Residents should ensure that their official documents are up to date at all times.
As the recent coronavirus restrictions have shown, borders and government offices can be closed unexpectedly, making it difficult to travel as normal, or renew or replace important paperwork.
This is also true every year during hurricane season, and in the eventuality that any other disaster should strike.
Documents include passports as well as birth, marriage, naturalisation, registration certificates and Caymanian status and permanent residence certificates. These should be kept together in waterproof bags or containers, and stored securely in a place that is easily accessible during emergencies, advises the Passport and Corporate Services Office.
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 office recommends.
Travelling to the United States
For people travelling to the US, either before or immediately after a hurricane or another emergency, the passport office notes the following:
- Holders of British Overseas Territories Citizen – Cayman Islands passport or UK passports containing a US visitor’s visa may travel to the US on commercial, charter or air ambulance flights.
- Holders of BOTC – Cayman Islands passports without a US visitor’s visa must first obtain US visa waivers from the Passport and Corporate Services Office to travel to the US 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 US.
- Holders of UK passports without a US visitor’s visa, but with an approval from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), may travel to the US on commercial or air ambulance flights.
“Residents travelling 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.”
Residents should also remember that travel documents cannot be issued when weather conditions or other emergencies require the closure of government offices, including the Passport and Corporate Services Office.
Passport Office and COVID-19
The Passport and Corporate Services Office has reopened for collections.
As of 10 June, the office is open two days a week on Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 1pm. This is to facilitate persons collecting passports returned from Her Majesty’s Passport Office.
The office will not be accepting new applications at this time and will contact those whose passports have been returned and are ready for collection.
Persons should show up for collection on their last name letter days and should wear a face covering or mask and adhere to social distancing measures.
Persons whose last names begin with the letters A to K may only visit the office on Wednesdays. Persons whose last names begin with the letters L to Z may only do
so on Thursdays.
While this opening is for collection, the office will continue to offer services for medical emergencies as necessary.
Note: As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in phases, keep updated on opening hours through media advisories or contact the passport office.
Questions and queries