Ministry Working To Resolve Passport Issue

August 11, 2019

Some Bermudians continue to experience issues when traveling on a Bermuda passport — which is due to an issue with the electronic coding with the passports which are now issued from the UK – and Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said the Ministry has “given resolving this matter urgent priority.”

The Minister said, “I am keenly aware of Bermudians traveling with Bermuda passports experiencing additional questioning or delays at some international borders.

“This situation is not due to any change in U.S. Customs and Border Protection procedures or U.S. immigration law. The problem has arisen from the electronic coding of Bermudian BOTC passports, which for security reasons are now issued from the UK.

“Despite guidance issued by the International Air Transport Association [IATA] confirming that Bermudian BOTC passport holders remain eligible for visa free travel to the US, difficulties continue to be encountered with some airlines and airline agents.

“A Joint Working Group with Her Majesty’s Passport Office on which the Bermuda Government is represented has been established to seek a solution. It is clear that the current situation has caused distress and disruption in a number of cases and Government House is in close touch with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on this matter.

“The U.S. Consulate website has a document that explains the U.S. visa exemption for Bermuda. The document can be accessed by clicking here. Until a solution is found, I advise all Bermudian passport holders to visit the website, download and print a copy, and carry it along with their passport for the duration of any overseas travel.

“Please be mindful that presenting the card does not guarantee action by an airline representative or immigration official. Travellers have still experienced difficulties, including being denied boarding and/or missing flights, even after presenting this document.

“While not required, another option for Bermudian passport holders who frequently travel abroad, particularly beyond the United States and the United Kingdom, and want to effectively reduce or eliminate travel issues and additional questions at international borders, is to consider applying for a U.S. visa. To obtain a visa, applicants should visit the U.S. Consulate’s website and follow the on screen instructions.

“The Ministry of National Security has given resolving this matter urgent priority,” Minister Caines added.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Question says:

    So when he says he is working to resolve the issue, what he really means is the UK FCO is working to resolve the issue.

    • PBanks says:

      We dont know if the UK FCO is doing anything other than giving occasional lip service either.

      • Andrew= says:

        ‘We don’t know if the UK FCO is doing anything’….., hmmm, FC UKO….. OK UCF… CF UKO….. UK OCF….. Eureka, Nailed it,….., WERE SCREWED!!!

      • Question says:

        Well I know Caines is not working to resolve it. If it resolves, it will be due to work done by HM Passport Office and the FCO.

  2. Reality Check says:

    We encountered a delay in Port au Prince , Haiti , checking in for our flight back to Miami . The agent had no problem understanding the issue . She explained that the problem was finding someone who knew how to get around the safeguards programmed into the ticketing computer . After 30 min or so we were all on our way .

    • SRaynor says:

      This solution would work for some travels but not all!

  3. Potato juice says:

    Still beating that drum, how many ministers have tried.

  4. Donderered says:

    Why do we need a working group? Caines should be able to deal with this surely?

    • frank says:

      there is a simple solutions just have the fco print the right dam code
      so what is the guy on the hill doing to help or is he just cooling out by the pool

  5. Worried Local says:

    Shouldn’t be dealt with a long time ago! You lot are too lazy!

  6. Jim says:

    Can’t make a bus time table, can’t solve this. And you want independence.

  7. Stinky D says:

    UK FCO has already stated that there will be no changes. The new GBR code will remain as is.
    If you do not want any issues may I suggest you go to the US consulfate and get an ESTA

    • The Bolt says:

      Taken from US Consulate’s info sheet:-
      “As Bermuda is not a visa waiver program country, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda are not eligible to apply for ESTA with a Bermuda passport”.

    • Stop says:

      You can’t dumb a$$! Stop talking about stuff you know nothing about!

    • SRaynor says:

      But if WE are Bermudians and WE as Bermudians don’t need an ESTA to go to or even through the US, why should WE have to just go get an ESTA?
      Furthermore, if I apply for a renewal of a BERMUDA PASSPORT, please give me the documentation I ask for and paid for. That is simple! If I cannot get what I asked and paid the fee for, then tell me and give me the option!

  8. Joe Bloggs says:

    Could this be the resurrected beating of the independence drum?

  9. La Verdad says:

    If all the OT’s got together and put unrelenting pressure on the U.K. It would happen. For example, mass demonstrations on the same days by residents of all OTs, inviting international press organizations to cover and highlighting the issue would result in quick action by the U.K. CARICOM should be asked to assist as well. After all , all OTs pay them a hefty fee to be “Associate Members”.

  10. Conspiracy Theory says:

    Welcome to the Banana Republic of Bermuda. And you think you’d like independence!

  11. Don Burgess says:

    You can also get a copy of the document from the US Customs agents at the airport. I got one from them when I went to Costa Rica to cover the football team and was concerned about Dallas being a point of entry, which is not familiar with Bermuda passports. I used the document there and had no problems.

  12. dark star says:

    Is the reason that the issuing of passports was moved from Bermuda to the UK is b/c the gov’t of the time took in the 4 Uigers and in response the UK stripped Bda immigration from issuing passports on island to ensure that these 4 individuals would not get British passports?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      The change to issuing of BOTC passports from the UK has nothing to do with Bermuda. There were security breaches in other BOTs and the UK Government simply made a blanket decision in relation to all BOTs and protectorates.

  13. SRaynor says:

    Understanding all that the UK feel may be a better security system, (printing ALL BOTC Passports in one place, the UK) but, they NEED to ADD a little extra info on these same documents to identify the COUNTRY THE HOLDER IS REGISTERED TO. ‘IS THAT SO HARD ?
    In separate meeting, I said this to the Deputy Gov. and to the Minister.
    Why treat and make us feel like, not to mention a senior, as a criminal or even a terrorist!! Something MUST BE DONE TO FIX THIS MESS! The day that passenger, who is not in their right frame of mind due to having to rush back to Bermuda for an emergency (a very sick family member or close friend) and that passenger encounters this madness, they are going to explode and then be made a criminal and be arrested, THIS IS NOT FARE! We have a Govenor, a Deputy Gov., a Premier and a Minister, with a ministry for this topic, SOMEBODY SHOULD BE ABLE TO SLAM THE RIGHT DOORS AND TABLES AND MAKE IT RIGHT!!
    This is not just a RAYNOR problem, this is a “REGISTERED BERMUDIAN” problem and issue. I don’t care how many people have tried in the days and years gone by, but PLEASE fight about things that we deserve and should own. That statement, “JUST HAVE THEM CHANGE” don’t work for everybody!