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Bermuda passport code returns to BMU

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, David Burt, Mohamed Khalifa Rahma, director of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s air transport bureau, and Sylvain Lefoyer, deputy director of aviation security and facilitation, at a ceremony in Montreal (Photograph supplied)

The three-letter code on Bermudian passports will change at the end of the month, the Government has announced.

The Ministry of Economy and Labour said that from April 30, the code will revert from GBR, used in Great Britain, to the Bermuda-specific BMU.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, said the GBR code, which has been used since Bermudian passports began to be printed in Britain in 2016, caused “some difficulty for British Overseas Territory Citizen (Bermuda) passport-holders when travelling to the United States from a country other than Bermuda”.

The minister explained: “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.”

Government House announced plans to return the coding to BMU last year.

A handover ceremony in Montreal made this change official.

The event was hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a United Nations agency that co-ordinates international air navigation.

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, who attended the event, said the change was possible “thanks to the positive and collaborative work undertaken by colleagues at the Department of Immigration, UK government departments and staff at Government House”.

She added: “While 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.”

David Burt, who was also at the handover event, said the change 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.”

The Premier thanked Mr Hayward and his team, along with the Chief Immigration Officer.

The ICAO will notify the relevant authorities and carriers about the code change.

People who qualify for a Bermuda passport can apply through the Department of Immigration to receive the BMU code and are invited to call the department on 246-8093 for more information

To read frequently asked questions regarding the Bermuda passport, look under “Related Media”.

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Published April 16, 2024 at 5:04 pm (Updated April 16, 2024 at 9:30 pm)

Bermuda passport code returns to BMU

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