U.S. Consulate General Hamilton Updates

Suspension of Visa Services

Due to the global impact of COVID-19, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, effective March 20. We do not have a timeline for when we will be able to resume routine visa appointments. We are currently able to provide visa services for students and emergency travel requests.  Applicants with emergency travel needs should email us at hamiltonconsulate@state.gov to request an emergency appointment.

On July 15, the U.S. Consulate General will resume visa services for students attending schools in the United States.  Students who have a valid I-20 Form, paid the SEVIS fee, and wish to apply for a F, M, or J visa should visit our website and follow the instructions to complete the electronic application.

We will publicize any announcement on the resumption of visa services once information is available.

Student Visas

Bermudian Students:

Bermuda passport holders who possess Bermuda status do not require a visa to study in the United States. As of July 6, all students attending schools this fall, the school must issue a new I-20 Form to each student certifying that the school is not operating entirely online.  Bermudian student must have a valid I-20 form, paid the SEVIS Fee, and applied for the I-20 Form using their Bermuda passport.  Students with a valid I-20 Form must travel to the United States using their Bermuda passport.

Please note that on July 6, the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced temporary changes for the fall 2020 semester that will allow students who enroll in a mixture of online and in-person coursework to meet Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant status.

For all students attending schools in the United States this fall, the school must issue a new I-20 Form to each student certifying that the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the fall 2020 semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program. Students should contact their school to receive a new I-20 Form, even if they already have one that expires at a later date.

Limited U.S. citizen services

We have resumed U.S. citizen services by appointment only. Services are limited to U.S. passport applications and the documentation of children born in Bermuda to U.S. citizen parents. Passport processing time is 2-3 weeks, as it was pre-COVID-19. We are not able to provide notary services at this time.

Voter Registration 

Our goal is for every U.S. citizen living in Bermuda who wants to vote in the upcoming elections to get registered and be able to cast their absentee ballot. The website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, www.fvap.gov is where you can go to register. Now is the time to do it. Even if you are a U.S. citizen who has never lived in the United States, you may be eligible to vote. If you have any questions at all regarding eligibility or how to register, please email us at hamiltonconsulate@state.gov and we will be happy to assist you.

Travel to the United States

The United States is not requiring COVID-19 testing as a condition for entry. Customs and Border Protection staff at the airport will screen passengers before boarding and will refer travelers who require further screening to CDC officials

If you have been in Bermuda for the last 14 days, the presidential proclamations (China, Iran, Schengen Zone, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil) suspending entry into the United States do not apply to you.

Cannabis FAQ’s

If I legally use cannabis in Bermuda, does that make me ineligible for a visa? Does it matter if I use doctor-prescribed cannabis?

A:  If you use cannabis in Bermuda, you could be found ineligible under 212(a)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) if a panel physician determines that you have a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior related to your cannabis use – for example, impaired driving – or are a drug abuser or addict.

If I work in the legal cannabis industry, or invest in cannabis business, does that make me ineligible for a visa?

A: If you are working in or facilitating the proliferation of the regulated cannabis industry in Bermuda, and are planning to travel to the United States for reasons unrelated to the cannabis industry, this will generally not make you ineligible for a visa.  However, if you are found to be coming to the United States for reasons related to the cannabis industry, you may be deemed inadmissible to the United States and your visa application may be denied.

If I have a previous conviction due to cannabis possession, and my record is expunged, will I still require a visa to travel to the United States?

A: A visa applicant whose conviction has been expunged or pardoned may still require a waiver of criminal ineligibility in order to receive a visa.

In applying for a visa, will I be questioned about cannabis use?

A: Cannabis is a controlled substance under U.S. federal law. U.S. visa application forms ask if you have ever been a drug user or addict.  They also ask if you have ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime. The consular officer may also ask you about drug use during your visa interview.

If cannabis usage or involvement in the cannabis industry could keep me from being eligible for a visa, why should I tell the truth when applying for a visa?

A: If you do not tell the truth, you may be ineligible for a visa under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the INA for having committed fraud against the government or willfully making a material misrepresentation.  You should always answer questions on the visa application as well as any questions asked by the consular officer truthfully.