Travel Tips

5 min read

St. Croix Travel Guide: Passport Myths Debunked

Ever dreamed of island hopping without the passport fuss? St. Croix might just be your ticket to tropical bliss. Let's unravel this Caribbean conundrum together!

Tobi Miles
May 27, 2022

St. Croix is possibly the most unique of the 3 primary islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands. There is no shortage of fun and relaxing things to do between Buck Island National Park and the gorgeous water. So, do you need a passport to go to St. Croix?

You don’t need a passport to go to St. Croix as long as you are a U.S. citizen. However, you need to bring a driver’s license or government-issued ID and a copy of your birth certificate. Bring a valid COVID vaccine card or a negative COVID test from within the last 24 hours when you go to St. Croix.

Non-U.S. citizens are required to bring a passport, visa, proof of vaccination, and negative COVID test without a vaccine card. St. Croix is a U.S. territory which makes it the same as traveling between states as a U.S. resident. Follow along as we explore what you need to bring to go to St. Croix.

Is St. Croix Open to Tourists?

St. Croix is currently open to tourists by both air and sea. Cruise ships and commercial flights are both accepted in St. Croix. Tourism was briefly restricted in St. Croix and the rest of the U.S. Virgin Islands when the COVID outbreak began in 2020.

You can enter St. Croix as a tourist as long as you are legally allowed to travel. Tourists must provide the proper documentation and identification to get in. There are two airports in St. Croix, and visitors generally fly to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.

Requirements for US Citizens

You don’t need a passport to go to St. Croix if you are a citizen of the United States. Passports aren’t needed if you are a U.S. resident because St. Croix is part of the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory which means that U.S. residents can freely travel there.

Travelers must have a passport if they are coming from a foreign country or territory that isn’t part of the United States. However, U.S. citizens may have to show a passport depending on the route they take to get to St. Croix. You will need to provide a passport if you got to St. Croix after having gone through other countries even if you are a U.S. citizen.

United States territories are considered the same as states or cities as far as travel goes. St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John make up the Virgin Islands and U.S. citizens can visit any of them without a passport. You aren’t guaranteed entry to St. Croix as a U.S. citizen if you don’t provide the proper documents.

Related Read: U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Requirements: Do You Need a Passport?

What Documents Do I Need?

You need to provide a state or government-issued ID when you go to St. Croix as a U.S. citizen. Provide your driver’s license if you have one and bring a copy of your birth certificate. They don’t always request a copy of your birth certificate, but they are entitled to see it.

Officials may use your birth certificate to verify your identity, especially if there is a discrepancy with your ID. Children are allowed to travel to St. Croix, but you must provide a copy of their birth certificate. Failure to produce a copy of your child’s birth certificate will prevent them from entering St. Croix.

An expired driver’s license doesn’t count as a valid form of identification. Foreign travelers must bring a passport in addition to the accepted form of identification in their country.

Do I Need a Real ID to go to St. Croix?

You will need a Real ID to go to St. Croi starting in 2023. All travelers will need a Real ID to fly to St. Croix starting on May 3, 2023, if they are over 18 years old. Air travel won’t be allowed without a Real ID even if you have all of the other proper documentation.

Real IDs are being implemented as a safety measure to verify all traveler’s identities. You can use a passport and driver’s license in place of a Real ID for now until the new rules take effect next year.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit US Virgin Islands

St. Croix Entry Requirements COVID

St. Croix requests proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID to enter. Full vaccination means that you received both rounds of the vaccine. It only counts as full vaccination if at least 2 weeks have passed since the last vaccine you got.

Otherwise, you are allowed to go to St. Croix without proof of vaccination if you provide a negative COVID test. The negative test only counts if it is from within the last 24 hours. Children between the ages of 2 and 17 aren’t required to be vaccinated to go to St. Croix.

St. Croix requests that you let their Travel Screening Board know that you are unvaccinated in advance. This gives them the advance notice that they will be looking for a negative test instead of a vaccine card. These COVID travel restrictions are much less strict than they used to be.

Non-U.S. Citizens Traveling to St. Croix

Bring a valid ID, passport, and visa if you are a non-U.S. citizen traveling to St. Croix. Not all non-U.S. travelers are required to bring a visa and can still get onto the island. However, the exception only applies to travelers from a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program.

Countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program include Belgium, Hungary, Norway, Iceland, and Austria. Your passport will not be accepted if it is close to expiration, and that can also make it harder to get a visa. Check the expiration date on your passport long before your trip so that you can renew it if it is set to expire.

Apply for a passport at least one month before you go to St. Croix to ensure that it arrives in time. Approval and delivery may take up to 5 weeks in some cases so it is ideal to apply early. Keep track of your passport and visa while you are in St. Croix because you won’t be able to fly out if you cannot present them.

Do You Need to be Vaccinated to go to St. Croix?

You don’t need to be vaccinated to g to St. Croix, but it makes it much easier. Travelers without a valid vaccine card must take a COVID test 24 hours before landing in St. Croix. They will only let you into St. Croix without a vaccine card if your test results are negative.

The test won’t be accepted if it is over 24 hours old even if they indicate that you aren’t infected. St. Croix doesn’t require you to be vaccinated against any specific ailment when you visit. However, the CDC and WHO encourage vaccination against measles, mumps, rabies, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza when you travel.

Can I go to St. Croix With Just a Driver’s License?

A driver’s license isn’t enough to get into St. Croix even if you are a United States citizen. You can get through airport security with just a driver’s license in most cases, but that doesn’t help when you land. Bring a copy of your birth certificate along with your driver’s license as proof of your identity.

However, a valid driver’s license will allow you to drive when you are in St. Croix. United States citizens and foreign travelers alike can both legally drive in St. Croix with a legal driver’s license. However, you cannot legally rent a car in St. Croix unless you are at least 21 years old.

Related Read: Do You Need a Passport To Go To St. Thomas?

Is Travel to St. Croix Considered International?

It isn’t considered international travel if you visit St. Croix from the United States. However, it is considered international travel if you go to St. Croix from another country even if you are a U.S. citizen. The misconception that the Virgin Islands are not part of the United States can be harmful to tourism in St. Croix.

The citizens of St. Croix and the rest of the Virgin Islands are considered U.S. residents. St. Croix has been an official yet unincorporated part of the United States since 1954.

Where Can You go in the Caribbean Sea Without a Passport?

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are both in the Caribbean Sea and don’t require a passport from U.S. residents. Both places are U.S. territories that grant equal travel privileges to U.S. citizens. Some islands in Florida such as Marco Island and Anna Maria Island are considered to be in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea.

Luckily, there are several gorgeous places to visit in the Caribbean Sea without a passport, such as:

  • Croix, Virgin Islands
  • John, Virgin Islands
  • Thomas, Virgin Islands
  • Isabela, Puerto Rico
  • Isla De Culebra, Puerto Rico
  • Isla De Mona, Puerto Rico
  • Desecho Island, Puerto Rico
  • Cayo Icacos, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is just as diverse and enticing as the U.S. Virgin Islands are. There are over 143 gorgeous destinations to visit without a passport between the islands and keys.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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