Minister: US Travel Advisory For BOTC Passports

December 3, 2017 | 6 Comments

“If someone is using a BOTC passport but is not Bermudian, they will not be allowed to travel to the US visa free,” Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said, adding that “persons who do not possess Bermudian status but are in possession of a BOTC [Bermuda] passport are advised that if they plan to travel to the USA to either travel with a passport that identifies their citizenship or, if they are using the BOTC passport, make arrangements in advance to secure a US visa.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Minister Brown said, “I rise to inform this Honourable House about a recent notification to the Department of Immigration regarding persons who do not possess Bermudian status but are in possession of a British Overseas Territories Citizen [BOTC] passport.

“We recently received a complaint that a spouse of a Bermudian who had been naturalised but did not possess Bermudian status had been denied entry to the United States. Honourable members would be aware that there are persons that are not Bermudian but possess BOTC status because they were either [1] born in Bermuda before 1983 or [2] naturalised as BOT citizens.

“As a result of this complaint, we raised the issue with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Agency and received the following response:

“In accordance with US law, only Bermudians can travel visa free. If someone is using a BOTC passport but is not Bermudian, they will not be allowed to travel to the US visa free. They have to present a passport from their Country of citizenship and a valid visa to travel.”

“To be clear:

  • Persons using BOTC passports but are not displaying the observation “Holder is registered as a Bermudian” will not be permitted entry to the US without a visa. Additionally, it should be noted that Bermudians traveling with BOTC passports that are not displaying the mentioned observation will not be eligible for entry to the US under the visa-exempt classification. That observation in our passport is necessary to reflect that the person possesses Bermudian status to benefit from the “visa exempt” classification;
  • Other persons who qualify to possess BOTC passports but do not possess Bermudian status and are, therefore, not eligible to obtain the observation “Holder is registered as a Bermudian” will not be permitted travel to the US as a visa-exempt national.

“Therefore we encourage Bermudians to check their Bermuda passports to ensure that the observation has been added to their passport before travelling to the US. Persons who do not possess Bermudian status but are in possession of a BOTC [Bermuda] passport are advised that if they plan to travel to the USA to either travel with a passport that identifies their citizenship or, if they are using the BOTC passport, make arrangements in advance to secure a US visa.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to inform this Honourable House about a recent notification to the Department of Immigration regarding persons who do not possess Bermudian status but are in possession of a British Overseas Territories Citizen [BOTC] passport.

Mr. Speaker, we recently received a complaint that a spouse of a Bermudian who had been naturalised but did not possess Bermudian status had been denied entry to the United States.

Honourable members would be aware that there are persons that are not Bermudian but possess BOTC status because they were either [1] born in Bermuda before 1983 or [2] naturalised as BOT citizens.

As a result of this complaint, we raised the issue with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Agency and received the following response:

“In accordance with US law, only Bermudians can travel visa free. If someone is using a BOTC passport but is not Bermudian, they will not be allowed to travel to the US visa free. They have to present a passport from their Country of citizenship and a valid visa to travel.”

Mr. Speaker, to be clear:

  • Persons using BOTC passports but are not displaying the observation “Holder is registered as a Bermudian” will not be permitted entry to the US without a visa. Additionally, it should be noted that Bermudians traveling with BOTC passports that are not displaying the mentioned observation will not be eligible for entry to the US under the visa-exempt classification. That observation in our passport is necessary to reflect that the person possesses Bermudian status to benefit from the “visa exempt” classification;
  • Other persons who qualify to possess BOTC passports but do not possess Bermudian status and are, therefore, not eligible to obtain the observation “Holder is registered as a Bermudian” will not be permitted travel to the US as a visa-exempt national.

Mr. Speaker, the previously mentioned list details clearly the position of the US Customs & Border Protection Agency according to the relevant US legislation as it pertains to eligibility for visa exemption. There are a number of persons who qualify for and do possess BOTC [Bermuda] passports but are not eligible for the grant of Bermudian Status.

Therefore we encourage Bermudians to check their Bermuda passports to ensure that the observation has been added to their passport before travelling to the US. Persons who do not possess Bermudian status but are in possession of a BOTC [Bermuda] passport are advised that if they plan to travel to the USA to either travel with a passport that identifies their citizenship or, if they are using the BOTC passport, make arrangements in advance to secure a US visa.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (6)

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  1. The Kid says:

    Minister Brown…… please try to couch your statements more positively you always give the impression you take great delight in giving us information in a negative light, always seems as if you enjoy the glass being half full…

    Perhaps you could have said…Good morning Bermuda you will be happy to know that BOTC residents who have Bermuda passports with the stamp “holder is registered as a Bermudian” are exempt from a US visa and can freely travel to the US visa free.

    Unfortunately if you don’t have that stamp you can apply for a US visa and can travel easily to the US because of our long standing good relations with that country.

    • Coffee says:

      The Kid shoots the messenger .

      Walton should have said …’ If you ing Bermudian , and you want to go to de states , yah goddy get a wisa .

      There , happy now ?

  2. Bermmanymanymanymen says:

    Damn Bermudas backwards in some areas

    • Micro says:

      How so? The US law that allows visa free travel within/through the US specifically states Bermudian, not just holder of a Bermuda BOTC passport.

  3. Kathy says:

    So, let me get this straight…

    “If someone is using a BOTC passport but is not Bermudian, they will not be allowed to travel to the US visa free. They have to present a passport from their Country of citizenship and a valid visa to travel.”

    …what if they have no other country of citizenship….and the US refuses to allow them entry into the country? Technically, that then means that the person has essentially been “deported” back to Bermuda, their country of origin and that country then must provide them with Citizenship in order for them to have the right to travel freely. No?

    There are so many children born in Bermuda that are not Bermudian. They have a right to a travel document (a passport) from Bermuda but are repeatedly denied the right to travel freely on that document rendering it useless. Something has to give and these persons should be considered citizens of the country where they were born.

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