry, I’m surprised this hasn’t been asked before you. It’s definitely not dumb or asinine.

    • Bdaboy says:

      Didn’t the PLP want independence for Bermuda?

  11. Truth is killin' me... says:

    A lot of “grey” areas these days. Point me to an official document that I may print out and present to an immigration official at the border.

  12. Looking in says:

    Thank The Lord we are not independent!

  13. jt says:

    Rights that will be lost when you get your independence Walton.

  14. MisterMan311 says:

    @Terry: It’s likely because this was a project Mr. Brown undertook under the previous administration, and he has kept tabs on its progress since. As a result, he was probably able to get the word out before the Minister. That it comes from him and not the current Minister of Home Affairs is simply an example of political point scoring. I make no comment on whether that’s good or bad. It is what it is.

    Not a stupid question, though. :)

  15. M & M says:

    I’m with RME. I will continue to use my British passport until the official document is produced… but even then I probably won’t take the chance.

  16. Creme Brûlée says:

    But will it still work for an independent Bermuda, which is Mr. Brown’s avowed aim.

  17. Terry says:

    It’s called Grandstanding MisterMan.
    Section 17 of Plan ‘B’.

  18. Terry says:

    As an addendum; the Minister has signed off on this correct?

  19. colin says:

    Its up to Government to ‘announce’ a policy change. The Opposition can merely report what they believe to be a change. I would suggest we wait to hear or read it on Bda Govt official notice or letterhead before taking one man’s word for it. Afterall, I’m not calling Mr. Brown to help me at the border – I’m calling Mr. Fahy!!

  20. JOSS says:

    I have read this article twice – travel free through Europe and then travel free through Schengen area, that’s not all of Europe; so which is it?

    Need clarification…

  21. Silence Do Good says:

    Great news for Commercial Immigration! Now we if we run a programme we can tote the VISA FREE TRAVEL banner to a lot more countries. Thanks Mr. Brown great news.

  22. Bermuda123 says:

    A good comment above re making available the official statement so we can take it with us while traveling. Let’s not forget we are a small country and we can’t realistically expect every single immigration officer in every country to be fully up to speed. Make your lives easier folks and travel with a copy of the EU rule.

    Separately, don’t forget, that this not only gives you the right to travel in the EU but also to live there. If you have lost faith in Bermuda, the sun also shines in parts of Europe and it’s better to pay tax on your salary than not to have a job maybe…..at least for a time.

  23. Jay Kempe says:

    While this is a positive development, at NO time did ANY PLP politician (including Walton Brown) EVER publicly advise Bermudians over many years that a practical and valuable alternative would be to obtain a UK passport that ALL Bermudians have been entitled to since 2003. It is not difficult to guess why this is the case!!!

    My advise to EVERY Bermudian is to apply for the UK passport you are entitled to and the whole of Europe can be your oyster. What an amazing gift the UK Government bestowed on all of us in 2003.

  24. I McHunt says:

    It will probably still be quicker to be processed through the airports in these countries if you have a British Passport. With a British Passport you can pass through the EU passport holders line which is significantly quicker than the non Euro line! Not sure if Bermudian passport holders will be able to use this line. Clarification anyone?