Govt House moves to clarify planned passport changes
Government House last night moved to clarify the impact of the move by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to consolidate passport production in Britain and away from embassies, high commissions and consulates around the world.
The recent announcement has sparked comment by politicians and residents particularly the production of emergency passports. In a press release, a Langton Hill spokesperson wrote the move is designed to produce British Citizen and British Overseas Territory passports “to new and higher security standards at reasonable cost” and that there is no reason to believe that third countries would be “concerned about whether an Overseas Territory passport is printed in Durham, England or Hamilton, Bermuda”.
“They are more likely to welcome the fact that it is being printed to the highest possible security specifications. These specifications are constantly being revised upwards.”
There are no plans to abolish British Overseas Territory passports.
Discussions with the British Government are ongoing on emergency passports and the Governor, George Fergusson, “very much hopes that an arrangement will be in place (within a year or two) which enables Bermudians to get travel documents quickly if they need them for emergency travel. But it is always a good idea to make sure that your passport — UK and/or Bermudian — is up to date.”
Information on applying for passports can be obtained from the Department of Immigration, who will continue to be responsible for the application process when the changes are implemented.