OBA: Any Progress On Passport Processing?

August 5, 2022

“The Government’s inefficiencies are depriving Bermudians of the fundamental right to freedom of movement as promised in the constitution,” OBA MP Jarion Richardson said in regards to passport processing.

Mr Richardson — the Deputy Leader of the OBA and Shadow Minister for Labour & the Cabinet — said, “Has Economy and Labour Minister Jason Hayward taken steps to action his promises of the elimination of excessive waiting times on passports?

“The Government’s inefficiencies are depriving Bermudians of the fundamental right to freedom of movement as promised in the constitution.

On July 1, he promised additional staff at the Department of Immigration to clear the backlog of passport applications. He attributed the backlog to the United Kingdom, specifically changes made in 2016 and 2021.

“In the case of the 2016 requirement, it is shocking that the Ministry has not yet administratively adapted to provide why someone is eligible for a passport to Her Majesty’s Passport Office [HMPO]. And insofar as the 2021 change, requiring the Ministry to determine whether an applicant is a dual British citizen, such expertise should not be so difficult to acquire. Indeed, if anyone should have such expertise it should be the Department of Immigration.

“It’s clear that the primary issue is not the quadrupling of passport applications but the inability to adapt to change. Bermudians also have the option of renewing their British passports online with HMPO directly, with a turnaround of between eight and 10 weeks.

“Why then, is it taking so much longer via the Department of Immigration. Perhaps Bermuda should look at UK‘s passports distribution channels.

“It’s now been a month since Mr Hayward promised additional staff and the return of passport processing times to 11 weeks. Has any progress been made?”

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Comments (28)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Talking of freedom of movement under the Constitution, the TAF needs to be stopped. Why should we have to get permission from the Government to travel and return to the island?

    • Question says:

      The TAF is the biggest scandal yet. There is no health purpose. It’s sole purpose is to make money for the software company, and its well-connected investors. Isn’t that right, Mr Burt?

  2. WillSee says:

    I dropped mine off for renewal May 11th!
    The front desk clerk told me 10 weeks max and possibly earlier .
    A week later there was an article with immigration officials stating
    10/12 weeks turnaround.
    I know some people have received their passports in that time frame but others are still waiting.
    The department head or permanent secretary needs to be fired and replace along wiht any other
    staff who are just plain incompetent in my opinion.

    • Hmm says:

      Who’s the Permanent Secretary of Immigration?

    • partyrockin says:

      I dropped a family members passport off in the envelope as requested in 2021. I was told that if there was a problem I would be contacted. I was told that “no news was good news” and that if I didn’t get a call, everything was good. 3 months later I started to wonder where it was? Tried calling the number on the gov website and it just rang and rang. No answer, no voice message. After trying for a few days I decided to call the general government number and was told the number had changed! Called a few times and would speak to someone only to be transferred. Left messages, no reply ever. When I was able to get into town I went in person and waited in line. A very helpful young lady did her best to find out where it was. Finally someone came out to speak with me and that is when I was told that something else was in fact needed and the passport was still in Bermuda! I could not believe it.

      I don’t want to call out the whole department as being hopeless because the young lady at the desk was awesome and never gave up trying to get me an answer. She should be training the upper management and the minister on good service and good work ethic. Unfortunately the bulk of the individuals I spoke to before then, didn’t care, were afraid to ask or incompetent.

      People check on your passports. Do not trust that the staff behind the scenes are doing their job efficiently and that there are checks and balances in place by the management and the minister.

      • iyiyi says:

        No answer . that’s just typical of so many government departments ….try calling the planning dept. you’ll go around in circles all day before you can get try to talk to someone about a simple question … at the end of the day your still in the same position .

    • Sandgrownan says:

      All services at the Dept of Imm are slow and delayed . They are still working under COVID protocols.

      Throw in the usual PLP induced laziness, inertia, inefficiency and a meddling minister and it’s a perfect storm of Bermudian incompetence.

  3. Vote for Me says:

    Deputy OBA Leader, MP Jarion Richardson
    The style of this article is not typical of you. We applaud your promotion to Deputy OBA Leader and look forward to your next step as Leader. Do not disappoint us by allowing others to prepare these types of messages for you.

    You have already told the public how you are able to ask the Minister questions directly and receive timely responses.

    Please ask the Minister and then tell us, the public, the answer.

    • Jarion Richardson says:

      Thank you Vote for Me. I’d like to speak to you about this point but I don’t have your contact details. Can you reach out to me with your contact details and availability at jrichardson@oba.bm? Alternatively, feel free to call 294-3223. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee I’ll be available at the time you call so it may work best that we arrange a time to speak.

      Best Regards

  4. puzzled says:

    Bet you a $100 that PLP MP’s and civil servants can get their passports done in a flash.
    Their always travelling.

  5. John E. Thorne says:

    13 weeks and counting since I dropped off my Bermuda passport for renewal. Maybe I will get it back for Christmas?

    • Liz Morris says:

      My passport was sent in at the end of January. They say it was printed on March 21st and sent via DHL to Bermuda. So now where is it?
      I have since been issued a temporary permit…which took three weeks to acquire.

      • Watcher says:

        Check the post office!! Mine sat there for two months last year without me ever being contacted to pick it up. For reasons that I can’t understand, passports were being sent there for collection. After waiting 4 months for a renewal and numerous unanswered telephone calls and no return calls to voicemail messages, I finally contacted a staff member and was told that mine had been returned in May 2021. This is was now July 2021!! Although all my information on the envelope (including address, email and two phone numbers)was correct, I was never contacted to collect it. I still don’t understand why there was no follow up even if they thought I had been contacted. They knew it was a passport that I would obviously want unless, of course I was dead.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Why do we even have a post office anymore?

  6. Calvin McDonald Swan says:

    maybe Mr. Jarion Richardson forgets that it was under The former OBA Government when The UK took over processing The Passports it happened in 2014 and The last time I checked The OBA was The Government in 2014 and The PLP were in Opposition why didn’t the former OBA Government try to do something then?

    • Burtcoin says:

      It wasn’t taking 4 months back then d$ck weed!! Just another tool in the plandemic! And yoU fools don’t get it yet!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      But was it taking 3+ months to get your passport back then ?

    • Unknown800k says:

      I guess the same reason the current govt has done absolutely nothing, oh wait they have increased the debt, we have to have permission to leave and enter our home, the island looks like sheet, we give money to unknown entertainers,oh and rat population has increased.. do you need more information.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Not following. 8 years ago the OBA should have done something, but the PLP took over 5 years ago and have done nothing. Why blame the OBA unless you are a PLP Minister because that’s what they do? What am I missing?

    • Question says:

      Perhaps because passport processing was not an issue when the OBA was the government.

    • kevin says:

      Wow Really just in case you havent realized the plp have been the government for the last 6 years but we all know the plp and their followers always blame everything they screw up on everyone else
      Heres the answer put in a new government and you will get a change
      The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome

    • saud says:

      Interesting…A plp supporter who wants to hold the government responsible for things that happened under their watch.

      Lets wee how this pans out. LOL

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Find out why they did that to all BDOT’s, then come back to us. It still doesn’t excuse or explain delays in our own Dept. Of Imm.

    • Now Ya Nice says:

      What’s your point exactly? The UK took it back! It’s not like the OBA said here UK , you can do this better? Even if that was the case….YOUR government that was going to make everything better if you voted them in has done what about that issue?! What has the PLP done in all this time, with all the seats they have to make things better? Name one thing per year…I bet you can’t.

  7. Cris says:

    11 weeks, i have been waiting since last october 29 2021 here it is now August, almost 10 months later. I feel like a prisoner on my own island, God forbid i have to fly out on a emergency.Jason Hayward and his department must all be replaced..

  8. Lady says:

    This is total and utter BS and woeful incompatience. The Department of Immigration needs a complete review and restaffing. How can peoples freedom be holted by careless individuals who neglect to inform persons who may have had incomplete documentation in order to have their passport renewed and just push them off into the pile? They like many Government workers and civil servants (and Im sorry to say this) are only there to collect a paycheck. As long as It doesnt effect them or their families, they dont give a rats a$$ about anyone else. David Burt and Jason Hayward cant be trusted to handle the affairs of its people because theyre clearly not. I voted PLP and Im sure that if an election sprung up tomorrow this family would not be giving you our vote. It is shameful how you have mishandled the rights of the people of this Island. You need to sort yourselves out internally and to stop casting the blame elsewhere.

  9. Bayleaf says:

    Now here is a suggestion -
    Why not go Independent and create your own passports ???

    • CHRIS says:

      The issue is that the PLP govt thinks that putting in 21st Century Security Features that are required world-wide is not a priority. They rather spend our cash elsewhere.