Do You Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas? - Travel From The U.S.

Aug 18, 2022

8 min read

Not only is St. Thomas known for its spectacular beaches and blue oceans, but also for being the Caribbean shopping hotspot. Now that's what you call two birds with one stone.


And to top it off, St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. This means it is a hotspot for U.S. citizens because they enjoy passport-free travel.

Basically, it's the same as boarding a flight in Florida and traveling to New York. However, before you get too excited, you must meet some travel requirements.

In this post, we'll look at the entry requirements for St. Thomas and everything you need to know for your Caribbean Island getaway.

Do You Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas?

Before we dig too deep into all the travel documents and requirements, the first question that might pop into your head is if you need a passport to go to St. Thomas.

This depends firstly on your country and your U.S. resident status. The reason for saying that is because if you are a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident, you may enjoy some benefits.

Before you start stressing about whether or not you need a passport, I'm going to explain by breaking it down:

Do You Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas From The USA?

Here comes the benefit of being a U.S. citizen, you don't need to travel with your passport if you are going to St. Thomas. How amazing is that?

Although you don't need your valid U.S. passport to go to St. Thomas, there may be additional documents you need to present when returning to the United States. However, don't worry too much because I'll tell you more about that later in the past.

Do U.S. Green Card Holders Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas?

Once again, you're in luck. Suppose you are a permanent resident of the United States. In that case, you enjoy passport-free travel to St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Just remember, there are also some additional rules for traveling back to the U.S. Mainland, but as I mentioned, we'll get to that later.

Do Foreign Nationals Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas?

Unfortunately, non-U.S. citizens require a passport to enter St. Thomas. Therefore, whether or not you have a U.S. visa, you must still present your passport to the border patrol.

Do I Need A Passport To St. Thomas If I Enjoy Visa-Free Travel To The United States?

Even if certain citizens have visa-free travel to the United States, they must still have a passport when visiting St. Thomas. Therefore, you must always have your passport with you when traveling, especially if you are a foreign national.

If you're unsure about your status, please visit the official CBP government website for more information

Where Can You Go Without A Passport?

You must be asking, "Well, since you don't need a passport for St. Thomas, where can you go without a passport?"

You're in luck! There are more places you can travel to without a passport. You can check our guides to see if you need a passport.

Do Minors Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas?

I can only imagine you looking forward to traveling with your children or grandchildren, but there are some things you need to know first.

Please keep in mind that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are always on the lookout for missing children, so you must carry the following documents with you when traveling with a minor:

  • Original or copy of the minor's birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where they were born)

  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad

  • Naturalization Certificate

Because of an increase in child abductions and custody disputes, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly advises adults to carry a note from the child's other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles, or aunts, sisters or brothers, friends, or in groups). Please keep in mind that both parents must sign the document.

CBP will accept a hospital-issued birth certificate if the child is a newborn and the actual birth certificate from the Vital Records Department has not yet arrived.

What Documents Can I Present When Traveling To St. Thomas?

We have finally arrived at the part you are probably most antsy about. First of all, you should know that boarding a flight to St. Thomas is considered domestic travel. This means that you must provide a form of identification before boarding your flight.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the following documents will be accepted:

  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver's License
  • An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)

What Documents Must I Present When Traveling From St. Thomas To The USA Without A Passport?

Here is the trickier part of your trip. Suppose you are a U.S. citizen or a U.S. Green Card Holder. In that case, you might need some additional documents if you are traveling without your passport, such as:

How Will The REAL ID Act Influence Passport Requirements For St. Thomas?

As of May 3, 2023, the REAL ID Act will be implemented. Perhaps you haven't heard of it until now, but don't worry, as I will briefly explain what it will mean for your future St. Thomas getaway.

Unfortunately, this will impact whether or not you need a passport to go to St. Thomas. If you do not have a REAL ID-compliant ID or driver's license, you must have your passport.

If you have some uncertainties about the REAL ID Act, don't worry too much as I believe it would be cleared up by reading the following:

When Do I Need To Get A Real ID?

As soon as May 3, 2023, you can start applying for your REAL ID. You will successfully receive a REAL ID-compliant document after applying for your REAL ID driver's license or ID.

Before you apply, first ensure that you have the required documents. Then, as soon as it has been processed, you can use your new REAL ID-compliant document to board local flights.

How Do I Know My Document Is REAL ID Compliant?

So you have your REAL ID driver's license or ID, but how do you know it is REAL ID compliant? Well, the answer is simple. You can check the upper portion of your card for one of the following symbols:


Here are a few examples you can use to verify if your REAL ID driver's license or ID:


What Alternative Documents Can I Present?

Let's say perhaps you don't have a REAL ID-compliant document; then, you can use one of the following documents to board a flight to St. Thomas:

  • A passport
  • A passport card
  • A state-issued Enhanced Driver's License (EDL)

Are You Looking For Another Travel Destination?

If you're heart's not set on travelling to St. Thomas, I've got some alternatives you can look at. According to a new survey conducted by a company, the following countries are the top 10 travel destinations of 2022:

Now You Know The Ins And Outs

And that, ladies and gentlemen, covers everything you need to know about traveling to St. Thomas. I hope you are ready to go to St. Thomas. Perhaps you may have some additional questions. In that case, feel free to browse the FAQ sections for some additional information.

Written By: Armando Du Preez
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Visa To Go To St. Thomas?

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, suppose you are a non-U.S. citizen. In that case, visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands is just like visiting the mainland United States: You need a passport and visa.

Do I need a Covid test to travel to U.S. Virgin Islands?

According to the CDC, Regardless of vaccination status, all air passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test taken one day before departure for the United States.

Is St. Thomas considered international travel?

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is on a mission to educate travelers that the Territory is an American overseas territory. Therefore, travel to St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, or Water Island is within the United States domestic jurisdiction. That means traveling to St. Thomas is the same as hopping onto a flight from Miami to Los Angeles.

Is travel to St. Thomas safe?

St. Thomas is a highly safe island. It is a protectorate territory of the United States. Therefore, the same laws and rules apply as to any other U.S. city on the North American mainland.

Can you drink the water in St. Thomas?

Most establishments serve safe drinking water. If your hotel or villa recommends against drinking tap water, they will tell you; if they don't, you can ask. If you want to buy bottled water, you can do so in stores and restaurants.

Can I use my cell phone in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

AT&T and Sprint are the primary cell phone carriers, and they generally honor rates and calling plans in the same way they do when calling from state to state while in the USVI. Other cell phone providers may work, but you'll have to pay high roaming fees.

Do You Need A Rental Car In St. Thomas?

Despite the hilly terrain, driving in the Virgin Islands is simple. A rental car is helpful if you're renting a villa or staying outside of the main towns. Make sure you're used to driving on the left side of the road, as all three islands require it. Also, note that there are a lot of car rental companies with fair prices.

What Is The Currency In St. Thomas?

The currency is the U.S. dollar because it is a U.S. territory. ATMs (automated teller machines) can be found on all three islands. The majority of businesses accept credit cards and traveler's checks. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards.

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