Travelers are reminded that travel to America’s Caribbean is as easy as ever
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, May 22, 2008 – As the State Department begins to produce new passport cards, travelers are reminded that no passport is required to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The cards are being issued by the State Department as an alternative to the traditional passport books in an effort to simplify travel for U.S. citizens since more rigid travel requirements have come into effect with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
“The new passport cards have caused a bit of confusion in regards to what is required of U.S. citizens when traveling to America’s Caribbean,” says Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “The cards are meant to be a simple and convenient alternative to the larger passport books, but they are not required for travel to the Territory. U.S. citizens do not need a passport of any kind when visiting St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas from Puerto Rico and the mainland U.S.”
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passed by U.S. Congress requires that travelers, including U.S. citizens who travel via air to and from the Americas, the Caribbean and Bermuda must travel with a passport in order to enter or re-enter the United States. Being that the U.S. Virgin Islands is a United States Territory, American citizens traveling to or from St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are considered not to have left the U.S., and thus do not need to present a passport.
For information about the new passport cards, visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html. Additional information can be found on the State Department’s travel website, www.travel.state.gov, or by calling the U.S. National Passport Information Center: 1-877-4USA-PPT; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793.
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, visit usvitourism.vi. When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.