Please note the below statement from the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Caines, JP, MP, regarding immigration issues faced by some Bermuda passport holders.
Minister Caines said, “I am keenly aware of Bermudians travelling 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 at https://bm.usconsulate.gov/visas/ and follow the on screen instructions.
The Ministry of National Security has given resolving this matter urgent priority.