Turks & Caicos ease passport rules

The islands of Turks and Caicos are the latest Caribbean nation to fall into accordance with the revised Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).  Revisions to the WHTI were created in response to the unprecedented backlog of United States passports. Under the temporarily relaxed travel rules, U.S. citizens who have applied for but not yet received passports are now allowed to leave and re-enter the United States by air.  Although passports are not currently mandatory for the summer season, travelers still must present a passport application receipt and government issued picture identification (such as a driver’s license, voter identification card, or additional form of government issued identification) to enter Turks and Caicos.

Through September 30, 2007, visitors may travel to Turks and Caicos under the newly instated passport requirements.  As a result of this new development, Director of Tourism Lindsey Musgrove believes this summer is an exceptional time to visit the Islands. “A vacation to Turks and Caicos is the ultimate escape, and the relaxed passport requirements make it easier than ever to experience all the Islands have to offer.  We are pleased to join our fellow Caribbean nations in accommodating and welcoming travelers onto our shores.”

Travelers must file an application for a passport prior to travel in order to qualify.  Official proof of application for a U.S. passport can be accessed and downloaded from the State Department Web site at http://travel.state.gov.

The Turks and Caicos will also host the gala ceremony for the World Travel Awards later this year.