Do You Need A Passport To Go To The US Virgin Islands? - Travel To USVI From The US

Aug 18, 2022

8 min read

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If you plan on a trip to the US Virgin Islands (USVI), you're just where you need to be. The USVI is the perfect Caribbean Island getaway, especially for US citizens when planning to visit the national parks and enjoy the blue Caribbean oceans.

US-Virgin-islands

The reason for saying it's especially significant for US citizens is because the USVI is US territory. This means US citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the USVI. It's like domestic travel to any US state, from New York to Florida.

In this post, we'll focus on who needs a passport to travel to the USVI, the required documents, and the COVID-19 entry requirements.

Let's get to it:


What Is The US Virgin Islands?

The US Virgin Islands, also known as the USVI, is the perfect getaway for US citizens. The USVI consists of 3 Caribbean islands such as St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas

The reason for saying the USVI is the perfect getaway for US citizens is because the USVI is a US Commonwealth and is considered domestic travel.


Do You Need A Passport To Travel To The US Virgin Islands?

Before we go into all of the travel paperwork and procedures, the first issue that may come to mind is whether you need a passport to visit St. Thomas.

This is determined first by your country of origin and your residency status in the United States. If you are a US citizen or a US lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible for certain advantages. However, the main travel requirement for the USVI is that you provide a form of identification and proof of citizenship.

Before you start worrying about whether or not you need a passport, let me break it down for you:

Do US Citizens Need A Passport To Go To The USVI From The USA?

The advantage of being a US citizen is that you do not need to travel with your passport if you are visiting the USVI. Isn't that incredible?

Although you do not need a valid US passport to visit the USVI, you may be required to produce additional documentation when returning to the US. Don't worry, though, because I'll tell you more about it later.

Do US Green Card Holders Need A Passport To Go To The USVI?

You're in luck once more. Assume you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States. In that situation, you can visit the US Virgin Islands without a passport. Remember, there are some additional requirements for returning to the US Mainland, but we'll get to that later, as I indicated.

Do Foreign Nationals Need A Passport To Go To The USVI?

Unfortunately, non-US nationals must enter St. Thomas with a passport. As a result, you must still submit your passport to the border police whether you have a US visa.

Do I Need A Passport To Go To The USVI If I Enjoy Visa-Free Travel To The USVI?

Although certain citizens can travel to the United States without a visa, they must still have a passport when visiting the USVI. As a result, if you are a foreign national, you must always carry your passport with you when traveling.

Quick note: If you are uncertain about your status, please consult the official CBP government website for further information.


Do Minors Need A Passport To Go To The US Virgin Islands?

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 US 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 minors' birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records State Department where they were born)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Naturalization Certificate

What Documents Can You Present When Traveling To The US Virgin Islands?

We have finally arrived at the part you are probably most antsy about. First, you should know that boarding a flight to the USVI is considered domestic travel. This means that you must provide travel documents such as 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 ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • US passport
  • US passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • US 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
  • US 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 The USVI To The USA Without A Passport?

This is the more difficult stage of your journey. For example, assume you are a US citizen or a Green Card Holder. If you are going without your passport, you may require certain additional documents, such as:


Will The REAL ID Act Influence The Passport Requirements For US Virgin Islands?

The REAL ID Act will go into effect on May 3, 2023. You may not have heard of it before now, but don't worry. In this section, I'll explain what it means for your future USVI vacation.

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

If you have any questions about the REAL ID Act, I believe you will find them answered by reading the following:

When Do I Need To Get A REAL ID?

You can begin applying for your REAL ID as early as May 3, 2023. After applying for your REAL ID driver's license or ID, you will successfully acquire a REAL ID-compliant document.

Before you apply, make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork. Then, once processed, you can utilize your new REAL ID-compliant document to board domestic flights.

How Do I Know My Document Is REAL ID Compliant?

So you've got your REAL ID driver's license or ID, but how do you know it's compliant? The solution is straightforward. You can look for one of the following symbols on the upper half of your card:

A1.png

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

R3.png
R4.png

What Alternative Documents Can I Present?

If you do not have a REAL ID-compliant document, you can board a flight to St. Thomas using one of the following documents:

  • A Valid US Passport
  • A Passport card
  • A state-issued Enhanced Driver's License (EDL)

Which Countries Offer Visa On Arrival For US citizens?

I know you might be thinking, "I can travel to the US Virgin Islands with just my passport; why would I consider a country where I need to get a Visa On Arrival?"

If you give me a few seconds, I'll tell you why.

A visa on arrival is just as good as traveling with just your passport. A Visa On Arrival is a visa you receive once you disembark from your flight. Yes! That means you don't have to apply for a visa before traveling, and you can also travel with just your passport. Officials only need your passport as proof of ID to give you your Visa On Arrival.

Did this grab your attention? Well, keep reading to find out which countries offer a Visa On Arrival for US citizens.

Which Countries Offer A Visa On Arrival For US Citizens?

Now that you know just how easy it is to get a Visa On Arrival, let's take a look at the countries that offer them:

Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Lebanon, Maldives, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Timor-Leste, and Togo.


Where Can I Travel To Without My Passport?

You're probably thinking about where you can travel if you don't have your passport. You've come to the right place. You can go to countries such as Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Island, and Puerto Rico if you are a US citizen or a US Green Card holder.

Remember that you cannot travel to Bermuda or the British Virgin Islands without a passport.

Please check out our passport requirement guides for American Samoa, Canada, and Mexico.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Visa To Go To The USVI?

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

Do I Need A COVID-19 Test To Travel To The USVI?

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 The USVI Considered International Travel?

The US 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 the USVI is the same as hopping onto a flight from Miami to Los Angeles.

Can I Use My Cell Phone In The USVI?

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.

What Is The Currency In The USVI?

The currency is the US 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.

What Are The COVID-19 Entry And Exit Requirements For The USVI?

Before going over the COVID-19 entry requirements, you can check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for the current COVID-19 statistics in the USVI.

There aren't any significant travel restrictions to the USVI because it is considered domestic travel. However, the CDC advises people that they do not travel if the following cases:

  • You have COVID-19 symptoms despite having recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days of being up to date on your COVID-19 immunizations.
  • If you have a positive COVID-19 test
  • You are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test
  • You had close contact with someone who had COVID-19 and is advised to quarantine

Important note: Make sure that you are updated with your COVID-19 vaccination before traveling.

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