Travel Requirements

New Travel Document Requirements

Please note: This initiative does not affect U.S. citizens traveling between the United States and its territories! Click here for more info.

***** U.S. Citizens will not need a passport to travel to St. Croix!!! *****

The new passport requirement outlined below does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory.  U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the United States and do not need to present a passport.  U.S. territories include the following: Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

The proposed implementation timeline has two phases:

  • Beginning January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, if applicable.
     
  • As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.

Travel Documents for U.S. Citizens Under WHTI

Under the proposed implementation plan, the following documents will be acceptable to fulfill document requirements:

  • U.S. Passport:   U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, and may also use a U.S. passport when traveling via sea and land borders (including ferry crossings).
  • The Passport Card (also referred to as the PASS Card):   This limited-use passport in card format is currently under development and will be available for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.  Similar in size to a credit card, it will fit easily into a wallet.
  • DOS and DHS also anticipate that the following documents will continue to be acceptable for their current travel uses under WHTI:  SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, and the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.  As proposed, members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty traveling on orders will continue to be exempt from the passport requirement. 

Background

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to develop and implement a plan to require all travelers, U.S. citizens and foreign nationals alike, to present a passport or other document, or a combination of documents, that denote identity and citizenship when entering the United States.  Congress amended portions of the Act in 2006.  The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is the Administrationís proposed plan to implement this mandate.

The goal of the Initiative is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized, secure and reliable documentation which will allow the Department of Homeland Security to quickly, reliably and accurately identify a traveler. 

 

Marriage Requirements - Click here for detailed Wedding Information

An eight-day waiting period is required for couples desiring to be married in the Virgin Islands. Information can be obtained by writing to:

Clerk of the Territorial Court
P.O. Box 70
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 00801
(340) 774-7325

 

OFFICIAL NAME U.S. Virgin Islands
Including the Islands of: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas
CAPITAL CITY Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, population 22,000

Introduction    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Background:
 
During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.
   Geography    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Location:
 
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates:
 
18 20 N, 64 50 W
Map references:
 
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
  
total: 1,910 sq km
land: 346 sq km
water: 1,564 sq km
Area - comparative:
 
twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
 
0 km
Coastline:
 
188 km
Maritime claims:
 
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
 
subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September to November
Terrain:
 
mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land
Elevation extremes:
 
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Crown Mountain 475 m
Natural resources:
 
sun, sand, sea, surf
Land use:
 
arable land: 5.71%
permanent crops: 2.86%
other: 91.43% (2005)
Irrigated land:
 
NA
Natural hazards:
 
several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
 
lack of natural freshwater resources
Geography - note:
 
important location along the Anegada Passage - a key shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Saint Thomas has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the Caribbean
   People    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Population:
  
108,210 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
 
0-14 years: 21.2% (male 11,546/female 11,354)
15-64 years: 66.4% (male 34,096/female 37,760)
65 years and over: 12.4% (male 5,961/female 7,493) (2008 est.)
Median age:
 
total: 38.3 years
male: 37.2 years
female: 39.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
 
-0.27% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
  
13.43 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
  
6.79 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
 
-9.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  
total: 7.53 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.34 years
male: 75.56 years
female: 83.35 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:

2.14 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
 
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
 
NA
Nationality:

noun: Virgin Islander(s) (US citizens)
adjective: Virgin Islander
Ethnic groups:

black 76.2%, white 13.1%, Asian 1.1%, other 6.1%, mixed 3.5% (2000 census)
Religions:

Baptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%
Languages:

English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9% (2000 census)
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90-95% est.
male: NA%
female: NA% (2005 est.)
   Government    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: United States Virgin Islands
conventional short form: Virgin Islands
former: Danish West Indies
abbreviation: USVI
Dependency status:
 
organized, unincorporated territory of the US with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior
Government type:

NA
Capital:

name: Charlotte Amalie
geographic coordinates: 18 21 N, 64 56 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
 
none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three islands at the second order; Saint Croix, Saint John, Saint Thomas
Independence:

none (territory of the US)
National holiday:
 
Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 27 March (1917)
Constitution:
 
Revised Organic Act of 22 July 1954
Legal system:

based on US laws
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal; island residents are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch:
 
chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
head of government: Governor John DeJONGH (since 1 January 2007)
cabinet: NA
elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as the Virgin Islands, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in the Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 7 and 21 November 2006 (next to be held November 2010)
election results: John DeJONGH elected governor; percent of vote - John DeJONGH 57.3%, Kenneth MAPP 42.7%
Legislative branch:

unicameral Senate (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: last held 7 November 2006 (next to be held November 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 8, ICM 4, independent 3
note: the Virgin Islands elects one non-voting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held 7 November 2006 (next to be held November 2008)
Judicial branch:

US District Court of the Virgin Islands (under Third Circuit jurisdiction); Superior Court of the Virgin Islands (judges appointed by the governor for 10-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:

Democratic Party [Arturo WATLINGTON]; Independent Citizens' Movement or ICM [Usie RICHARDS]; Republican Party [Gary SPRAUVE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA
International organization participation:
 
IOC, UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
 
none (territory of the US)
Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (territory of the US)
Flag description:
 
white field with a modified US coat of arms in the center between the large blue initials V and I; the coat of arms shows a yellow eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and three arrows in the other with a superimposed shield of vertical red and white stripes below a blue panel
  Public Holidays Official Virgin Islands Public Holidays Top of Page
    2008
1 Jan New Year's Day.
6 Jan Three Kings' Day. 
21 Jan Martin Luther King Day. 
18 Feb Presidents' Day.
20 Mar 
Holy Thursday. 
21 Mar Good Friday. 
24 Mar Easter Monday. 
26 May Memorial Day.
3 Jul Emancipation Day.
4 Jul Independence Day.
28 Jul Hurricane Supplication Day.
1 Sep Labor Day.
13 Oct Columbus Day.
27 Oct Virgin Islands Thanksgiving Day.
1 Nov D Hamilton Jackson Day/Liberty Day.
11 Nov Veterans' Day.
27 Nov US Thanksgiving Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.

2009
1 Jan New Year's Day.
6 Jan Three Kings' Day. 
19 Jan Martin Luther King Day. 
16 Feb Presidents' Day.
9 Apr 
Holy Thursday. 
10 Apr Good Friday. 
13 Apr Easter Monday. 
25 May Memorial Day.
3 Jul Emancipation Day.
4 Jul Independence Day.
Jul* Hurricane Supplication Day.
7 Sep Labor Day.
12 Oct Columbus Day.
Oct* Virgin Islands Thanksgiving Day.
1 Nov D Hamilton Jackson Day/Liberty Day.
11 Nov Veterans' Day.
26 Nov US Thanksgiving Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.

 
   Economy    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Economy - overview:
 
Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for 80% of GDP and employment. The islands hosted 2.6 million visitors in 2005. The manufacturing sector consists of petroleum refining, textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch assembly. One of the world's largest petroleum refineries is at Saint Croix. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. International business and financial services are small but growing components of the economy. The islands are vulnerable to substantial damage from storms. The government is working to improve fiscal discipline, to support construction projects in the private sector, to expand tourist facilities, to reduce crime, and to protect the environment.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.577 billion (2004 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$NA
GDP - real growth rate:

2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$14,500 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1%
industry: 19%
services: 80% (2003 est.)
Labor force:

43,980 (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 1%
industry: 19%
services: 80% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
 
6.2% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
 
28.9% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
 
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.2% (2003)
Budget:

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture - products:

fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle
Industries:

tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics
Industrial production growth rate:
 
NA%
Electricity - production:

996.1 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
 
926.4 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
 
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

17,620 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
 
98,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:

397,400 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
 
493,000 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:

NA
Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
 
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Exports:

$4.234 billion (2001)
Exports - commodities:

refined petroleum products
Exports - partners:

US, Puerto Rico (2006)
Imports:

$4.609 billion (2001)
Imports - commodities:

crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials
Imports - partners:

US, Puerto Rico (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$NA
Debt - external:

$NA
Currency (code):

US dollar (USD)
Exchange rates:

the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:

1 October - 30 September
   Communications    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
  
71,700 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
  
80,300 (2005)
Telephone system:
 
general assessment: modern system with total digital switching, uses fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
domestic: full range of services available
international: country code - 1-340; submarine cable connections to US, the Caribbean, Central and South America; satellite earth stations - NA
Radio broadcast stations:
 
AM 6, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2005)
Television broadcast stations:
 
5 (2006)
Internet country code:
 
.vi
Internet hosts:
  
4,116 (2007)
Internet users:
  
30,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Airports:

2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Roadways:
 
total: 1,257 km (2004)
Ports and terminals:

Charlotte Amalie, Limetree Bay
   Military    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Virgin Islands Top of Page
Disputes - international:

none

This data was last updated on 10 June 2008
 

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