The Passport and Corporate Services Office is urging residents to ensure that their official documents are updated and secure as hurricane season nears.

Passports and other vital documents, such as birth, marriage, naturalization, registration certificates and Caymanian status and permanent residence documents, should be kept together in waterproof bags or containers, and stored securely in a place that is easily accessible during emergencies, the office advises.

As part of readiness preparations, people should ensure that their passports and other travel documents are valid; make copies of key documents, including passports, birth and marriage certificates, naturalization and registration certificates; store documents and the copies securely, but in separate locations. During emergency situations, particularly approaching hurricanes or tropical storms, which may require travel or evacuation, original documents should be kept at hand and secured in waterproof bags or containers.

Also, if applying for the issuance of a United Kingdom passport, submit only copies of the valid British Overseas Territories Citizen – Cayman Islands passport. Actual passports should not be sent during the hurricane season, the passport office stated.

For people traveling to the United States, the passport office noted the following:
Holders of British Overseas Territories Citizen – Cayman Islands or U.K. passports containing a U.S. visitor’s visa may travel to the U.S. on commercial, charter or air ambulance flights; holders of BOTC – Cayman Islands passports without a U.S. visitor’s visa must first obtain U.S. visa waivers from Cayman’s Passport and Corporate Services Office to travel to the U.S. on commercial or air ambulance flights; holders of BOTC – Cayman Islands passports should ensure that the passports are valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure from the U.S.; and holders of U.K. passports without a U.S. visitor’s visa, but with an approval from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), may travel to the U.S. on commercial or air ambulance flights.

“Residents traveling to other countries should make appropriate plans beforehand and should also know and comply with the travel requirements of respective destinations,” the passport office noted. “Accordingly, planning ahead and being prepared will help reduce the stress and anxiety everyone faces when emergencies threaten or occur.”

The office also reminded residents that travel documents cannot be issued when weather conditions require the closure of government Offices, including the Passport and Corporate Services Office.