Waivers for criminal convictions & ineligibilities
NOTE: WAIVERS ARE CURRENTLY TAKING 6 MONTHS TO PROCESS. PLEASE APPLY 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR INTENDED TRAVEL DATE.
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 approved by DHS, individuals may be granted visas for travel to the United States.
All applicants must:
- Follow the instructions on the "How to Apply" page. Please note: waiver interviews are conducted on Wednesdays only.
- 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.
- 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.
- Obtain a Bermuda Conviction Report.
a) 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, bring your appointment confirmation page and a color photocopy of the passport page showing your picture to the to the Criminal Records Office building at 10 Headquarters Hill, Prospect Devonshire, DV 02. The BPS charges $100, payable by cash or cheque only, for this service. For the proper form and further instructions on obtaining this record, please visit the Bermuda Police Service website by clicking here. Please present all document(s) in the sealed envelope to the Consulate at the time of your interview.
b) 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, 8 Court Street, Hamilton, HM 12. 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. Effective immediately, the Magistrate Court is now taking 21 days to process conviction records. For expedited service, you may pay the Court $100.00 and receive the records in 48 hours. Please do not 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. Their office hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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 is taking 6 months, so plan accordingly. Please do not contact the Consulate or 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 its decision, the Consulate will notify the applicant either by phone or by e-mail. If the application has been approved, the applicant will be instructed to drop off their passport on Tuesdays or Fridays between 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. for visa printing. The passport and visa will be ready for pick up on the following Tuesday or Friday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
For any additional questions about the waiver process, please contact us at HMLVisaQuery@state.gov.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.