Do I need a passport to travel to St Croix or St Thomas?
US citizens do not need a passport to travel to St Croix, St Thomas or St John, all 3 of the US Virgin Islands. It is still a good idea to bring it if you have one, but a driver’s license and a birth certificate are usually all that is needed. Passports are required for all other non-US visitors.
To make the process as smooth and fast as possible, you will want to have your and your family members proof of identity easily accessible, and know what items you need to declare, so that you are ready for the CBP officer at the booth.
People often ask: “Is the Virgin Islands part of the US?” and do you need a passport to travel to St Croix or St Thomas. So the good news is a passport is not required to go to St Croix or St Thomas if you are a US citizen. Of course if you have one, then it’s best to bring it. This makes the USVI a top “no passport travel” destination for vacations, honeymoons, Caribbean island holidays, and getaways.
Do you need a passport to travel to St Thomas or St John?
Nope. No passport is required for any of the US Virgin Islands. So that means you can daytrip to St Thomas from St Croix without hassle.
US Customs & Border Protection
There’s often some confusion, so here’s the official word from the US Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) if you need a passport for the US Virgin Islands:
- “U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR’s) who travel directly between parts of the United States, which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), without touching at a foreign port or place, are not required to present a valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Green Card.
- However, it is recommended that travelers bring a government issued photo ID and copy of birth certificate. It also is recommended that you carry proof of your LPR status as all times in the event you are asked to prove your status. This may be in the form of a green card or passport.
- Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.”
Here is the travel documentation you will need to have available:
If you are a US Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, even though you do not need a passport for St Croix Virgin Islands, it’s still best to bring it because it is the most-accepted document anywhere you go.
Because St Croix, St Thomas and St John are the Virgin Islands part of the US, a passport is NOT required when travelling here. If you, or someone you are travelling with, do not have a passport then you are required to present a U.S. federal or state-issued photo identification document (such as a Driver’s License, Military ID, Government ID, or CBP Trusted Traveler Card), as well as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal. Please note that you must have proof of identification for children as well as adults.
For US Citizen children ages 15 and under arriving by land or sea from a contiguous territory you must present an original or certified copy of their birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born), a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.
If the child is a newborn and the actual birth certificate has not arrived from the Vital Records Department, CBP will accept a Hospital issued birth certificate. Due to the increasing incidents of child abductions and disputed custody cases, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have 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, a note signed by both parents) stating: “I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my permission to do so.” Please make sure you have proper identification and documentation for any children traveling with you or CBP will not allow you to proceed through customs.
If you are a non-US Citizen going to the US Virgin Islands, you need to present a valid passport from your country of citizenship. Non-US Citizens are also required to present current and valid traveling and identification documents showing evidence of their immigration status.
Travelling with Pets:
If you’re travelling with pets to the US Virgin Islands, keep in mind the basics:
- Your pet must be vaccinated for rabies prior to entry. There is no waiting period after the vaccination. So bring the necessary docs to show a clean bill of health.
- An Import Permit is required to import birds, ferrets or any other animal other than a dog or cat.
- Make sure it’s not an exotic animal which is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If this is te case, you will need to apply for additional permits. You can check the CITES site here.
You can check out the latest regulations here on travelling with pets to the USVI.
St Croix Duty-Free Shopping Allowances:
Any US resident, including children, can return (or mail) to the mainland US up t0 $1,600 worth of duty-free goods purchased in St Croix US Virgin Islands every thirty days. Villa Margarita asks you to please support the local STX economy by filling up your suitcases on the way home!
Here is the official word on St Croix duty-free shopping from the USCBP:
- “When traveling to one of the U.S. insular possessions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Guam, you are required to clear Customs and Border Protection and are entitled to a $1,600 duty-free exemption, as long as you are there for 48 hours or more.
- After your $1,600 duty-free exemption you will be required to pay a flat rate of 1.5% on the next $1,000 worth of goods you purchased while you were there.
The remaining balance of your goods after $2,200 will be assessed duty based on the commodity and country of origin. For duty amounts on the remaining balance, you can contact the port through which you intend to arrive in the U.S. and request an Import Specialist.”
US citizens and residents over the age of 21 can return with five bottles of liquor duty-free, or six if one of the bottles is locally produced, such as local favorite Cruzan Rum. A great place to pick it up is after taking the famous Cruzan Rum factory tour. Otherwise, you can buy it at the STX airport on your way home.
You can always get the latest information on travel and duty-free by going to the visit the USCBP website at www.cbp.gov, or call (340) 773-1490.
- Here you can find information on St. Croix airport and its STX airport code
- US Customs and Border Patrol St Croix website
- Link to the US Virgin Islands passport office in St Croix here
- Pet passport to St Croix US Virgin Islands
- USCBP passport requirements to go to St Croix by boat
- New York Times article on duty free shopping in the Virgin Islands
- another link here to St Croix duty-free shopping
So come enjoy no passport vacations on St. Croix or St. Thomas!
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