Plight of a ‘stateless’ BOTC passport holder


Dear Sir,

I am a naturalised British Overseas Territories Citizen. I am a holder of a Bermuda BOTC passport, I work and reside in Bermuda and I am the spouse of a Bermudian and possess a Spouse of Bermudian Certificate, but I do not possess Bermuda status.

I was required to travel with my wife as a chaperon for a medical procedure in Boston, Massachusetts. I communicated with the immigration department in Bermuda and confirmed that I needed a US visa, even though I had a Bermuda BOTC passport.

I made an appointment with the United States Consulate General in Bermuda for a visa and I was granted an appointment/interview. During the interview, I was told that I could not be issued with a visa, as the USCG and the US do not recognise the nationality of being a BOTC — this essentially means the US recognises a BOTC as being “stateless”.

Unfortunately, I am unable to travel to the US with my BOTC passport; I am left in a state of bewilderment, thinking about if other countries adopt a similar practice to the US.

Notwithstanding the above, the USCG personnel were professional and went beyond the call of duty to assist me.

There are many other persons in Bermuda who are holders of a BOTC passport and may have a similar experience, in addition, there are many Bermudians who possess a British passport who are encountering problems with the US immigration authorities as a result of their passport.

It is extremely unfortunate that if you are a naturalised BOTC and possess a Bermuda BOTC passport, you are considered “stateless” by US laws and policies unless your passport states “Holder is registered as a Bermudian”.

The present situation prevents the free movement of BOTCs who possess a Bermuda BOTC passport from travelling to the US.

RONALD TAYLOR

Hamilton

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Published Aug 3, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 3, 2019 at 7:51 am)

Plight of a ‘stateless’ BOTC passport holder

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