Keep Travel Documents Ready
With the hurricane season fast approaching, the Governor's Office on behalf of the Consular Directorate of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Austrian, Barbadian, Brazilian, Canadian, Filipino, German, Honduran, Indian, Jamaican, Spanish, Swiss and United States Honorary Consuls of the Cayman Islands wishes to remind all nationals to ensure that their travel documents are in order.
Copies should be made of key documents, including passports, birth certificates, work permits and drivers' licenses, and stored in a safe place, separate from the originals. The original documents should be kept with you in waterproof bags or containers during any emergency situation, particularly in the event of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm.
For those people who may wish to travel to the US either before, or immediately after a hurricane, it is essential that your documents are in order. It is extremely unlikely that anyone without appropriate documentation will be allowed to enter the United States in any circumstances. Those who do plan to travel to the US should also be aware that the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) only operates for commercial flights and they should therefore also obtain a US visa if travelling on charter or private flights. Those nationals looking to travel under the VWP should also apply online for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).
British passport holders should note that an application for a passport renewal has a minimum 6 week turnaround time. To avoid applicants being without travel documents during the hurricane season only, applicants will not need to send their current passports with the renewal application. However, a photocopy will still need to be sent. The old passport must only be used for emergency travel. This is because the passport issuing system will electronically cancel the old passport when the new one is being processed and applicants risk travelling on an invalid travel document. US Immigration will accept a machine-readable British passport with at least one month's validity. British passport holders should note that all renewals are now processed by the British Embassy in Washington. Details of this service can be found at ukinusa.fco.gov.uk.
Nationals of other countries should also give consideration to applying for a new passport if you intend to visit your home country over the summer. The following nationalities are represented in the Cayman Islands:
Austria: Please contact Mr Martin Richter at Martin Richter or by calling 949 9333 during business hours. New Austrian biometric passports will require a visit to an Austrian passport issuing authority in order to record biometric data.
Barbados: Please contact Ms Juliette Gooding on 917-0796 or Liaison Mr Wingrove Hunte on 926 8303, or Barbados Consul.
Brazil: Please contact Giorgio Subiotto or call 949 9876 during business hours.
Canada: Visit www.pptc.gc.ca or www.jamaica.gc.ca, call the consul on 949 9400, or e-mail Canadian Consul. The Consulate of Canada is located at Landmark Square, 3rd Floor, 64 Earth Close (off West Bay Road past the Strand), Seven Mile Beach. Open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 1pm. Canadian nationals can register while visiting or living abroad at www.travel.gc.ca.
Germany: Please contact Mrs Christiane Schuette-McField on 925 0790 or at Christine Schuette-McFieldGreg James.
Honduras: Please contact Miguel Molina-Brown at Miguel Brown or 914 8665.
India: Please contact Dr Krishna Mani at Dr. Krishna Mani or 945 1565/916 8709/928 4681.
Jamaica: Visit http://www.jaconsulatecayman.org/m1a.html or contact Ms Elaine Harris at Jamaica Consul or 9499526. The Jamaican Consulate: Dot Com Centre is at 342A Dorcy Drive in the Industrial Park. Emergency travel documents can be issued within 24hrs with proper proof of Jamaican nationality and identification, and the passport renewal time is 2 to 3 weeks.
Philippines: Please e-mail Mr Art Ursua at Art Ursua or call 925 8279.
Spain: Please contact Mr Garth Arch at Spanish Consul or call 949 2400.
Switzerland: For Consular and administrative information, please contact the Consulate General in Atlanta, USA on 1 404 870 2000 or e-mail Swiss Consulate. Please note that there is a turnaround time for 3 - 4 weeks for new passports. New biometric passports will require a visit to a Swiss passport issuing authority in order for biometric data to be captured. Further information can be found at www.eda.admin.ch/atlanta. For on island emergencies please contact Mr Peter Schmid on 949 1841 or 326 4385 or by e-mail Cayman Swiss Consul or Peter Schmid. Or from abroad, by Satellite phone +88 1621 462160 (post event in case of Tele-communications failure).
UK: For passport renewals, please visit www.ukinusa.fco.gov.uk. For emergency travel documents during business hours, call the Cayman Islands Passport Office on 943 7678 or visit the Office at Sussex House, Elgin Avenue, George Town. For other consular information during business hours contact Tom Hines on 244 2434, Tom Hines and from August Gillian Skinner on 244 2431, Gillian Skinner. For out-of-hours consular assistance, contact the Duty Officer on +1345 925 4307.
USA: Visit http://kingston.usembassy.gov/travel_alerts.html or contact Mr Gary Montemayor on 945 8173 or by email US Consular Agency. The U.S. Consular Agency is now located at the Cayman Centre, Unit B-1, 118 Dorcy Drive.
The Governor's Office would like to remind all other foreign nationals in the Cayman Islands that the advice above also applies to them. If you have not already done so, you should consider registering with your nearest Consular mission. Further details can be found on your own government web pages.