Both 21square and Vexed have commented on the decision by the UK to move UK passport matters for Bermudians and residents to Washington DC. 21square has welcomed the change to a ‘faceless bureau’ as a result of his experience of bad and inconsistent service at the Bermudian office of immigration that has previously handled these processes. Vexed questions how exactly this development benefits Bermuda itself.
I personally have never had any problems with Immigration, although I’ve certainly heard plenty of horror stories and even observed some actions that could have been handled better. Also, I have held UK citizenship since birth by virtue of my parents citizenship, and have previously only dealt with UK passport matters with the Ottawa embassy when living in Canada. While I do think that our personal service from the public faces of the government can certainly always be improved, I agree with Vexed’s position that this move by the UK is more about saving the UK money than improving the service for Bermudians.
I do wonder sometimes what is it that the Governor and Deputy Governor actually do for Bermuda? I know what the Constitution says they are responsible for, but I really get the impression most of the time that the position is just a plum reward handed out by Whitehall and the Governor is more about holding cocktail parties than anything else. What exactly does the office of the Governor do all day? And why can’t they handle the passports anyway? We’re maintaining their upkeep as it is. I really do find it absurd that we have an US Consulate that at least handles some immigration issues, and yet here, where we are still a UK colony (as much as I dislike the fact) we have to send our applications to the US. Absolutely ridiculous.