The U.S. Consulate in Hamilton, Bermuda is aware of reports of Bermudians experiencing additional questioning or delays at some international borders. The situation is not due to any changes in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) procedures or U.S. Immigration Law. Technical changes in passports issued by His Majesty’s Passport Office in the United Kingdom to British Overseas Territory Citizens (BOTC) have made it more difficult for some airline representatives and immigration officials to easily differentiate Bermudians from other BOTC. For example, Bermuda passports with the GBR code prompt a machine-readable zone (MRZ) for the United Kingdom which mistakenly indicates that the traveler is required to obtain a visa or ESTA for entry into the United States. Passports with the BMU code prompt a message to confirm the traveler is Bermudian and does not require a visa or ESTA for travel to the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at L.F. Wade International Airport are fully aware of the issue and routinely process visa-free entry to the United States from Bermuda per standard practice. Difficulties are occasionally encountered at other borders due primarily to lack of familiarity with Bermuda passports.
Bermuda passport holders are not eligible to apply for ESTA however, obtaining a U.S. visa could effectively reduce or eliminate additional questions at international borders. The decision to apply for a visa is up to each individual traveler, but individuals who travel frequently abroad, particularly beyond the United States and the United Kingdom, should consider this option. Prospective visa applicants should follow instructions on the U.S. Consulate’s website: https://bm.usconsulate.gov/visas/
The following traveling information is intended for Bermuda passport holders to have readily available in the event airline personnel or immigration officers outside Bermuda and the United States are unfamiliar with U.S. visa policy for Bermudians. The information below can be printed out to carry with one’s passport.
U.S. Visa Exemption for Bermudian citizens
Bermudian passport holders are visa exempt for the United States.
8 CFR 212.1 States: Citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda
A U.S. visa is generally not required for Citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, except those Bermudians that fall under nonimmigrant visa categories E, K,S, or V.
As Bermuda is not a visa waiver program country, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda are not eligible to apply for ESTA in a Bermuda passport.
Questions may be directed to the U.S. Consulate General in Hamilton, Bermuda at (441) 335 – 3828 or by email at HamiltonConsulate@state.gov