What Kinds of Documents Are Necessary for a Permanent Resident to Travel to the US Virgin Islands?
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which include St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, are territories of the United States and therefore require the same entry documentation as do trips across U.S. states. For U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, that means that trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands that do not pass through any foreign territory or port do not require a passport, but a valid photo identification is necessary.
Government-Issued Photo Identification
Passengers traveling by air within the United States and its territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands are required to travel with a photo I.D. issued by a state government. Many permanent residents and citizens carry a driver's license, but a military I.D. or government employee photo identification also fulfill the obligation. Check with the Transportation Security Administration if unsure whether another form of photo I.D. is valid for air travel.
In addition to a valid photo I.D. the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol recommends carrying a copy of a birth certificate as a second valid form of identification. Any permanent resident with a foreign birth certificate can carry another document as proof, such as a Permanent Resident Card or any permit or passport marked with an I-551 stamp.
Permanent Resident Card
A Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card, is not required to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands from the continental United States. However, this card comes in handy along with a birth certificate to prove status if asked about it at any airport or security checkpoint.
Any journey to the U.S. Virgin Islands that includes a stopover in an independent Caribbean nation or anywhere else beyond U.S. territories requires a passport. For instance, a cruise that also stops in Jamaica or Cuba requires a valid U.S. passport for all cruise guests. The passport must have at least six months left before expiration date to avoid security checkpoint complications. Norwegian Cruise Lines also recommends that every guest carry passports in case a ship is missed and travel outside of a United States territory is required to meet the ship at another port.
Any travel plans including some time spent on the British portions of the Virgin Islands also require a valid U.S. passport.
Air travelers also require a passport for travel involving an airport beyond the United States and its territories. This applies to American citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals. A passport should include proof of status in the United States, such as an I-551 stamp or a Permanent Resident Travel Document.