BMU Code Restored to Bermuda Passports

BMU Signing Photo

The Ministry of Economy and Labour is pleased to announce of the restoration of the Country Authority Code in the Bermuda passports.

The Ministry confirmed that effective April 30, 2024, the country code will change from GBR to BMU.

Earlier today (April 16), during a special Handover Ceremony in Montreal Canada, which was hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the return of the BMU code became official.

The Montreal event was attended by Her Excellency the Governor, Rena Lalgie and the Premier, the Hon. E. David Burt JP, MP.

Following the historic handover ceremony, Premier Burt - who signed official documentation on behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda - said, “As I previously shared, I know that this occasion will bring great relief to many Bermudians, and I am proud that we have delivered this for them so that they can return to travelling without added obstacles that are no fault of their own.

“It was a pleasure to see this reach fruition following years of hard work. And we are thankful for the hard work by Minister Hayward and his team, including the Chief Immigration Officer and by so many other dedicated persons both within and outside of Government.”

And at the completion of the ICAO Ceremony, Governor Lalgie said, “I was delighted to participate in today’s ceremony. This was possible thanks to the positive and collaborative work undertaken by colleagues at the Department for Immigration, UK Government departments and staff at Government House. Whilst this has taken longer than we would have hoped, it is an undeniably positive day for Bermudians who travel and shows what we can achieve when we work together with a common purpose.”

Here at home, after the milestone occasion, the Minister of Economy and Labour, the Hon. Jason Hayward, JP, MP, said, “This change is an important feature as it determines the citizenship of the passport holder.

“The Country Authority Code GBR code has caused difficulties for BOTC (Bermuda) passports holders when travelling to the United States from a country other than Bermuda. This is due to some airlines mistakenly interpreting the GBR code to mean the holder is a citizen of the United Kingdom, which would require an ESTA or visa to travel to the United States.”

Minister Hayward continued, “To address this issue, the BMU code will be printed on all Bermuda variant passports from April 30, 2024. Any passports printed before this date will have the GBR code applied. The Government of Bermuda will ensure that appropriate notices are sent out through International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) system, to ensure that immigration authorities and carriers globally are aware of the changes.

“It is important to note that Bermudians who apply directly to HM Passport Office will continue to receive a standard British passport, and the code applied will be GBR. Only those who qualify for a BOTC (Bermuda) passport should apply through the Department of Immigration to receive the BMU code.

“This change is a significant step forward in ensuring that Bermudians are able to travel internationally with ease and without unnecessary restrictions.”

The public should note that a “Frequently Asked Questions” fact sheet that provides information regarding the Reinstatement of BMU Code will be shared on the Immigration webpage and will be circulated to key stakeholders in the coming days.

And as indicated, appropriate notices are being issued via the ICAO system so that immigration authorities and carriers globally are aware of the changes. For further information, regarding the changes, the public should contact the Department of Immigration on 246-8093.