Traveling To And From U.S. Territories
U.S. Citizens traveling to, and returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the U.S. territory and do not need to present a passport. The US Virgin Islands are territories of the United States. That means that any US Government recognized photo ID such as a Drivers License and certified copy of your birth certificate with raised seal are acceptable for travel to St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Water Island.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was put into action January 23, 2007. It requires all persons traveling by air to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and The Caribbean Region to have on their person a Passport or other valid travel documentation to enter or re-enter the United States. The U.S. Virgin Islands are NOT part of the Caribbean Region. Below shows what the current U.S. Territories include and what the Caribbean Region include.
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Swains Island
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Jamaica (except for business travel)
- Netherlands Antilles
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Turks and Caicos
What Is A Passport?
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue or verify United States passports.
Who Must Apply For A Passport?
- Any U.S. Citizen traveling outside the U.S. States and it’s U.S. Territories
- If you are 16 years old or younger
- Had had your current passport more then 15 years
- Have Lost or had your passport Stolen (you will also need Form DS-6454)
Where To Apply For A Passport Nationwide?
How To Apply For A U.S. Passport?
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or National
- One passport per person
If this is your first time you will need to complete and submit a DSP-11 application for each person applying. The application must be submitted with all of the following:
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship
- Proof of identity
- Two, 2 inch x 2 inch, face-forward head shot photographs of the applicant
- Any fees
Expect the processing time to take between 6 to 8 weeks possibly longer as there has been a huge back log since the summer of 2007.
All information courtesy of U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs December, 2007.