A US Consulate But No UK Consulate?

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.

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9 thoughts on “A US Consulate But No UK Consulate?

  1. 1. I don’t think Governor is set up to do passports, or indeed could be other than perhaps an emergency one.
    2. The US Consul doesn’t issue passports.
    3. Passports always went to Washington in any event – for a handling fee which BDA Immigration used to charge.

    Not sure what the beef is Johnathan?

  2. This post is bordering on irrelevance… but then, you have maintained an admirable dedication to your implied mandate in adding regular commentary on a near daily basis…. without which, to be fair, would impact on this site’s longevity. However, the need to post for the aforementioned purpose should bear in mind that missing a few days does far less harm than the mindless conjecture of the above. Fewer posts of quality, backed up by fact add to this site’s credibility. The above, may be an honest admittance of your utter ignornace of the named indivduals’ responsibilities and roles here in Bermuda but then you draw an unfounded and admittedly baseless and derogatory opinion. Credibility and objectivity are never questioned when we remain publicly silent on a subject that we know nothing about. Instead of questioning what you clearly claim to know nothing about and then slide in a backhanded insult based on, well nothing; why not do some research and then back up your obvious contempt with facts? Then a meaningful discourse could follow … of course this would involve some actual work to back up many of the opinions you feel obliged to publish based purely on your, albeit self-acknowledged ignorance of your subject. Get up and live before you sit down to write….

  3. My point was simply that we have a Governor, and a Deputy Governor, who we pay the upkeep of, and yet we, a British colony, have to send applications for UK business to the USA. I am aware of the Governor’s responsibilities as per the Constitution, but I really do wonder what he does all day, and why we cannot deal with UK passport issues on island.

    You will note that I didn’t say that the US Consulate handles passports, just that they handle some immigration issues.

    Prospero, what an eloquent comment. I salute your articulation, but I wonder if it was worth your time or effort. We are a British colony, yet we must send UK business to the embassy in DC, I found that idiotic, that is all.

  4. Hi Ren Man, I’m not disputing that, I’m just saying that as UK territories I think the UK should be able to able to issue them instead of sending them off to DC.

    It’s a small thing, I just find the current arrangement odd.

  5. Hey Jon.

    I think it’s more of a geographical thing. Mail to DC is quicker than mail to the UK. And an embassy is UK soil anyway.

    Not sure what UK passport holders did before the option was open to all Bermudians. Wasn’t it the embassy in New York?

  6. Perhaps you should have simply made that one point then rather than contributing to the idiocy. I’m surprised that the primary writer of a site that seems quite targeted on the topic of Bermuda’s politics and governance has not bothered to perform a little research before forming an opinion. Then again, if you are a product of Bermuda’s public education system, it’s not your fault. However, we are never too old to learn, expand our thinking and improve ourselves, and not settle for mediocrity as evidenced by your assumptions and ensuing comments. I spent 30 minutes looking at 5 local blogs when I came in after finishing up my business and notes. I spent maybe ten of those on this site and – yes, maybe I wasted ten minutes; but they are mine to waste. Perhaps you should take your implied advice and look at your own time wasted. Then again, for all I know, this may be a school project for political science – one should never make assumptions! If so, I stand corrected but would re-iterate my suggestion on the importance of research when it comes to credibility.

  7. Dearest Prospero, for your information I did indeed once again review the Bermuda Constitution and the various http://www.gov.bm websites relevant to the issue prior to writing the piece. Additionally I looked at the available information of the US Consulate. So I am not quite sure what you are getting at. My article was prompted as a result of the articles (which are linked above) from 21square and Vexed, and was simply a continued conversation from them.

    Best wishes.

  8. It’s quite simple why the UK office is in Washington DC…..’Volume’. Doesn’t make sense having an office in Bermuda where in reality there is minimal applications.

    Even our relatives to the South and North us this facility. It’s a huge place and employs hundreds of people to just process Passports and Visas’s.

    As for the US Consulate, as we all know they just deal basically with US visas’s and Green Cards and simple stuff.

    As for the comments about the Governor and the Deputy Prospero has covered them to a degree but you’d be surprised what they actually do. Their very busy I can assure you. But I won’t bore you will the details.

    As for the cocktail parties et al, you have friends and guests over once in a while don’t you?

    Gotta run………………..

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