HOME › Forums › General Discussion Topics about the Cayman Islands › Getting There › Passport Requirement News – Updated June 12, 2007
Like others here, I have my Congressman’s office looking for my family’s passports.They were traced to New Orleans and an expedite order was placed for them – However I received a call from the Congressman’s office to notify me of a change issued today by the US State Department.
I was told that from June 8, 2007 through September 30, 2007 that the passport requirement for US Citizens travelling to the Carribean, Mexico or Canada has been suspended. Those travelling to all other countries are still required to have their passports.
The documents we need to take with us – for anyone over 15 – a government issued ID such as Driver’s License and proof of your passport application status. For anyone under 16 – proof of passport application status is sufficent.
To obtain the proof of your passport application status, you can go online. Click on the tab on the right hand side that says Online Application Status check. That brings up a screen for you to fill out information identifying those in your party awaiting their passport. After entering the required information and submitting, a screen is displayed with that person’s information and a locator number. This page must be printed and taken with you to customs as your would with the passport. This procedure must be done for EVERYONE in your party – Each person must have their own proof of application status and locator number.
I have copied the press release courtesy of the US State Department:
WITHIN WESTERN HEMISPHERE
WASHINGTON ? The U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security announced June 8, 2007 that U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for but not yet received passports can nevertheless temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport through September 30, 2007. The federal government is making this accommodation for air travel due to longer than expected processing times for passport applications in the face of record-breaking demand.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was mandated by Congress in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for citizens and legitimate international visitors. WHTI requirements for air travel took effect on January 23, 2007.
Adults who have applied for but not yet received a passport should present government-issued photo identification and an official proof of application from the U.S. Department of State. Children under the age of 16 traveling with their parents or legal guardian will be permitted to travel with the child?s proof of application. Travelers who have not applied for a passport should not expect to be accommodated. U.S. citizens with pending passport applications can obtain proof of application at:
This accommodation does not affect entry requirements to other countries. Americans traveling to a country that requires passports must still present those documents.
Since implementation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has and will continue to exercise its current authorities in unique circumstances to allow individuals subject to the WHTI requirements into the United States based on other evidence of identity and citizenship.
As early as January 2008, the departments will begin to implement WHTI at land and sea ports of entry. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlining a phased implementation is expected to be published in the Federal Register within the next two weeks.
Travel document security remains a top priority for the U.S. Government. Both the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress urged strengthening of travel documents to prevent entry of terrorists across our borders, reduce use of fraudulent documents, and speed up entry procedures.
Thanks for the update! Should be a relief to you and many others who timely applied, but are still anxiously awaiting passports before upcoming vacations.
Hopefully the temporary suspension of the regulations will allow the State Department to catch up on the backlog of passport applications… and not serve as an excuse to further delay the process.
…of course, disregard this if that has changed recently !!!!
The state department has all of our birth certificates as a part of our application paperwork. Those won’t be returned to us until we receive the passports. So I was told that showing the proof of application/locator number explains why you don’t have the Birth certificate documents.
I may look at the Cayman government site to see if they have posted anything about this change.
It sounds like they are going to focus on getting passports done for people traveling to Europe first and then come back to the others. So even though ours have been “expedited”, we probably won’t receive them for some time.
Last I knew they required a passport for entry. They had always wanted to require passports for entry and once the US changed to everyone needing a passport to get back into the US, CI started to require them as well.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
Please note: This announcement should not give anyone the impression that they have plenty of time to apply for their passports. It takes several weeks for your application to even show up as in progress online. Without that documentation that it is “in progress” you will not have the “locator number” they are requiring.
I will post any further information as I get it in this thread.
Grand Cayman: (345) 949-8344 | Cayman Brac: (345) 948-2222
Grand Cayman: (345) 949-8486 | Cayman Brac: (345) 948-2337
Hope to read your happy trip report when you get back.
Good luck to everyone who is waiting for theirs-but glad you have a little reprieve.
Also- Mr. H needed a new copy of his birth certificate to apply for his passport. We went to a online vital records website for the state of KY and submited a request. It cost $20 but we had the birth certificate within a week, and there were options for getting it faster if the need be. Just in case GC is still wanting birth certificates upon entry.
Customs & Immigration Requirements
Visitors are required to present a valid passport, except nationals of the US, UK and Canada who have proof of identity (photo id/birth certificate), subject to length of stay and possession of an onward/return ticket. Nationals of the US, UK or Commonwealth countries, European Union countries, Japan and certain other countries do not require visas. A US visa is normally required for travel via the US, although special in-transit arrangements can be made in Miami. It is always wise to double check entry requirements with your travel agent.
As I understand it, the only thing that has changed back in January, 2007, was that US citizens wanting to get back into the US after traveling to the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico (by air) would need a passport to get back in to the country. I really don’t think that the Cayman Islands actually changed their requirements for proof of ID.
Kay, good work on this post! It makes sense that the proof of application will suffice as your proof of citizenship, but it’s good that you’re going to check it out anyway.
Kay, I’m sorry that you are stuck doing a lot of legwork even though you applied forever ago! I remember talking with you about applying very early so you would get them and now that isn’t even happening. I hope that you get the answers you need to settle your nerves. You deserve this vacation and you will get there!!!
Keep us updated on what you find!
P.S. Yes, Char is right. You need the passport to get back into the US. I do not recall Cayman changed their immigration policy/laws in the last year.
Problem: The US State Department holds our documents in passport processing land.
Solution: We must obtain raised seal copies of birth certificates for all family members.
I have one from Michigan and 3 from Ohio to obtain. My congressman’s office gave me a way to order the Michigan BC online.
Cost for Michigan BC copy ?
Document Fee 36.00
Shipping Fee 16.00 (1-2 business days)
For the Ohio BCs the congressman’s office gave me an office in downtown Columbus where I can stand in line to get the other 3. She said it only takes a ? hour. Cost is unknown at this time.
Will update further later, but DO NOT DELAY!!!
? If your passport is held up, you will need time and dollars to get a copy of your birth certificate. To order by phone or mail in Ohio it takes 4-6 weeks to process!!!
? Other option is standing in line in Columbus for Ohio people.
I cannot believe all you are going through when you applied with MORE than enough time – I remember when you applied there were no worries because they had said you needed “x” amount of time and you even gave that an extra few weeks.
I’m sorry that you are going through the stress of this with two weeks to go. It stinks…BIG time! Be sure to save the receipts for your birth certificates and submit them for a refund to the passport agency. Talk to your congressman or senator about this one, you shouldn’t have to pay those fees due to government error!
Man…you really need this vacation!!!!