Passport Requirements for the Cayman Islands

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Official documents are required for re-entering the States from the Cayman Islands.
Official documents are required for re-entering the States from the Cayman Islands. (Image: Spots Bay on Grand Cayman Island. Picture taken by Daniel Zisko)

The Cayman Islands are one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in the Caribbean. It is home to Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City and some of the most extensive shopping in the Caribbean. New U.S. passport regulations went into effect June 1, 2009, that affect travel to the Cayman Islands and other Caribbean destinations.

What are the Cayman Islands?

The Caymans are an island group in the western Caribbean, consisting of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. All told, the land area is under 100 square miles. Just 500 miles west of Jamaica, the islands are a frequent stop for Western Caribbean cruises. As the country imposes no direct taxation, financial services account for 40 percent of its gross domestic produce, according to the U.S. State Department.

Passport Regulations

While the Cayman Islands do not require U.S. citizens to present a passport, Americans need a passport or passport card to re-enter the United States. A passport card is a wallet-sized document good when traveling the Caribbean islands via sea, but not by air. The only exception to the rule is for U.S. citizens who are on a closed-loop cruise (one that begins and ends at a U.S. port). As it is a British territory, the Caymans do not require British and Canadian citizens to provide a passport; however, residents of those countries have to show an original birth certificate, an official photo ID and a roundtrip ticket home.

Visas Rules for Cayman Visits

U.S. citizens do not need a visa unless they intend to stay longer than 180 days. The Cayman Islands offers visas for stays of six months, one year, two years, and five years, with provisions for exit and re-entry during those time spans.

Traveling with Children

Children (age 16 and younger) are allowed back into the United States if they are with a parent and can provide a copy of their birth certificate to prove citizenship. Any child 16-18 years of age traveling with a school or social group, can submit an approved form of identification (driver's license or government issued ID) and a copy of their birth certificate as long as they have adult supervision

Refusal of Entry

Besides lacking the required travel documents, visitors can be refused entry to the Cayman Islands if they do not have sufficient funds for their stay; intend to work or study but lack the necessary visas; or attempt to deceive custom agents about their plans.

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