As new WHTI rules change, America’s Caribbean not affected
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands, January 25, 2008 – U.S. citizens are reminded that they are exempt from needing a passport for travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands when the new land and sea phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) by the Homeland Security and State Department goes into effect on January 31.
“As the new phase of the passport initiative goes into effect, we are reminded that the U.S. Virgin Islands is indeed America’s Caribbean,” stated Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “We are committed to ensuring that visits to the islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are as easy and convenient as if traveling within the 50 United States.”
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passed by U.S. Congress requires that travelers, including U.S. citizens who travel via air, land or sea to and from the Americas, the Caribbean and Bermuda must travel with a passport in order to enter or re-enter the United States. But since 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 additional information and facts regarding the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html. United States citizens can visit the State Department’s travel website, www.travel.state.gov, or call the U.S. National Passport Information Center: 1-877-4USA-PPT; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793. Foreign nationals should contact their respective governments to obtain passports.
For 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