Do You Need a Passport to Travel to St. Thomas?

A city on a mountain and a beautiful beach. The text says "Do you need a Passport to Travel to St. Thomas?"

St. Thomas is a popular destination, known for its best shopping spots within the Caribbean. In fact, St. Thomas is marked as one of the top shopping areas globally! People often travel to St. Thomas during the April-June period, when the climate is the warmest and rainfall is at its lowest. This time of year is known as the USVI (U.S. Virgin Islands) peak season. With English as its official language, the island of St. Thomas makes a very attractive spot to visit for U.S. travelers.

However, U.S. citizens are often confused as to whether they need a passport to go to St. Thomas. To set the record straight: a U.S. citizen traveling to any of the U.S. Virgin Islands is not required to present their passport upon arrival.

For more information regarding the ways of how to travel to St. Thomas, and the required documents, we invite you to read this article until the end.

Traveling by air to St. Thomas

St. Thomas’ airport – the Cyril E. King International Airport – is located on the southwestern side of St. Thomas, roughly four miles east of Charlotte Amalie, the island’s capital. This is the airport you will be flying into if you decide to travel to St. Thomas by plane.

Traveling from the U.S. to St. Thomas by plane – required documents

In terms of political area, the island is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands – an unincorporated territory of the United States, which simply means that U.S. citizens are permitted to travel there without a passport. Anyhow, some form of identification, other than a passport, is still needed.  However, those that are in possession of their valid passport while traveling to St. Thomas have more of a flexibility as they are permitted to visit other places that are not within U.S. territory, including the British Virgin Islands.

Since flying to St. Thomas is considered domestic travel, U.S. citizens can use any of the below listed forms of I.D.:

  • a U.S. driver’s license,
  • a state issued photo ID,
  • a government issued photo ID,
  • a military ID,
  • a U.S. birth certificate.

U.S. permanent residents can either use a state or government issued photo ID or their permanent resident card when entering St. Thomas.

Keep in mind that while you may not need your passport when entering, you do have to carry one with you if your trip involves crossing foreign territory such as the British Virgin Islands.

Also, even though U.S. citizens are not required to present a passport when entering St. Thomas (a state-issued photo ID will suffice), they may be, however, required to show a document that proves their U.S. citizenship when leaving St. Thomas. The following documents are accepted as proof of citizenship:

  • a U.S. government issued photo ID;
  • a raised seal birth certificate.

Travelling by ship to St.Thomas

The island of St. Thomas has two docks – the West Indian Co. Dock and Crown Bay Dock. Ships arriving at St. Thomas can also dock at the harbor in the island’s capital – Charlotte Amalie. Common cruise lines that offer trips to St. Thomas include the Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise to St. Thomas, and St. Thomas Cruises.

Taking a cruise to St. Thomas may be a wonderful and relaxing experience if you plan well! Below we will go over the documents you can bring with you for smooth sailing to this beautiful USVI destination.

Traveling from the U.S. to St. Thomas by ship – required documents

When traveling to St. Thomas on a cruise ship, the passport requirements are the same as those when traveling by plane – a government or state issued photo ID such as a driver’s license suffices. However, a valid passport is always the recommended form of identification by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, especially because, again, you may be required to present a proof of your U.S. citizenship upon leaving St. Thomas.m needs to be filled in, proof of citizenship (e.g. birth certificate) needs to be provided along with a government-issued ID. For a new passport, another requirement

Entry from other countries

For any international incomers, a passport is essential. For non-U.S nationals visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands is similar to visiting the U.S. – not only a passport but a visa may also be needed. If your native country must have a visa to enter the U.S., then you’ll also need a visa to enter the USVI since it’s a U.S. territory.

If your country is part of the U.S. visa waiver program, then you won’t need a visa to enter the USVI, and will be able to stay there for up to 90 days. However, should you need to apply for a U.S. visa, you will also need a photo for it, which brings us to our next point.


Get your photos conveniently with Passport Photo Online

Those travelers who either have their visa photo already or don’t need one altogether should probably skip this step. But, if you’ve found yourself in a need of a U.S. visa photo, then look no further than Passport Photo Online. Don’t be fooled by the name – it’s also a visa photo app that’s available on both Android and iOS devices. All you have to do is either upload an already existing photo or take a new one and have the app take care of all the U.S. visa photo requirements for you. The app’s AI system will scan the photo for any errors, as well as crop and resize your pic, removing red-eye and replacing the background with a correct one.

For just $6.95 you can order 100% U.S. government-compliant digital visa photos, and for $9.95 you can get those same photos printed and delivered straight to your home! If, for whatever reason, your photos don’t get accepted by the authorities, you will get a double refund.

Do you need a passport to go to St. Thomas: FAQ

Here you will find some of the most commonly asked questions about whether you need a passport to travel to St. Thomas.

Do you need a passport to go to St. Thomas from the United States if you’re a U.S. citizen?

Since the U.S. Virgin Islands are part of U.S. territory, U.S. citizens can bring a state (such as a state ID) or government issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license) when entering St. Thomas. However, when leaving the island, U.S. citizens are also sometimes asked to present their proof of citizenship. This could be your raised seal birth certificate or a valid U.S. passport. You’re always advised to bring your passport with you as you may be required to enter a foreign port such as the British Virgin Islands on your trip.

Do you need a passport to go to St. Thomas from the United States if you’re a permanent resident?

Permanent residents can travel to St. Thomas using their state or government issued photo ID or Permanent Resident Card.

Do you need a passport to go to St. Thomas from the United States if you’re a citizen of another country?

If you are just visiting the United States and wish to travel to St. Thomas during your trip, you must bring your country’s valid passport with you.

Do you need a passport to go to St. Thomas – summary

The United States is lucky to have a place as beautiful as the U.S. Virgin Islands in its territory. St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are absolutely stunning tropical destinations that U.S. citizens and permanent residents can enjoy traveling to with the comfort of using just their driver’s license! Regardless of what form of ID you choose to use for your St. Thomas travels, make sure it’s up to date so you can enjoy your USVI vacation without any travel document-related surprises.