The Passport and Corporate Services Office advises passports and other vital documents, such as birth, marriage, naturalisation, registration certificates and Caymanian status and permanent residence documents, be kept together in a waterproof bag or container and stored securely in a place that is easily accessible during emergencies.
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, naturalisation and registration certificates.
- Store original documents and the copies securely, but in separate locations.
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 hurricane season, the office recommends.
TRAVELLING TO THE US
For people travelling to the United States, either before or immediately after a hurricane, 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.