Are you starting to plan your next big vacation?
There’s a lot to think about when you get ready to go on vacation. In addition to booking flights and accommodation, you need to make sure your travel documents are ready. You usually need a valid passport to travel to international destinations. However, this can be tricky if your travel document is about to expire.
So, let’s find out, do you need a passport to go to the US Virgin Islands?
- About The US Virgin Islands
- The Entry Requirements
- Alternative Documents
- Getting Back into the United States
- Essential Travel Information
- Popular Places To Visit
- Is Your Passport About To Expire?
- Final Thoughts
About The US Virgin Islands
Also known as USVI, the US Virgin Islands are famous for their intense natural beauty. This area consists of three large and lovely tropical islands in the Caribbean. Visitors can take their pick from St Croix, St Johns, and St Thomas.
This part of the world is the perfect getaway for those who are craving tropical weather. Taking a flight to USVI is considered to be domestic travel because the area is a US Commonwealth. US citizens don’t need to apply for a visa, and other travel regulations are also much more relaxed.
The Entry Requirements
The entry requirements depend on several factors, such as your residency status in the United States. US citizens and US lawful permit residents are eligible for certain privileges when they travel. When booking a flight, your country of origin and the travel period will also be taken into account.
US citizens don’t need a passport to travel to the USVI, but you need to produce proof of citizenship. You also need to provide some form of identification. This identification must include your full name, a recent photo, and your date of birth.
US Green Card holders
Even if you weren’t born in the United States, the privilege extends to you if you hold a Green Card. As long as you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you can leave your passport at home. However, getting back into the United States may be a different story.
If you are not a US citizen, you’ll have to present your passport when entering St Thomas. Even if you have a US visa, the border police will request this travel document. Without it, you are likely to be denied entry to the island and sent straight back to the United States.
The USVI is a great destination for families. If you are traveling with children, you need to prove that you have a family connection to the minor. This usually means that you have to be the parent, legal guardian, or grandparent.
You must carry the following documents when traveling with a minor:
- The minors’ birth certificate (original or copy)
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Naturalization Certificate
The Transportation Security Administration has created a list of accepted travel documents. It is important to make sure the document you choose is in date and features a recent photograph of yourself. This travel document will be used as a form of identification before you board your flight.
Accepted travel documents include:
- Driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles www.dmvusa.com
- US passport
- US passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards
- US Department of Defense ID
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
- Photo ID issued by a federally recognized Tribal Nation or Indian Tribe
- Foreign government-issued passport
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or an Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Card
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
- Veteran Health Identification Card
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card
Getting Back into the United States
This stage of the trip can be much more complicated if you travel without a passport. It is essential to prove that you are a US citizen or Green Card Holder to get back into the country.
You are likely to be asked to produce the following documents:
- US federal or state-issued photo identification document
- Birth Certificate with a raised-seal
US citizens do not need a visa to travel to the USVI. However, if you’re not from the US, then you usually need to purchase a travel visa in advance. If you’re not sure if you need a visa, it’s best to check with your Consulate before booking your flights.
Other countries that offer US citizens a visa on arrival include:
- Burkina Faso
- The Solomon Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- The Maldives
- The Seychelles
- United Arab Emirates
- Sierra Leone
Essential Travel Information
Now you know the entry requirements, you’re ready to plan your vacation in more detail. It’s important to take the time to learn a little about local customs before you travel. Here is some useful information about visiting the USVI.
Because the USVI is a US territory, the US dollar is the official currency. ATMs can be found throughout the three islands, and they disperse dollars. Most credit cards are accepted at ATMs and businesses, including Visa, American Express, Diners Club, and MasterCard.
English is the official language of the USVI. Spanish and Creole are also commonly spoken, while some people speak French. Even if you only speak English, you shouldn’t have trouble being understood in touristy areas.
People drive on the left side of the road throughout the USVI. You can hire and drive a car if you have a valid driver’s license. It is illegal to drive when talking on a cell phone, and seatbelts must be worn at all times.
The USVI boasts a warm and tropical climate all year round. The average winter temperature is 77ºF, while temperatures soar to 82ºF in the summer. The Caribbean sun is very strong, and it’s best to wear loose cotton clothing and apply plenty of sunscreen.
Cell phone service
The main cell phone carriers are Sprint and AT&T, and cell reception is generally good. The international country code for the USVI is +1 340.
Health and Safety
It is best to stick to bottled water when traveling in the USVI. The Commonwealth boasts high-standard medical facilities, and there are few health risks. However, medical care is generally expensive, so it’s best to arrange travel insurance.
The three islands are generally very safe for international visitors. It is best to avoid leaving your valuables unattended and take extra care when driving. Take the same precautions as you would when traveling in the United States.
Politeness is highly valued throughout the US Virgin Islands. It is important to take the time to greet strangers before asking for assistance. The local spirits play an important role in the culture, and it is essential to avoid mocking them.
Popular Places To Visit
Now you know the entry requirements, it’s time to start planning your trip. With so many stunning places to hang out, you need to make sure you allow plenty of time to explore. Here are some of the top destinations in the USVIs that should not be missed.
This peaceful island is covered with forested hills and fertile lowlands scattered with sugar plantations. The island is surrounded by a coral reef and displays plenty of influences from its Danish colonial past. The main town of Christiansted is one of the prettiest towns in the whole of the Caribbean.
St Croix is famous for its excellent diving, most of which is concentrated on the Northern shore. Stunning sandy beaches are dotted all over the island and are best explored with a hired car. The inland villages offer a curious insight into the sleepy lifestyle of the West Indians.
This party island is heavily developed and boasts plenty of places to shop, eat, and make merry. The island boasts numerous pretty bays, forested hills, turquoise water, and dozens of excellent beaches. This is also a great place for lovers of luxury to unwind in style.
The main town of Charlotte Amalie is a busy port with a distinctly Danish character and colorful buildings. There are also numerous historic attractions to explore around the island. Drake’s Seat boasts stunning views, while Magens Bay is a popular beach lined with bars and restaurants.
This island is much less developed and boasts a large and lovely national park. Cruz Bay is a great place to unwind while learning about local rum production.
Is Your Passport About To Expire?
Well then, you’re going to need new photos taken for your application!
If you’re wondering about your local stores and their services, find out Does CVS Take Passport Photos, as well as Does Walgreens Do Passport Photos, and for your superstores, Does Costco Take Passport Photos, Does Target Take Passport Photos, and Does Walmart Take Passport Photos?
If you have a criminal record, you’ll want to take a look at Can A Felon Get A Passport, and for more in-depth guides, find out Can A Felon Travel To Jamaica, Can A Felon Travel To Mexico, and Can A Felon Travel To Cancun for your tropical destinations.
If you are a US citizen, traveling to a US Commonwealth is considered to be domestic travel. This means that you don’t need to show a passport to book a flight or when boarding. You simply need to produce one of the alternative forms of identification when you get to the airport.
However, you may find that certain authorities challenge you when you get to the US Virgin Islands. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have a scanned copy of your photo ID on hand at all times. If you are not a US citizen, you need a passport in order to travel to and within the US Commonwealth.
Happy Traveling, and enjoy the Rum Cocktails!
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