Waivers for Criminal Convictions & Ineligibilities

NOTE: Waivers can take 3 months or longer to process, though recently the process has been shorter (3-4 weeks).  If you know you will require a waiver we recommend you plan to apply 2-3 months in advance of your intended travel date.

General Information

Persons convicted of certain crimes, including drug use, and those who violate U.S. immigration law are inadmissible to the United States.  They must obtain a waiver of their ineligibility to enter the United States.  At the present time, U.S. law states that any foreign national of any country, not just Bermuda, who has committed an excludable offense under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act remains permanently ineligible to enter the United States.  There is currently no provision in U.S. law to overcome this ineligibility due to the issuance of a “Certificate of Rehabilitation” or any other such document.

However, individuals with ineligibilities are able to apply for waivers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the U.S. Consulate.  If the waiver is approved by DHS, individuals may be granted visas for travel to the United States.

All applicants must:

  1. Follow the instructions on the “How to Apply” page.
  2. Provide proof of employment.  All applicants must provide a current letter of employment.  Non-Bermudians must also provide proof of legal residence in Bermuda (i.e. work permit, spousal letter, etc.).  If you are self-employed please provide 3-months of bank statements.
  3. At the time of the interview, present a police certificate from any other jurisdiction in which you have resided for more than six months in the past ten years.  If the offense occurred outside of Bermuda, the applicant is required to obtain the police certificate from that jurisdiction.
  4. Obtain a Bermuda Conviction Report.

a) If you require a waiver to obtain medical treatment in the United States, you must also submit:

  • a letter of referral from your local physician stating treatment/procedure is not available locally;
  • appointment letter from receiving physician in the United States;
  • proof of health insurance coverage;
  • if there is any amount not covered by insurance, bank statement or other explanation of how any co-payments will be covered.

b) If you are a first time applicant for a waiver, or have not had a waiver issued since before 2006, you must obtain your Bermuda Conviction Record from the Bermuda Police Service (BPS).  To do so, take your appointment confirmation page or email and a color photocopy of the passport page showing your picture to the to the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building at 58 Court Street, Hamilton HM12.  BPS charges $100 for this service.  To make this payment, effective 01 September 2018, Bermuda government cashiers, located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM12, will accept all cash and/or check payments in respect of police reports, clearance certificates, and fingerprinting.  When making payment to the Bermuda government cashiers, the client will be given two receipts.  The original receipt will be kept by the client; the pink copy, however, is to accompany any paperwork/request required in respect of service.  Customers may continue to remit payment via online wire transfer at HSBC US$ account 010 221125 511 or HSBC BD$ account 010 221125 001.  Both accounts are in the name of Accountant General and in each case when payment is made by wire, you should email group-finance@bps.bm to inform them of your payment and you must confirm that the funds have been received prior to your request being processed.  Please find the updated Bermuda Police Clearance form SF39 here or visit the Bermuda Police Service website for more information.

Please present all document(s) in the sealed envelope to the Consulate at the time of your interview.

c) If you have had a previous waiver granted, on or after 2006, you do not need to obtain another Bermuda Police Certificate.  You may obtain your updated conviction record from the Magistrate Court in the Dame Lois Browne Evans Building, 58 Court Street, Hamilton, HM12.  Their office hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Take the elevator to the 3rd Floor via the security check point to the Traffic, Criminal & Parking Office.  The court charges $10.00 for this service and it takes ten working days to process.  You must have valid identification to process your request.  Please do not attempt to book an appointment until you have your updated conviction record in your possession.  Please present all documents in the sealed envelope to the Consulate at the time of your interview.

Note: At the time of the interview, the applicant will be expected to pay the $160 NIV application fee in cash.  The fee is non-refundable, even if the waiver is not approved.  If the consular officer recommends the waiver for approval following the interview, the Consulate forwards the application to DHS, which makes the final decision on all waivers.  Please note that the entire waiver process has been known to take approximately 3 months, though of late waiver decisions have been made much sooner.  Regardless, please plan accordingly.  Please do not contact the Consulate or DHS, US Customs and Border Protection inquiring about the status of the waiver request except in case of an emergency need to travel.   

Once DHS has made the waiver decision, the Consulate will notify the applicant by e-mail so please ensure you have provided a valid e-mail address.  If the application has been approved, and the passport was returned to the applicant on the visa interview date, the applicant will be instructed to drop off their passport Mondays to Thursdays between 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. for visa printing.  Once printed, you will be instructed when to pickup your passport.

For any additional questions about the waiver process, please contact us at HamiltonConsulate@state.gov.