British Virgin Islands- British West Indies - Consular Information
September 14, 1999
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands,
the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos are British
overseas territories comprising the British West Indies. Three
U.S. embassies in the Caribbean area share responsibility for
U.S. citizens visiting the islands of the British West Indies.
For the areas named below, refer to the specific U.S. Embassy
with consular jurisdiction and the appropriate Consular Information
Sheet as necessary for additional information.
Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat are within
the consular district of the U.S. Embassy located in Bridgetown,
Barbados. Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands have moderately
developed economies. Tourist facilities are widely available.
Montserrat has an economy recovering from a series of eruptions
from the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Access to the southern part
of the island is restricted. Residents are concentrated in the
northern designated safe zones. Accommodations are very limited.
The airport remains closed, and most visitors to the island travel
by daily ferry from Antigua. Travelers should check with Carib
World Travel in Antigua, telephone (268) 460-6101, for sailing
The Cayman Islands are within the consular
district of the U.S. Embassy located in Kingston, Jamaica.
The Turks and Caicos are within the consular district of the
U.S. Embassy located in Nassau, Bahamas. The Turks and Caicos
is an archipelago of eight major islands and numerous uninhabited
cays. Most tourist facilities are located on Providenciales (Provo)
and Grand Turk islands. The U.S. dollar is the unit of currency
and the larger hotels and shops accept credit cards.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: For tourist stays up to three months
in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat, and for
stays up to 30 days in the Turks and Caicos, U.S. citizens need
either a passport, naturalization certificate, or original certified
birth certificate as well as photo identification, onward or return
tickets, and sufficient funds for their stay. The Cayman Islands
and Turks and Caicos also require the payment of a $15 departure
tax by all persons 12 years of age and older. In the Cayman Islands,
the tax is included in the airfare. For arranging longer stays
or arranging work permits in the Cayman Islands or the Turks and
Caicos, travelers should contact the Department of Immigration
of the Cayman Islands at 011 (345) 949-8344 or the Turks and Caicos
Immigration Department at (011) 649 946-2939.
For further information regarding entry and customs requirements
for any of the British West Indies, U.S. citizens may contact
the British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20008; telephone (202) 462-1340; or the nearest British consulate
in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York or
San Francisco. Internet: http://nsi.org/travel/british-west-indies.txt
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands
and Montserrat customs authorities may enforce strict regulations
concerning temporary importation into or export from these territories
of items such as firearms, agricultural products, and currency.
It is advisable to contact the Turks and Caicos Customs Department
at (649) 946-2867 for specific information regarding customs requirements
of that territory. The importation of firearms to the Turks and
Caicos is strictly forbidden without prior approval in writing
from the Commissioner of Police.
CRIME INFORMATION: Petty street crime does occur. Visitors
should not leave valuables unattended in their hotel rooms or
on the beach. In the Turks and Caicos, visitors may dial 999 or
911 for emergency police, fire, or medical assistance.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's
pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad
for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This publication
and others, such as http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs;
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, U.S.
citizens are subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protection available to individuals under
U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than
in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the
laws of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, the
Cayman Islands, or the Turks and Caicos, even unknowingly, may
be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession,
use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in these territories are
strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are available,
but limited in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and the Turks
and Caicos. There is a small public hospital on Grand Turk and
a private clinic on Provo. This clinic has a hyperbaric chamber.
Most serious cases require medical evacuation by air from the
Turks and Caicos to the United States, which is expensive. Travelers
should ensure that their medical insurance is valid outside the
U.S. and that it will cover the expense of air evacuation. Medical
facilities are very limited in Montserrat. Although the quality
of medical care in the Cayman Islands is comparable to that in
the U.S., some procedures and critical care require medical evacuation
to the United States. Because of the Cayman Islands highly developed
diving sector, a hyperbaric chamber is available. Doctors and
hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company
to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision
for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed
later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include
coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains
in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies
abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in
the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure
Medical Information for Americans
Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular
Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat
and the Turks and Caicos is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
In all four territories, driving is on the left-hand side of the
Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat:
Safety of Public Transportation: fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: fair
Night driving and mountain driving in the British Virgin Islands
and Montserrat should be done with great caution because of the
steep, narrow and winding nature of the roads.
Turks and Caicos:
Safety of Public Transportation: good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: poor
For specific information concerning Turks and Caicos driver’s
permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance,
contact the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board at (649) 946-2321.
Safety of Public Transportation: good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: good
For specific information concerning British driver's permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact
the British National Tourist Organization offices in New York.
Telephone 1 (800) 462-2748 or via the Internet at http://www.usagateway.visitbritain.com.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has assessed Anguilla and Montserrat Civil
Aviation Authorities as Category 2 -- not in compliance with international
aviation safety standards for oversight of Anguilla and Montserrat
air carrier operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies
are ongoing, air carriers from these territories are permitted
to conduct limited operations to the U.S. subject to heightened
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed
the Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman
Islands Civil Aviation Authorities as Category 1 -- in compliance
with international aviation safety standards for oversight of
Great Britain’s air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
the FAA Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact DOD at 618-229-4801.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Montserrat is a volcano-prone
territory. Although volcanic eruptions have abated, the volcano
is still dangerous. All Caribbean countries can be affected by
hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each
year. General information about natural disaster preparedness
is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children, international parental child abduction, and international
child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: U.S. citizens
living in or visiting Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and
Montserrat are encouraged to register at the Consular Section
of the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, which has jurisdiction
over those territories, and obtain updated information on travel
and security in the region. The Consular Section is located in
the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO)) Building, Cheapside,
Bridgetown, Barbados, telephone (246) 431-0225 or FAX (246) 431-0179.
The hours of operation are Monday-Friday, except local and U.S.
holidays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. U.S. citizens may also register
with the U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua, whose address is Bluff
House, Pigeon Point, English Harbour, telephone (268) 463-6531;
fax (268) 460-1569; or e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Consular
Agent’s hours of operation are Monday-Friday, except local and
U.S. holidays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (please call for appointments).
There is no U.S. embassy or consulate in the Turks and Caicos.
U.S. citizens living in or visiting Turks and Caicos are encouraged
to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nassau,
Bahamas, which has jurisdiction over this territory. The U.S.
Embassy is physically located next to the McDonald’s Restaurant
on Queen Street in downtown Nassau, and may be reached Monday-Friday
(except Bahamian and U.S. holidays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.); telephone (242) 322-1181; after-hours
(242) 328-2206; fax (242) 356-7174. For additional information
on travel and security in this territory, U.S. citizens may also
contact the U.S. Embassy or the Turks and Caicos Tourism Office
at (649) 946-2321.
There is no U.S. embassy or consulate in the Cayman Islands.
U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Cayman Islands are encouraged
to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston,
Jamaica, which has jurisdiction over this territory, and obtain
updated information on travel and security there. The Consular
Section is located on the first floor of the Life of Jamaica Building,
16 Oxford Road, Kingston; telephone (876) 935-6044; fax (876)
935-6018. Office hours are Monday-Friday (except Jamaican and
U.S. holidays), 7:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with window services 8:30
a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; after hours, a duty officer can be contacted
through the U.S. Embassy’s main switchboard, telephone (876) 929-4850
through 59. The Chancery is located three blocks away from the
Consular Section in the Jamaica Mutual Life Center, 2 Oxford Road,
Kingston 5. U.S. citizens may also register at the Consular Agency
in George Town, Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman
Islands. The Consular Agency is located in the office of Adventure
Travel, Seven-Mile Beach, telephone (345) 946-1611, fax (345)
945-1811. Internet: consulus@candwky. Office hours are 8:00 a.m.
to 12:00 noon, Monday-Friday (except Jamaican and U.S. holidays).
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated March 8, 1998,
to update sections on country description, entry requirements,
customs regulations, crime information, criminal penalties, medical
information, traffic safety and road conditions, aviation safety
oversight, disaster preparedness, children’s issues, and registration/Embassy
and Consulate locations.