Log In

Reset Password

US Consulate recommends getting a visa anyhow

Bermudians travelling far afield should consider obtaining a United States visa to avoid travel difficulties at borders unfamiliar with the island’s passports, the US Consulate advises.

Travellers are also advised to print off a list of details to carry with them when headed beyond the United States or Britain, to assist border officials.

The advisory came after a Bermudian was reportedly stuck in Istanbul at the weekend while attempting to fly home via the US.

Airport staff refused to let her board her flight under the mistaken belief that Bermudians required a visa to enter the US.

Useful details for travellers using Bermuda passports

US visa exemption for Bermudian citizens:

• Bermudian passport holders are visa exempt for the United States

• A US visa is generally not required for Citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, except those Bermudians that fall under non-immigrant visa categories E, K, S, or V

• As Bermuda is not a visa waiver programme country, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda are not eligible to apply for the ESTA in a Bermuda passport

• Questions may be directed to the US Consulate General in Hamilton, Bermuda on (441) 335-3828 or by e-mailing HamiltonConsulate@state.gov

The consulate said the extra questioning or delays at some international borders did not arise from any changes to US border procedure or immigration laws.

Passports issued in Britain to British Overseas Territory citizens have made it harder for some officials to differentiate Bermudians from other Overseas Territory citizens.

Bermuda passports with the GBR code, when scanned, mistakenly indicate a visa or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation requirement for entry into the US.

Passports carrying the BMU code prompt a message to confirm the traveller is Bermudian and does not require a visa or ESTA.

US officials at LF Wade International Airport are familiar with the issue, but difficulties can be encountered at other borders.

Bermuda passport holders are not eligible to apply for the ESTA — but the consulate says that a US visa could “effectively reduce or eliminate additional questions at international borders”.

Frequent travellers, especially beyond the US and Britain, can pursue the option by following instructions on the US Consulate website.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 07, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated December 07, 2023 at 7:46 am)

US Consulate recommends getting a visa anyhow

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon