TRAVELERS TO THE CARIBBEAN PREPARE FOR NEW U.S. PASSPORT REGULATIONS

(originally published at OnePaper.com)

Pack your papers after Dec 31, 2005!
Check out these new regulations governing travelers to the Caribbean from the United States Passport Office!

As of December 31 2005, all travelers to and from the islands must show proof of citizenship. While many have enjoyed the relative ease of dispaying a birth certificate plus government picture ID (usually a driver’s license), this situation will end when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative goes into effect for travel from your jurisdiction!

Many feel that the expense of gaining passports will deter travel to the Caribbean region. Perhaps it will, for a while. For many years, Virgin Islanders have felt “singled out” and treated as foreigners while entering the continental United States, with demands to see passports. Now, everyone will have to present a current passport. While United States Virgin Islanders will continue to be exempt to this regulation, it may only last until 2007. We will find out more as this one develops…!

For more information, view the list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) at: Travel.State.Gov.