Do You Need a Passport to Go to Aruba?

A woman sitting on a sand beach. On the right, a photo of a beautiful beach with palm trees.

Aruba is known as the “island paradise” of the southern Caribbean that is commonly visited by many tourists from around the world due to its year-round lush, warm weather and absolutely breathtaking views. The island is home to almost endless sunshine and soft sandy beaches that are perfect for diving. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Aruba stands out due to its mostly arid climate and landscapes dotted with cacti plants.

Located off the northern coast of South America and to the northwest of Curaçao, Aruba is one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The other countries making up the Dutch Kingdom are St. Maarten, the Netherlands, and the above-mentioned Curaçao.

Because the Country of Aruba is administratively part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, U.S. citizens may be unclear on its entry requirements. So, do you need a passport to go to Aruba? In this post, we will go over the documents required for your travel to Aruba. 

U.S. tourists traveling to Aruba by plane

You are considered a tourist if you’re traveling to Aruba for one of the following:

  • leisure
  • sports
  • medical tourism/health reasons
  • family matters
  • education
  • religious purposes
  • business tourism.

If you are a U.S. citizen and the purpose of your visit to Aruba falls into one of the above categories, the authorities of Aruba require that you present the following documents upon your arrival:

  • a passport valid at the time of entering Aruba and for the entire duration of your trip, with one empty page for an entry stamp*;
  • a filled out and signed ED-card** (Embarkation and Disembarkation card);
  • an onward ticket or return ticket;
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay.

Does Aruba require a passport if you’re getting there by plane? The short answer is yes, any international travel from the United States that involves flying requires a passport book regardless of age, unless you’re flying domestically.

*Keep in mind that 6-month passport validity does not apply to the Aruba passport expiration rules – as long as your passport book is valid for the entire duration of your stay, you are all set.

**ED-cards are distributed during the trip on a cruise ship or plane, to be filled out, signed, and ready to present to a migration officer in Aruba upon arrival. They can also be submitted online. The card includes basic information such as name, age, passport number, and purpose of travel.

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U.S. tourists traveling to Aruba on a cruise ship

Now that we’ve answered the question of Do you need a passport to travel to Aruba by plane?, let’s move on to cruise ships. Luckily, there is a way to visit Aruba without a valid passport book and it’s by taking a cruise there. When traveling on closed-loop cruises from the U.S. to the Caribbean, U.S. passengers can use forms of identification approved by the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative):

  • a U.S. Passport Card;
  • a government-issued birth certificate;
  • an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL);

OR

  • a state-issued photo ID and a birth certificate.

Documentation for minors visiting Aruba

When it comes to minors under 16, the acceptable forms of identification on closed-loop cruises to Aruba are birth certificates.

However, as we’ve mentioned before, when getting to Aruba by plane, a passport book is required of every international traveler, regardless of their age.

Documentation for U.S. Permanent Residents visiting Aruba

U.S. Permanent Residents, or Green Card holders, can, of course still visit Aruba. For their Aruba travel they must have their valid Permanent Resident Card (it must be valid for the entire duration of their planned stay in Aruba).

However, Permanent Residents are also advised to bring their valid passport from their home country with them.

Visa requirements for U.S. citizens visiting Aruba

U.S. citizens are not required to have a visa to travel to Aruba for a period shorter than 30 days. The maximum length of time a tourist may stay in Aruba during a single year is 180 days – any period longer than that requires a residence permit.

Extension of stay for up to 180 days in Aruba – on arrival

If it turns out that a U.S. citizen has to or wants to stay in Aruba for a period longer than 30 days, they can apply for an extension of their stay upon arrival for up to 180 days. However, the extension option is limited to:

  • those who own property in Aruba (a house, timeshare, condominium, an apartment, or a pleasure yacht* moored in Aruba). A proof of property ownership will have to be presented;
  • those who do not own property in Aruba, in which case an Aruba permanent resident will have to act as guarantor.

*NOTE: the yacht must be at least 14 meters in length measured from the water line.

Extension of stay up to 180 days in Aruba – after admission

Those tourists who wish to stay in Aruba longer than they have been permitted by migration authorities upon admission to the island can apply for an extension for up to 180 days at the DIMAS office. For more information on extended stay after admission, visit the official DIMAS website.

Getting passport and visa photos online

After reading this article you may have realized that your passport book or card is expired and you need to apply for a new travel document, which calls for a new photo. If this is the case then we’d like to recommend Passport Photo Online to you that will take care of your new official document photo from start to finish in approximately 10 (ten) seconds.

This passport photo tool is available for iOS and Android, and the only thing you have to do is either upload a photo of yourself that you already have or take a new one using the app’s built-in camera. Once the app has your photo, it will scan it for errors (informing you of any along the way), adjust it to the right dimensions, remove any red-eye effect, replace the background with a correct one, and even remove minor shadows.

For just $6.95 you can immediately get your digital passport photos sent to your email, and for a fee of $9.95 – digital copies sent to your email, and with printouts delivered straight to your door. The photos come with an acceptance guarantee or a double refund.

Do you need a passport to go to Aruba: FAQ

Because Aruba’s passport requirements for U.S. travelers may be confusing to many, we’ve prepared this section to remove any doubt in this matter.

Do Americans need a passport to go to Aruba?

Yes, but only for air travel. All U.S. citizens regardless of age are required to present a valid passport book to the local authorities upon their arrival in Aruba. However, if traveling to Aruba on a closed-loop cruise, a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-approved document such as a passport card or birth certificate is acceptable.

Can I fly to Aruba if my passport expires in 5 (five) months?

The 6-month passport validity rule doesn’t apply to Aruba, so if your planned stay on the island does not exceed 5 (five) months, then yes, you can fly to Aruba using your passport.

Can you travel to Aruba with a passport that expires within 1 (one) year?

If you leave Aruba within that 1 (one) year when your passport is still valid, then yes, you can travel to Aruba.

Can you travel to Aruba with an expired passport?

No, you cannot travel to Aruba with an expired passport. You can use a valid passport card instead of a passport for an open-loop cruise to Aruba, however.

Is a passport card good for Aruba?

Yes, for an open-loop cruise.

Do you need a passport to go to Turks and Caicos or Aruba?

When visiting Turks and Caicos your passport must have at least a 3 (month) validity, and for Aruba your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. Passports are required for air travel to Turks and Caicos and Aruba, but not for open-loop cruises.

Do kids under 10 need a passport to go to Aruba?

Yes, for air travel. Kids under 10 don’t need a passport for an open-loop cruise to Aruba – a birth certificate is enough.

Are passport cards acceptable for Aruba for children?

Passport cards are acceptable as forms of identification for children only for open-loop cruises to Aruba, not for air travel.

I’m going to Aruba. Do I need a passport or can I use my Enhanced Driver’s License?

You can use your Enhanced Driver’s License only if you’re going on a cruise that will be stopping in Aruba. Otherwise, if you’re planning to visit Aruba by plane, you need a valid passport book.

Can I use my expired Venezuelan passport to enter Aruba?

Expired passports are not allowed for any international travel. Additionally, for tourist visits to Aruba, Venezuelan citizens must have a short stay Caribbean visa and the yellow fever vaccine.

Do you need a passport to go to Aruba – summary

Whether you’ll need a passport to travel to Aruba depends on how you’re planning to get there. For all air travel to Aruba, U.S. citizens are required to present a passport that will be valid for the entire duration of their stay on the Caribbean island. However, passports are not required for open-loop cruises to Aruba – Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-approved documents such as a passport card, birth certificate, or any government-issued ID will be accepted.

Although passports are not a must when traveling to Aruba on a cruise ship, all travelers are still advised to carry them just in case they need to return home by plane or stop at another Central American country in the Caribbean.