UK To Print Passports, Up To 4 Weeks To Process

May 27, 2016

Starting at the end of next month, passports will take up to four weeks to process from the date that an application is submitted to the Bermuda Passport Office as the passport will be printed in the UK, the Minister of Home Affairs Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said in the House of Assembly today [May 27].

The Minister said, “From June 29, 2016, passports for British Overseas Territories citizens will take up to four weeks to process from the date that an application is submitted to the Bermuda Passport Office.

“Although the process for applying for and receiving a BOTC passport will not change, the passport will be printed by HMPO in the United Kingdom.

“Although the BOTC passport will be printed in the UK, the new style will continue to show ‘Government of Bermuda’ on the front cover. Also any time left on an existing passport will be added to the new passport, up to a maximum of nine months.

“By printing these passports in the UK, British Overseas Territories citizens will receive the latest biometric version of the passport that is available to British nationals, which includes the highest level of internationally recognised security standards.

The Minister added, “The transfer of these functions was a mandate of the UK Government; a mandate that was being imposed upon Bermuda and the following British Overseas Territories [BOTs]: Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, St. Helena, and Turks & Caicos Islands.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

A year ago, in May 2015, the former Minister of Home Affairs advised the general public of changes to the processing of British overseas territories citizen [BOTC] passports. Such changes would see passport personalization, printing and dispatch of BOTC passports undertaken by Her Majesty’s Passport Office [HMPO].

The transfer of these functions was a mandate of the UK Government; a mandate that was being imposed upon Bermuda and the following British Overseas Territories [BOTs]: Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, St. Helena, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

The requirement to look at the printing of BOTC passports came as a result of the UK Government, via the Identity and Passport Service [IPS], introducing a new UK passport design with improved security measures for British Citizens [only] on October 5, 2010.

At June 5, 2015, the Bermuda Passport Office introduced:

  • New application forms which were made available on Immigration’s website; and
  • New guidelines for the issuance of emergency passports which are being strictly adhered to [the guidelines were standardize across all BOTs].

The Department of Immigration with responsibility for the Bermuda Passport Office would like to inform its citizens about the changes to the BOTC passport process.

From June 29, 2016, passports for British overseas territories citizens will take up to four weeks to process from the date that an application is submitted to the Bermuda Passport Office.

Although the process for applying for and receiving a BOTC passport will not change, the passport will be printed by HMPO in the United Kingdom.

Although the BOTC passport will be printed in the UK, the new style will continue to show ‘Government of Bermuda’ on the front cover. Also any time left on an existing passport will be added to the new passport, up to a maximum of nine months.

By printing these passports in the UK, British overseas territories citizens will receive the latest biometric version of the passport that is available to British nationals, which includes the highest level of internationally recognised security standards.

Additionally, the Bermuda Passport Office will retain a stock of passports which can be printed on compassionate grounds, or for urgent Government business.

Notwithstanding this, passport customers are reminded that they should not book travel without first ensuring that their passport is valid. Passport customers are also encouraged to submit their application well in advance of any planned travel dates.

Likewise, BOTC passport holders who reside outside of Bermuda for any number of reasons, must ensure that their passports are valid so that they are not prevented from traveling at freewill.

Passport customers who hold any other British passport must check their name, place of birth and date of birth within that passport before applying for a BOTC passport. If their details have changed, for example because of a recent marriage causing their name to change, they will also need to apply for a new BOTC passport.

In order for the Bermuda Passport Office to adequately prepare for the changes in the aforementioned printing processes, first-time passport customers must apply for a BOTC passport on or before June 23, 2016. The passports will be printed in Bermuda, with the current processing time of eight working days. Only passport customers whose passports have a validity of less than six months can apply for a new BOTC passport on or before June 23, 2016.

During this transition period, passport customers whose passports have a validity of six months or more, will not be permitted to submit an application for a new BOTC passport. All applications for BOTC passports submitted to the Department of Immigration after June 23, 2016, will be printed in the UK and will see a processing time of approximately four weeks.

The BOTC passport application form can be found on the Government website [www.gov.bm]; including guidelines for completing the form, Q&A, and a listing of the following passport fees:

  • Adult [including persons over the age of 65 years] $160.00
  • Child [under the age of 16 years] $ 80.00
  • Restricted validity [compassionate or urgent Government business] $127.00
  • Express Service [within 1-7 days] $166.00

In summary, the key messages in this Ministerial Statement are:

  • From June 29, 2016, Bermuda British overseas territories citizens will receive the latest biometric version of the passport that is available to British nationals which includes the highest level of internationally recognised security standards.
  • The new BOTC passport will take up to four weeks from the time that the application is submitted to the Bermuda Passport Office.
  • The Bermuda Passport Office will still have some older passports which they will print but only on compassionate grounds or urgent Government business. These passports will have restricted validity.
  • Should passport customers require a passport on compassionate grounds or urgent Government business, they will be required to apply for a full validity passport at the same time they apply for the restricted validity passport. The full validity passport will be printed in the UK and the restricted validity passport will be printed by the Bermuda Passport Office.
  • Passport customers are advised to submit their application well in advance of any planned travel dates. Time left on your existing passport, up to 9 months, can be carried over to your new passport.
  • Only passport customers whose passports have a validity of less than six months may submit an application for a new BOTC passport up to June 23, 2016; the passport will be printed in Bermuda in 8 working days.
  • First-time passport customers may submit an application for a BOTC passport up to June 23, 2016; the passport will be printed in Bermuda in 8 working days.

For information and/or clarity on the changes to the processing of British overseas territories citizen passports, the general public is encouraged to contact the Department of Immigration or visit their website.

As an aside to all of the above, all Bermuda travellers are reminded of the requirement to have an Electronic Travel Authorization [eTA] to fly to or transit through Canada. More information is available online via cic.gc.ca

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Comments (29)

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  1. Hurricane says:

    4 weeks to get a passport. In 2016, this sounds so third world………SMH

    • What?? says:

      Canada – 20 business days by mail
      US – 6 weeks routine service
      Germany – 4 to 6 weeks
      Australia – 3 weeks
      South Africa – 4 to 6 months
      UK – 3 weeks
      Japan – 3 to 4 weeks

      All of those can be verified online. In 2016, ignorant people spouting off without doing any research, this sounds so third world…. SMH

  2. Dr. the Hon. Ewart F. Brown says:

    Independence anyone?

    • Kangoocar says:

      Yes sure!!! If you are willing to finance it????

    • Zevon says:

      Nah. We would still have to deal with the rude lazy layabouts at Dept Immigration. Independence won’t cure that problem. They’re the rudest laziest people on the planet.

      • Shernette W says:

        I am growing very weary of the generalization and the stereotypical views placed on Bermudians. It is darn right insulting and disheartening when you discredit our diligent work ethic and conscientiousness. My parents taught me better. We always have to work harder to prove ourselves – which I itself is an injustice.

        • Pride says:

          Funniest post I’ve read in ages.

          Diligent work ethic and work harder. Priceless!!

        • Zevon says:

          Go in the place and try to get something done. They are the rudest and laziest people on the planet.
          I am not generalizing about Bermudians. I am talking about the rude people at the Dept Immigration.

          I’d rather send overseas for my passport if it means not having to deal with those

    • Black Bermudians are to Colonial minded and scared to think about Independence and are influenced by Europeans not to go Independent, while de European (interest) Bermudians? come from Independent countries.
      WTF

    • IslandTeacher says:

      The world is getting more dangerous and sadly people who hate the west are faking passports. The new ones offer more protection.

    • IslandTeacher says:

      The biggest threat to Bermuda’s autonomy is future encroachment of EU directives and laws being applied to us. The island should be demanding representation in the European parliament.

      • Uh... says:

        Well that might not be an issue soon as I have heard that UK might vote before the end of June to disengage themselves from the EU.

    • Pete says:

      What will indipendance bring, more chaotic expensive,restrictiveness, which will only favour persons like yourself.

      • Zevon says:

        I.e. Independently wealthy multi millionaires who live somewhere else.

    • aceboy says:

      Independence will fix everything!

      When the passports were printed in Bermuda there was never any problems. The printing machine never stopped working and those waiting for passports never got “We do not know when the passports will be ready” from an unhelpful surly civil servant in Immigration.

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

    Don’t believe it. Will take longer. How come Bermuda status applications that ordinarily take 8 weeks are taking 11 months to complete!?

    • Zevon says:

      They’re taking years to get done because the employees at Dept Immigration are purposely holding them up.
      They should be fired.

    • blankman says:

      Eleven months? I’ve got friends that applied over two years ago that are still waiting.

  4. Kangoocar says:

    I actually find this totally unacceptable!!! As a person that travels anywhere from 6 to 8 times a year, and I know I am not the only one that does that?? My travel plans cannot be made with the knowledge of not knowing if it will be 4 weeks for sure, many times on short notice I have to leave the island!! Being my passport does not expire until 2019, which means I can’t renew it in the next few months when I actually do know I can’t fly because of surgery I am having soon in the US. I guess I will start flying only on my EU passport and not worry about it?? And as for the DREB posting earlier on the thread, I NOW want to point out, how silly his comment really is???

    • UK expat says:

      I actually think his comment is more sensible.

      I imagine you’ll be voting for Trump when you next go to the US.

      • Kangoocar says:

        Perhaps I need to make you aware of the fact that, Just because you think his comment makes more sense, only proves your own lack of intelligence?? When anyone can list ONE benifit from us going independent that actually means something, then that argument might just carry some weight??
        When it comes to voting for trump, I can’t, I am BERMUDIAN, but I can tell you straight up if I could vote in the US, I would never cast a vote for a crooked killary, a vote for killary is pretty much as voting for the plp in BDA??

        • sage says:

          You still haven’t figured out where question marks go and you run a business and travel 8 times a year???

    • Don't fret! says:

      For UK passport applications, there is a dispensation for those travelling frequently to apply for a new passport whilst still retaining the current one to travel on….I imagine the same will apply to BOTC passports. Simply need to submit a letter explaining the situation to the passport office. I just did this a few weeks ago and it worked fine for me.

  5. oh really says:

    So what happens in case there is a medical emergency?

    And how long will a “RUSH” passport take?????

    • blankman says:

      Once upon a time you could obtain a certificate in lieu of a passport in the case of emergencies or other travel on short notice. They don’t issue those anymore although this change may well be justification for restarting the practice.

  6. T says:

    You lot always complaining, at the end of the day the bio-Metric version passport is the way de world is moving. The four weeks is only an estimated time it could potentially be two weeks. So just plan accordingly.

  7. Uh... says:

    If BOTC passport procedures will still remain in place but the printing of those passports will be done by/in the UK. Is there any possibility that this can be done for British Citizen passport renewals as well? Unless I haven’t had enough coffee yet, doesn’t both of these types of passports go for processing in the same Country.

  8. GoodIdea BadIdea says:

    And we’ll have to wait about the same time to get a passport as everyone else does. If the paperwork is in order, which is what the immigration department is there to do, the applications should largely be without incident and back in less than a month. I got my UK passport last year in about 2 weeks including an “additional information” request so the BOTC passports should take about the same time more or less. It just means that people will have to be responsible with the renewal of their passports and plan accordingly. If it’s a REAL emergency, then there are ways of getting travel papers locally which has always been the case.