2010 New Visa Requirements in Bermuda
April 1, 2010
There has been recent changes in visa requirements for the nationals of Panama, Dominican Republic and the Philippines. This is particularly enforced more strictly for the women from these countries.
Why? It has been observed by the Government that there has been increasing number of cases in Bermuda where Bermudian men make sham marriages with the women from these countries.
The intent is to enjoy life and then eventually leave them in the lurches. The women in order to avoid the economic hardship fall into the trap of such sham marriages hoping for a better life.
In many of the cases, much older Bermudian men marry women in their early twenties and finally end up abusing such relationship. The men come to the airport to pickup their spouses who can't even talk English or communicate with them in any way.
Eventually, most of these women foreign nationals are forced to take refuge due to domestic violence with their husbands. There are many instances where the Physical Abuse Center of Bermuda having to accommodate these women foreign nationals.
In order to prevent such incidences of exploitation, the Ministry has introduced a new visa requirement for Panamanian, Dominican Republic and Philippine nationals.
As from May 1, citizens of these countries will have to apply to their British embassies for visas. The information will then be e-mailed to the Immigration Department to be vetted. The Immigration Minister will then decide whether to issue a visa, as is currently the practice with Jamaican nationals.
Panama, Dominican Republic and Philippine nationals applying for work permits will also have to apply for visas via British embassies, which will verify whether the personal information tallies.
Note: The Government also announced all Canadian air passengers must carry a passport. Earlier US and Canadian nationals were allowed to enter Bermuda with a birth certificate and photo ID as proof of citizenship.
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