Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Are passports required to travel for US citizens traveling from the US mainland to Puerto Rico?

by Mari
(Savannah Ga USA)

Question: We are a party of 23 adults and children traveling to San Juan on 1/15/10 for a family vacation. Some of us have passports but not all. We were told by our travel agent that because Puerto Rico is a US territory passports were not needed.


Answer: You travel agent is correct. The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory. Your group can travel to Puerto Rico and return to the U.S. without going through immigration or customs.

While a passport is not required, all United States citizens should carry with them some form of official identification to enter Puerto Rico such as a current driver's license or a photo-ID card issued to non-drivers by a state's motor vehicles department.

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passport to return from US virgin islands?

Question: Do I need a passport to return to the Untied States from the US virgin islands?

Answer: No passport is needed to visit the US Virgin Islands unless...

While the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative now requires U.S. citizens who travel to the Caribbean region and return to the United States to present a valid passport or other WHTI-approved travel document, the US Virgin Islands are excluded.

In fact, any territory that belongs to the U.S. is excluded. According to the State Department, U.S. citizens and nationals who travel directly between parts of the United States, which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, without touching at a foreign port or place, are not required to present a valid passport.

Notice the condition: "without touching at a foreign port or place." A stop at any foreign port would then require you to present a passport to re-enter the U.S. unless traveling on a closed-loop cruise.

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Do I need a passport for travel to the US Virgin Islands?

by Brandon
(Kansas City, MO, US)

Question: I am going on my honeymoon to the US Virgin Islands, specifically St. Thomas. We plan on only being on St. Thomas and not doing any island hopping.

Do we need passports to travel to and from the US Virgin Islands by plane?

If we do decide to hop to another island in the US Virgin Islands, do we need a passport. What identification do we need, if we do not need a passport?

Answer: You do not need a passport to travel by air to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Traveling to a U.S. territory is similar to traveling to another state. All that is required is a photo ID such as a driver's license.

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Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 5 business days. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 5 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

You can schedule your appointment up to 2 weeks before your international travel but the date of your appointment must be within 5 business days of your international travel. If you need a foreign visa, the date of your appointment must be within 10 business days of your international travel.

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