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U.S. Consulate General Hamilton Updates
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July 10, 2020

The U.S. Consulate General is not currently providing routine visa services but is evaluating appointment requests on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing urgent or emergency appointments for residents of our consular district in Bermuda.  If you have a need for urgent or emergency travel, or you would like to inquire as to whether or not we can process your visa application at this time, please contact us at HamiltonConsulate@state.gov.  In your email provide as many details as you can about your purpose of travel.  Please monitor our website for updates on when routine visa services will be provided.  

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 most U.S. citizen services, with the exception of renunciation services, by appointment only.  Services are limited to U.S. passport applications, the documentation of children born in Bermuda to U.S. citizen parents, and notarial services.  Passport processing time is 2-3 weeks, as it was pre-COVID-19.  Visit the Consulate’s U.S. Citizen Services page for additional information.

Voter Registration 

Our goal is for every U.S. citizen living in Bermuda who wants to vote in the United States 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.  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

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States aged two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Visit the CDC’s website for additional information.

If you have been in Bermuda for the last 14 days, the presidential proclamations (China, Iran, Schengen Zone, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa) 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.  The forms 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.