US citizens travelling from the mainland or Puerto Rico don’t need a passport to enter St Croix, St John and St Thomas
St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (January 10, 2007) – US citizens are reminded that they are exempt from needing a passport for travel to the US Virgin Islands when the new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) by the Homeland Security and State Department goes into effect on January 23. And, there’s no better time to travel to St Croix, St John and St Thomas than this year, when the destination celebrates its 90th anniversary as a US Territory.
“As the passport initiative goes into effect, we are reminded that the US Virgin Islands is indeed America’s Caribbean,” stated Acting Commissioner of Tourism Monique Sibilly-Hodge. “This is a monumental year for the destination, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to share in the excitement with the added ease and convenience of not needing a passport.”
On March 31, 1917, the Danish government officially transferred ownership of the approximately 50 islands and cays (pronounced keys) known then as the Danish West Indies to the United States, formally establishing the US Virgin Islands. Throughout 2007, visitors will have opportunities to participate in commemorative anniversary events, activities and festivals on all three islands.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passed by US Congress requires that travellers, including US 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. But since the US Virgin Islands is a United States Territory, American citizens travelling to or from St Croix, St John and St Thomas are considered not to have left the US, 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_2225.html. United States citizens can visit the State Department’s travel website, www.travel.state.gov, or call the US National Passport Information Center: 1-877-4USA-PPT; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793. Foreign nationals should contact their respective governments to obtain passports.
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