Ministry of National Security
Department of Border Control
30 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM 12 P.O Box HM 1364 – Hamilton HM FX – Bermuda
Phone (441) 295-5151 - Fax: (441) 295-4115 -
Email: www.gov.bm -
VISAS & VISA CONTROLLED NATIONALS
February 1, 2012
Work permit holders, business visitors and tourists are encouraged, as much as possible, to enquire about visa requirements to enter Bermuda and to travel through the United States, United Kingdom or Canada. Bermuda does not issue visas. Rather, the UK Missions issue visas on our behalf. And while some nationals do not require a visa, visitors from all countries must present a valid, machine-readable passport to ensure entry/landing in Bermuda. Married women whose identification documents are in their maiden name but who are traveling under their married name should also carry their marriage certificate or a certified copy as further proof of identity.
Bermuda Entry Visas:
The Bermuda Department of Border Control states that nationals of the following countries require visas (list issued May 1, 2010):
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China (People’s Republic of), Columbia, Congo (Brazaville), Congo (Kinsasha), Croatia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus (northern part), Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea (Republic of), Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Malawi, Moldova (Republic of), Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Authorities, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia (Republic of), Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Soviet Union (former), Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkish Rep of N Cyprus, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia (former Soc. Fed. Rep. of), Zimbabwe.
The following passport holders do not require visas for Bermuda:
* Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passports or British National (Overseas)
* Holders of Cypriot (Republic of Cyprus) Passports
Exceptions to the visa rules above will be made for visitors to Bermuda having a valid passport and proof of right of abode in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom. This means for:
US Residents: a Permanent Resident Card
Canada Residents: a Permanent Resident Card
UK Residents: must be able to show no limit has been placed on their stay in the UK
Visitors traveling on to another country after Bermuda and requiring a visa for that country must be in possession of the relevant visa before entry into Bermuda.
Multi Re-Entry Visas:
Visa Controlled Nationals (VCN) who arrive at our borders needing visas to transit to another country to reach Bermuda will also require a visa to transit the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom on their return leg. This, referred to as a multi re-entry visa, permits more than one entry ensuring travelers will not be stranded in Bermuda without the ability to leave. Travelers will also require evidence of ticketing (or other form of passage i.e. joining a sea vessel) for their return passage. This return passage and the multi re-entry visa must be valid beyond the expiry date of the work permit (i.e. more than 6 months) and/or beyond the intended departure date (for business and tourist visitors).
Applications for Bermuda Entry Visas and Multi Re-entry Visas:
Applications for Bermuda entry visas and multi re-entry visas can be made at the British Embassy, the British High Commission, or the British Consulate in the national’s country. Also, travel agents will have access to this information and will be able to help with this process.
See the following websites for information on applying for a visa:
Processing Times for Bermuda Entry and Multi Re-Entry Visas:
Processing times for Bermuda entry and multi re-entry visas can vary. Because Bermuda does not issue either visa type, we cannot provide guidance on the processing times. For Bermuda entry visas, the British embassies and missions will refer applications to us for consideration. Our rate of response is normally within 1-2 business days. Notwithstanding this, Bermuda entry visa referrals for Jamaican nationals and referrals received via the Diplomatic Bag will take longer than 2 business days.
The Ministry of National Security introduced the provision for VCNs who are tourist visitors to apply for a visa waiver (a substitute for the requirement for a Bermuda entry visa).
Tourist visitors arriving in Bermuda and who are not in possession of a Bermuda entry visa but who have a return ticket and the required multi re-entry visa for the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, and a valid passport may be landed.
The Department of Border Control also encourages advance requests for visa waivers. In this case, the application process requires the submission of a copy of the passport data page andproof that the person is in possession of a multi re-entry visa for the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom. Advance requests are normally turned around in 2 business days, provided the initial request is complete.
Any person arriving in Bermuda with a substantive work permit with the condition "visa controlled national – must have Bermuda entry visa" must be in possession of a valid Bermuda entry visa. Work permit holders who are not in possession of a valid Bermuda entry visa will not be landed.
Applications for visa waivers should be made to the Compliance Section, Department of Border Control. The equivalent fee for a visa waiver, per traveler, is $200.00. There is no form for making an application for a visa waiver. To this end, applications can be made via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) or by submitting a formal letter (hand-delivery, mail or fax – 295-4115); including copies of the passport data page and the MRV.
Note, at December 9, 2011, the Ministry of National Security introduced that persons on a periodic, representative, temporary, or salesman’s permit do not require a Bermuda entry visa. To be landed, persons in these work permit categories must be in possession of an MRV for the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom.
Employing Visa Controlled Nationals:
Local or international companies in Bermuda who wish to employ VCNs have indicated a myriad of challenges their prospective employees have had in securing the requisite visas. In an attempt to provide assistance, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will permit employers to submit a work permit application first (before the visas are obtained). Subsequent to the work permit application being approved, the work permit will identify the visa conditions (
MRV-Must possess multi re-entry visa thru country transiting and WVCN-Visa controlled national-must have Bermuda entry visa). This way, the work permit document can be presented with the visa applications and will serve as proof that the prospective employee will be permitted to enter Bermuda. In addition to this, when the work permit holder arrives in Bermuda and begins employment, the employer can request that the condition WVCN be changed to reflect that the employee is a bonafide resident and does not need a Bermuda entry visa.
For those VCNs who require a multi re-entry visa, we would prefer that the visa is valid for 5-10 years. Additionally, before travel plans are firmed up, the VCN must be in possession of the requisite visas. Otherwise, they will not be landed in Bermuda. They should also have on-hand the original copy of their work permit.
Note, requests for renewal work permits will not be considered for VCNs for any period within 180 days of the expiry of their multi re-entry visas for the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom. The renewal application should include a copy of the multi re-entry visa.
Dr. Danette Ming
Acting Chief Immigration Officer
Department of Border Control
Ministry of National Security