Monday, February 11, 2008

U.S. New Passport Cards Ease Travelling Regime between BVI and USVI

The U.S. State Department this spring will start issuing passport cards for those who cross border frequently, and these new documents will be also accepted by the British Virgin Islands as the neighbor state.

Passport rules have been tightening in the United States since September 11, 2001, and the new passport cards are just part of an overall tendency. The cards that will be of special importance at land borders with Canada and Mexico can also be useful to local boat captains and other residents of U.S. Virgin Islands who often travel to the BVI and do not want to fill in their paper passports with stamps.

The passport cards will be acceptable for entry and exit by sea from the BVI and other Caribbean territories. The U.S. State Department's assistant Consular Affairs spokesman Cyril Ferenchak said that the entry document will be granted to those going by ferry from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the BVI.

The top officials dealing with passports in both territories, including deputy chief immigration officer for BVI Immigration, recently said they were not aware of any arrangements for passport cards for use by sea in the territory. David Edgecombe, special assistant to the U.S. Virgin Islands governor for external affairs, said he expected the passport cards issue to be discussed with BVI officials during the next weeks.

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