Documents and Requirements
Passports and Visas
Travelers to Bermuda need a return or other type of departure ticket, or other proof of transportation off the island to a country where right of entry has been granted. One-way tickets are usually questioned by North American check-in staff at airlines serving Bermuda. Open return tickets may have a time limit imposed on their length of stay by island Department of Immigration officials. All visitors must also carry proof of citizenship and personal government-issued photo identification. A passport is the preferred document for entry to the island and is required from all visitors who need passports to re-enter their own country or enter another country. A driver’s license is not considered proof of citizenship.
U.S. travelers must present a valid, machine-readable U.S. passport. Note that the U.S. requires all returning U.S. citizens, including infants and children, to have valid passports, as these are now the only recognized document for American travelers.
Visitors from Canada need a valid, machine-readable Canadian passport. Travelers from Britain and Western Europe have to present a valid national passport. Women traveling under a married name, but with identification documents stating a maiden name, should also bring a marriage certificate or certified copy.
Know the name of your hotel or guesthouse, or the street address of the private home where you’ll be staying. Keep the name and address of your accommodation handy for officials. If you are staying at a private residence, don’t be surprised if the Department of Immigration officer personally knows your host. As you’ll soon find out, the island is a very small place.
Visas are needed by nationals of these countries—unless they have valid passports and proof of a right to reside: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Croatia, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Somalia, the Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passports or British National (Overseas) Passports do not require visas for Bermuda.
Visas can be obtained from a British Embassy, British High Commission, Consulate, or other British Foreign Service office overseas.
As well as the relevant travel documents, children who are not traveling with their parents must show a letter from their parent(s) authorizing the child to be accompanied by another adult. Parents traveling with adopted children should bring proper documents for their adopted children. Children entering Bermuda for adoption must carry Department of Immigration paperwork.
Length of Stay
The absolute maximum amount of time a visitor may stay in Bermuda is six months, but only through exceptional circumstances; the normal limit is half that. If you want to extend your length of stay, you must apply in person either to Secondary Immigration Control upon arrival at the airport, or to an Immigration Inspector at the Department of Immigration Headquarters, Government Administration Building (30 Parliament St., Hamilton, tel. 441/295-5151, 9 a.m.–noon Mon.–Fri.). Travelers cannot enter Bermuda to live, work, or look for work without work permits or other official documentation, nor will they be allowed in for an indefinite period. For more information, check www.immigration.gov.bm.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition