Do You Need a Passport to Travel to Virgin Islands?
Most people travel to the Virgin Islands (USVI) due to the tropical beaches with turquoise waters and beautiful wildlife. But even out of the water, there is a lot that visitors can explore – from the culture to the history to the cuisine in the region. So, even as you enjoy the white beaches bathed with warm weather, you can always get much more out of your tour. But before you can do that, let’s look into the passport requirements in the region. So, do you need a passport to go to Virgin Islands?
Do You Need a Passport to Go to Virgin Islands?
Passport requirements vary per region. And as a result, many Americans are unsure if they must have passports to enter the USVI. Do you need a passport to go to Virgin Islands?
Here’s some excellent news for those who do not hold valid passports. Unlike most regions where U.S. citizens need a passport in good condition, you will not need a passport to enter the Virgin Islands. That is because these are U.S. territories, and you will not be considered to have left the U.S. when visiting the Virgin Islands. It is much like when you travel to Alaska, where you don’t need a valid passport book, even when flying in and out of the U.S.
The same passport requirement holds when you travel to the following other U.S. territories:
- American Samoa,
- Puerto Rico,
- Swains Island, and
- The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
However, the lack of a passport requirement does not mean you can enter and leave the Virgin Islands without a form of identification. Your ability to enter and exit the country without a passport hinges on the premise that you are a U.S. citizen. You will thus need to provide a valid form of I.D., which can be:
- Your birth certificate,
- A trusted traveler program card,
- A U.S. Department of Defense I.D.,
- A state-issued I.D., e.g., a driver’s license,
- A WHTI-compliant document, and
- Any other eligible document.
Social security cards and other such documents are not acceptable as proof of identity. If you don’t have the above documents or a passport, you can gain entry via the following ways:
- You can provide signature documents like your library card, credit card, and social security card.
- You should combine the above documents with a statement from someone who can vouch for you. This person should have known you for at least two years, have a valid I.D., be a permanent U.S. resident or citizen, and fill out form DS-71.
Do you need a passport to go to Virgin Islands? If you don’t have the above forms of I.D., you can use a passport book. It should meet the following criteria:
- It should be valid during entry and exit. You cannot use an expired passport book as it is invalid. So, if your passport is near expiry or has expired, ensure you renew it before leaving the U.S.
- It should be in good condition. You cannot use a damaged or altered passport book.
- You should have the passport book. While you may have copies of your passport book, you cannot use these. Instead, you must present the original passport. If you have reported your passport stolen or lost, you can get a replacement via TVP within days.
If you are a minor, can you go to the Virgin Islands without a passport? Minors, too, must have sufficient proof of their U.S. citizenship. Typically, you should present their birth/ citizenship certificates. If the minors have passport books, you can use these as proof, provided the documents are valid and in good condition. Also, if you are not their primary parent or guardian, you should have a notarized consent letter from their parents or guardians. Failure to provide such documents can get you into trouble with the immigration authorities.
Do you need a passport for USVI when returning to the U.S.? Leaving the U.S. to travel to the Virgin Islands is relatively easy. However, embarking on a trip back home will require you to provide additional documentation if you do not have a passport. You may need to present the following or their equivalents:
- A state or national-issued I.D., or
- A birth certificate.
You can gain entry back to the country using the same I.D. you used to enter the Virgin Islands.
While other forms of I.D. are acceptable, carrying your U.S. passport is always advisable as it results in less hassle when entering and leaving the USVI. Travel Visa Pro excels in expediting passport services, and we can get you a passport within days. If you have any queries, you can reach our 24/7 team via +1-833-TVP-VISA (887-8472).
Can U.S. Citizens Travel to Virgin Islands?
The USVI is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. So, do you need a visa to go to the Virgin Islands? U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the USVI. Instead, they should present a valid form of I.D. to prove their U.S. citizenship or permanent residence. Presently, state and federally-issued U.S. I.D.s are acceptable for travelers who do not hold passports. Please note that as of May 2023, the Virgin Islands entry requirements will change. U.S. travelers to the Virgin Islands will need a valid passport or a REAL I.D. to gain entry. It’s advisable to get your documents in order if you plan on visiting USVI at that time. Getting a valid passport is easy via Travel Visa Pro. We can get you a new one or renew your current one in days.
What language is spoken in the Virgin Islands? English is the main language. Thus, you can easily navigate the region and will not need to translate your official documents.
When Is the Best Time to Go to Virgin Islands?
The weather in the Virgin Islands varies based on the seasons. When the weather is too hot, the temperatures can soar to uncomfortable levels, making it hard to enjoy outdoor activities. And when the temperatures drop, the water can be too tepid for you to enjoy swimming and other activities. The best period to visit is between April and June when the temperature is mild and the weather is generally calm. You can enjoy the beaches much more this way and explore the nature, cuisine, and culture the islands offer.
If the weather is not much of a concern to you, there are other ways to consider the best travel months. For example, hotel and activity rates depend on traffic. As such, they are much cheaper outside the April to June window as there are fewer tourists. So, if you want more value for your money and to avoid crowds, you can avoid the peak season.
Will My Phone Work in Virgin Islands?
The good news is that keeping in touch with your loved ones in the USVI is easy. You can contact them in the following ways:
- Roaming: Most phone plans in the mainland U.S. are still accessible, even in the Virgin Islands. All you need to do is check with your current cell phone provider and sign up for an international plan to avoid costly roaming charges. AT&T and Sprint PCS are some companies you can reach out to before leaving the U.S. While this option might be convenient, it can be costly for people who will be in USVI for a long time.
- Buying a Prepaid SIM Card: If you have an unlocked phone, using a prepaid SIM card is the more affordable option. It allows you to call, text, and access the internet at local rates. And you can rely on reputable companies like Liberty (formerly AT&T) or Viya (formerly Innovative VI).
Another alternative would be to use WIFI in the Virgin Islands, which would be completely free. However, its access is only in commercial and residential settings. So, you would not have access to phone services while away from hotels and restaurants. Using it as a supplement instead of the main communication mode is best.