Avoiding Travel Trouble
The Passport and Corporate Services Office (P&CSO) is urging all residents to ensure that important personal documents are updated and kept securely, throughout the hurricane season.
Passports and other vital papers such as birth, marriage, naturalization and registration certificates, as well as Caymanian status and permanent residence documents should be kept together in waterproof bags or containers. They should be stored in a place that is easily accessible during emergencies.
As part of readiness preparations for the current hurricane season, ensure that:
- Passports and other travel documents are valid.
- Holders of Cayman Islands passports submit only copies of those passports, together with application forms, when applying for United Kingdom (UK) passports. Actual passports should not be sent.
- Holders of UK passports which will expire within the next six months should not send them away for renewal, unless each holder has a second passport that may be used in an emergency.
- Residents should copy key documents, including passports, birth and marriage certificates, naturalization and registration certificates. Originals and copies should be stored securely in separate locations.
- During emergency situations, particularly approaching hurricanes or tropical storms which may require travel or evacuation, original documents should be kept at hand, secured in waterproof bags or containers.
Persons travelling to the United States, either before or immediately after a hurricane, must also ensure that their travel documents are in order. This is essential because:
- A holder of a CI or UK passport with a US visitor's visa may travel to the US on commercial, charter or air ambulance flights.
- A holder of a CI passport without a US visitor's visa must first obtain a US visa waiver from the P&CSO to travel to the US on a commercial or air ambulance flight. Visa waivers can only be placed in machine-readable CI passports.
- A holder of a CI passport should ensure that it is valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure from the US.
- A holder of a UK passport without a US visitor's visa, but with an approval from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) may travel to the US on commercial flights only.
Residents travelling to other countries should make appropriate plans beforehand and should also know and comply with the travel requirements of respective destinations.
Planning ahead and being prepared will help reduce the stress and anxiety everyone faces when emergencies threaten or occur.
Residents should also remember that travel documents cannot be issued when weather conditions require the closure of government offices, including the Passport & Corporate Services Office.
For further information contact: Lennon Christian