Press Release
3 June 2015 - 1:30pm

The Governor's Office is reminding British nationals to ensure that their travel documents are in order as the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season approaches.

Persons who may need to travel overseas, including the United States of America, before or immediately after a hurricane, are reminded that it is essential that their documents are in order.

Copies should also be made of key documents, including passports, birth certificates, work permits and drivers' licenses, and stored in a safe place, separate from the originals. In the event of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm, original documents should be kept in waterproof bags or containers.

British nationals are asked to note that there are no British passport facilities in the Territory therefore nationals renewing their passports during the hurricane season should submit their passport application online to Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) in the United Kingdom.  The Governor’s Office is not able to answer general passport questions or give information on passport applications in progress as they are no longer involved in this process, which is explained in the following links.

https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

https://www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line

The Governor’s Office is also reminding passport holders to have their expired passports renewed beforehand so that they are not left without a passport during the hurricane season.  British nationals can renew their passports up to nine months before they expire without losing

any of the validity they have paid for. There are exceptions for genuine emergencies but the hurricane season is not considered an exceptional circumstance as it is a regular occurrence that can be planned for. 

 Holders of British Overseas Territories (BOT) passports are reminded that these passports are still processed by the Civil Registry and Passport Office.

 The Governor's Office would like to remind all other foreign nationals in the British Virgin Islands that the advice above also applies to them and they should consider registering with the nearest Consular mission. Further details can be found on their own government web pages.

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NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  1. The British passport application process is centralised and British nationals in the BVI submit their passport application to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK. The current production time for straightforward British passport renewals is running at least 6 weeks; more complex cases slightly longer.  Further information for applying from overseas can be found at https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports, https://www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line.
  1. British passport holders should note that they are able to renew their passports at a Passport Office in the UK providing the holder is in the UK at the time. Details of this service can be found at https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport.
  1. In a genuine emergency, eligible British nationals living overseas can apply for an Emergency Travel Document from the British High Commission in Barbados.  https://www.gov.uk/emergency-travel-document.
  1. British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC) passports continue to be processed by the BVI Civil Registry and Passport Office as before.
  1. The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) only operates for commercial flights and vessels therefore travellers should also obtain a US visa if travelling on charter or private flights including medical evacuation.  Entry requirements to the USA can be found at:

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html

 

Author

Claire Hunter

Project Officer
Office of the Governor
Telephone: 494-2345

Ministry or Department Associated with this News Article:

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