‘Forceful’ case for passports to come home

The Premier has “forcefully” called on British authorities to resolve problems for Bermudian travellers after the printing of Bermuda passports was shifted to the UK.

A government spokeswoman said David Burt and Walton Brown, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, addressed Joint Ministerial Council meetings in London about the “urgent need to resolve Bermuda’s passport issue”.

Britain took responsibility for the printing of Bermuda passports last year on security grounds. But the coding for the travel documents was changed, which has hampered travel for Bermudians with UK-printed passports who want to enter the United States from jurisdictions outside the island.

Mr Burt said that the meeting today had “moved us closer to resolving the longstanding problem of Bermuda passports being printed and issued in the United Kingdom”.

He added: “We met with officials from HM Passport Office and left with assurances that this important matter will be addressed.

“Minister Brown and I will continue to push until an acceptable solution is in place.”

Switching Bermuda passports to the GBR code has meant travellers have been told that they need to have a US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.

But Bermudian travellers are permitted to enter America without an Esta under an agreement with the US.