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Woman stranded because of delay in getting passport

Malaika Hayward (Photograph supplied)

A Bermudian woman who lives in the US has been stranded in Bermuda for nearly three months because of a wait for a passport renewal that left her cut off from her family over Christmas.

Malaika Hayward said on Christmas Eve that she could not bear having to tell her grandchildren she would not be with them over the festive season.

Ms Hayward said she arrived in Bermuda on September 15 and put in her passport application two weeks later.

She said: “I was supposed to leave on October 2 – I’d been told I could travel on my US permanent resident’s card, but when I got to the airport I was told I needed to have my passport.”

Ms Hayward said she was told the wait for a new Bermuda passport was up six weeks.

But she still had no word on when it might arrive 11 weeks later.

Ms Hayward missed Thanksgiving with her family, her granddaughter Lauren’s birthday on December 2 and her son Lance’s birthday on the 15th.

She said she had also lost her job back home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms Hayward added: “My mother has been supporting me since I’ve been here, but she is running low now because she has bills to pay in the States.”

Bermuda passports applications have been delayed in recent years since their production was switched from the island to Britain.

Sylvia Hayward-Harris, Ms Hayward’s mother, posted online: “We understood that Covid-19 slowed things up a bit, and British Airways stopped flying to Bermuda for a period.”

But she said that, even after flights from the UK restarted, her daughter remained in limbo.

Ms Hayward-Harris said she was “down to my last few dollars” and was left on “a very lean Christmas budget”.

The family added they had been given no updates from the Department of Immigration and were told they would hear from the Post Office when the new passport arrived.

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Published December 29, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 28, 2020 at 8:01 pm)

Woman stranded because of delay in getting passport

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