Dept In ‘Discussions’ To Resolve Passport Issue

March 1, 2017

The Department of Immigration said they are aware of the current issue with the new BOTC [Bermuda] passport — with holders being told that they need a US visa to enter the US — and said they have had discussions with Her Majesty’s Passport Office, the Deputy Governor, the US Consul General, and US Custom and Border Protection “with the aim of resolving the problem.”

A Department spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Passport Office, Department of Immigration is aware of the current issue with the new BOTC [Bermuda] passport and has had discussions with Her Majesty’s Passport Office [HMPO], the Deputy Governor, the US Consul General, and United States Custom and Border Protection, [USCBP,Bermuda], with the aim of resolving the problem.

“BOTC [Bermuda] passport holders are being told by authorities of various countries that they need a US visa to enter the US.

“The new passport is readable and contains a biometric chip. However, the code in question is GBD, the nationality code for British Dependent Territories, as BMU, the country code for Bermuda, is no longer included on the passport data page; this is the real issue.

“To be clear, the passports affected are those that were issued after May 2016 and are printed in the UK by the HMPO. We should also emphasize that the problem is occurring at ports of entry OTHER than the US preclearance at the LF Wade International Airport.

“Until a resolution is achieved, travelers with a BOTC [Bermuda] passport issued after May 2016 may be asked to obtain a US visa.

“In such cases, they are advised to cooperate with the authorities of various countries to avoid extreme delays in their travel plans. The Bermuda Government will continue to work expeditiously to resolve the issue and will update the general public accordingly.”

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Comments (34)

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  1. Zevon says:

    Another PLP mess to clear up.

    • Would you care to expound on that or is it another alternative fact.
      LMFAO

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Another PLP mess to clear up.

        • Alafiyah says:

          What does this ruling have to do with the PLP??? Even when it was required that all Bermudians can no longer travel to the USA on a Driving Licence, but needed a Passport, this was not a requirement made by the Bermuda Government.
          IT IS USA POLICIES STUPID @JusWondering…well wonder no more!!!

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Hey Rip Van Winkle! The PLP haven’t been in since 2012.

      “To be clear, the passports affected are those that were issued after May 2016 and are printed in the UK by the HMPO.”

      It’s not PLP or OBA’s fault.

      “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” – Louis Nizer

      • sage says:

        Whose fault is it that they neglected to inform the public for 9 months?

        • The Original Truth™ says:

          Depends who knew it was an issue since then and exactly what the issue was. If it’s been known for 9 months without report then definitely those who knew are to blame and maybe they should be held responsible for the loss that travelers had to endure because of not forewarning them.

      • Truth says:

        Hey Einsteins – google “sarcasm.”

        • The Original Truth™ says:

          If you have read any of Zevon’s other post you would see that they are an OBA zealot and are not being sarcastic.

    • frank says:

      How could it be a pop mess if it started to happen in
      May 2016

  2. Freedom says:

    Zevon you sound like Donald Trump….blame Obama!!!! ROFL smh….

  3. Watching the pretenders says:

    Shame our island has come down to mud slinging politics. If we had genuine people…….. people in love with Bermuda and her people, instead of all those who want to exploit all Bermuda has without giving anything in return. You notice how everything is about politricks, and not about Bermuda. Who controls Bermuda is more important than our future as a people.

    • PBanks says:

      Agree. Every topic becomes “it’s Party X’s fault”. The cheerleaders dominate the discussion.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      This is why neither party should be elected and we should be governed directly by Britain. I used to support OBA on the premise of their promise for change and voted for them because I was tired of the stuff that PLP was doing. When I saw that there wasn’t any change just a lot of dictating of the same ole I kicked myself in the backside. Now I feel it’s just hopeless because the only two choices are bad ones. If I was into conspiracies I would think that OBA and PLP are in cahoots like Seaga and Manley in 1970s Jamaica playing the people against each other to fill their own agenda.

  4. Bermuda says:

    I think this blame game is getting boring. I personally believe it isn’t a political issue rather a judicial one. The UK Government have provided us with the new passports to bring our passports up to international standards. As you can see this issue was not foreseen and is being resolved as fast as possible. How is the OBA or the PLP to be at blame. People need to stop being so childish. Its not productive, just all destructive.

    • Danielle says:

      Our passports have always been up to international standards as they were issued by the Bermuda gov on behalf of the UK Gov. It was the Uk govs desire to bring all of the passport issuing under the control of the Home office and as an Overseas Territory this is something we have little control over. The dept. was given ample notice and the move was delayed by two years. As for the travel difficulties they should have been anticipated as these were not the first BOTC passports issued outside of Bermuda with the same resulting difficulties for those traveling. Where the current Gov could have helped was to resolve this ahead of time with the US authorities to ensure that the Bermuda public had the right documentation when making travel plans.

  5. Setyourfield says:

    The issue at hand is that this a big problem for people who are already traveling who maybe returning home via the US.No information given on how to attain a US visa, wether your already abroad or planning to travel. This is an embaressment.

    • Come on now says:

      Its a suggestion to obtain a visa (there’s this new thing called Google you should try it) It is still not mandatory. I travelled to and from the United States the UK and Europe just last week and I have a new passport. I was stopped every time. But it was as simple as explaining that I am from Bermuda, Bermudian and actually in fact do not require a US visa. The customs officers in all instances simply looked through their system or talked to a commanding officer on duty and quickly resolved the misunderstanding. So the five minutes or so of waiting is just something we will have to deal with until this issue is resolved. but hey Bermudians are friendly enough to talk their way out of most sticky situations, am I right? I really do see the issue. It will be fixed, everyone just has to be patient

      • Peace to All says:

        Very helpful. Thanks. If it’s just a matter of a few extra minutes in line, most can deal. But one lady said she had to re-route her son, from Costa Rica to Canada. So it is a bit confusing.

  6. Kathy says:

    And we took the Uighers in? Huh!!! Some thanks!

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      The favor was done really for the Uighers not the US. I’m sure if Ewart said no and the US was heartless enough they would have sent them back to their country to meet their demise. US, UK and other countries take in thousands of refugees and the complaints keep coming about the handful we took.

      I think it would be best to save your complaints for when Trump starts up his plan of putting 35% tax on US companies operating abroad.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        ” I’m sure if Ewart said no and the US was heartless enough they would have sent them back to their country to meet their demise. ”

        NOT OUR problem and should NEVER have been smhfh…

  7. Grakoos says:

    Personally I took Zevon’s comments as tongue-in-cheek; we all need a little humour now & then.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      They’re not. Zevon is an OBA zealot who will find any way to blame the PLP.

    • Zevon says:

      At least someone’s awake…..

  8. Good Guy says:

    Can anyone tell me which type of visa I need to apply for and how long does it take and do I have to go to the US Council to get it or can I do it online

    • HarryButtle says:

      If you carry a NEW Bermuda with the GBD code, you can apply for an ESTA online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ – the application only takes a few minutes and is good for 2 years. If you need to apply for a full visa, you need to go to https://bm.usconsulate.gov/ and follow the instruction there.

      I guess that they will sort this issue out in due time so that the new Bermuda passports can be accepted visa free.

      • Peace says:

        Can someone tell me why/who decided that Bermuda Immigration should no longer process its own peoples passport

        • bdaboy says:

          “Can someone tell me why/who decided that Bermuda Immigration should no longer process its own peoples passport”

          Really? After reading the article, you still have no idea who/why?

      • apolticalmoron says:

        If you have a passport with the GBD code you need a VISA not a ESTA, those are two very different things! An ESTA will not help you in this case.

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Yet straight from the US Consulate “Nothing has changed”.

    Somebody somewhere has screwed up in the printing of passports for Bermuda. Somebody has not done their job. It is now nine months later & not sorted out. What is the hold up?

    A woman can produce a baby in nine months. The civil service, here or England, can’t change three letters on one page of a little book in that time.