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Do You Need A Passport To Visit Antigua As A U.S. Citizen?

The Islands
July 30th 2019
Do You Need A Passport To Visit Antigua As A U.S. Citizen?
Photo credit header image: LifetimeStock/

Two islands, one paradise. That is the tagline for Antigua and sister island Barbuda, both popular vacation destinations for sun seekers. When it comes to planning a vacation in Antigua, many questions arise, including, do you need a passport to visit Antigua, and where is the best place to stay?

Concerning passports, U.S. citizens are required to travel with a passport to Antigua & Barbuda. Travelers should also ensure their passports are valid for 6 months past their travel dates, and that they have a valid return ticket. Visas are not required for U.S. citizens.

'Two islands in one' means your choices for accommodation are diverse, though many travelers spend most of their vacation on the shores of Antigua, the larger of the two. Sandals Grande Antigua, an all-inclusive couples' resort in Antigua is a great choice for travelers who want to enjoy an adults-only experience.

In this post, we'll discuss all the things you need to know ahead of traveling to Antigua, and answer questions relating to passports, visas, passport cards, and more!

Sandals Grande Antigua Main Pool Overview

Picture: Come relax on silky-soft, pure white sands and let the warmth of the Caribbean fill your senses ate Sandals Grande Antigua.

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Visa requirements
Need a passport when flying to Antigua?
Need a passport when cruising to Antigua?

Passport cards
Trusted Traveler programs
Enhanced Driver's Licenses

Stuck in Antigua without a passport?
What if your trip exceeds the maximum period of stay?
Bonus: Special vaccinations required?
Bonus: Currency restrictions

Consulate and Embassy contacts

What are my visa requirements?

U.S. visitors traveling for tourism will not need a visa for travel up to six months in Antigua. Once you arrive, the amount of time you'll be able to stay on the island will be indicated by the immigration officer who will stamp your passport. The length of time granted is at the discretion of immigration officers and can be extended via the local immigration office.

Do I need a passport when flying?

Flying Over Antigua Sunset

Photo credit: Achim Baque/

A passport is the first thing you need to look for if you intend on traveling to Antigua. If you don't already have a passport, apply for one before booking your vacation to ensure it's processed before your trip. If you already have a passport, make sure it's valid for at least 6 months after your travel dates before booking.

In addition to making sure your passport is valid up until the specified period after your travel dates, you'll need to book a return ticket or a ticket out of Antigua to another destination, which you may be required to show to immigration representatives. You may also need to provide confirmation of your accommodation.

Finally, before booking your trip, check that you have at least two blank passport pages left. This is important, as some airlines will not allow you to board the plane if you don't.

Expert tip: Some travelers print out their itineraries and photocopy their passports ahead of traveling. This comes in handy if your passport is lost or stolen. Put your travel documents and copies in separate places.

Do I need a passport when cruising to Antigua?

If you are traveling by sea to Antigua, you can use a passport or one of the following documents:

Cruise Ship Antigua

Photo credit: Just dance/

Travel requirements are different whether you're traveling by land, air or sea. Though visitors heading to Antigua by way of cruise do not necessarily need a passport, the U.S. Department of State recommends that all U.S. citizens bring their passports with them in case of an emergency or other unexpected circumstance that could prevent them from returning home via cruise.

Exception for closed-loop cruises

Closed-loop cruises are those that start and end at the same port in the U.S. If you are traveling to Antigua on a closed-loop cruise, you'll be able to use your birth certificate or government issued driver's license in place of your passport.

Cruise Ships Port Antigua

Photo credit: James Davis Photography/

Exceptions for children

  • Children under age 16 can use a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship IF they are traveling to and from Antigua by sea.
  • Children under age 19 can also use birth certificates IF they are traveling by sea and IF they are traveling with a school group, a church group or a social or cultural organization supervised by an adult.

All air travelers need a passport to travel to Antigua, much like with all non-U.S.-administered destinations.

What is a passport card?

American Citizen Passport Card

Photo credit: Evgenia Parajanian/

When applying for a U.S. passport, you can apply for a passport card, a passport book, or both. While a regular passport can be used for any form of travel, a passport card is generally used for only land and sea travel. Passport cards can fit in your wallet and facilitate cross-border land entry from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico. Cruise travelers can use a passport card for entry into Antiguan seaports on a closed-loop cruise from the United States.

What are Trusted Traveler programs?

Trusted Traveler programs take travel to new heights of convenience with features including expedited lanes at U.S. airports. The benefits extend to international borders, which helps members get through the airport quicker. Most programs require pre-approval, and target travelers are considered low risk. Trusted Traveler programs are enabled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Trusted Traveler programs include:

  • NEXUS: Generally used to enter the U.S. from Canada through land, air and sea;
  • SENTRI: Generally used to enter the U.S. from Canada and Mexico by air or land;
  • FAST: Generally used to enter and exit the U.S. from Canada and Mexico with a commercial truck.

At time of publication, all of the above memberships can be used as identification when embarking on a cruise to Antigua. However, none of the Trusted Traveler programs will replace the passport when flying to Antigua.

What is an Enhanced Driver's License?

An Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) is a special driver's license that can be used for both driving and as a travel document. An EDL comes in handy for domestic travel within the United States and can even be used for travel to the Caribbean via a cruise. An EDL will allow you to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and some countries of the Caribbean. You won't be able to use it for air travel, however.

Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington State are currently the only states issuing EDLs. An EDL is not valid for air travel.

I'm stuck in Antigua without a passport. What do I do?

Passports being lost or stolen during international travel is common. If you lose or misplace your passport while in Antigua, don't panic. You'll need to apply for an emergency passport right away. If you're staying at Sandals Grande Antigua, concierge staff will be able to assist you and even put you in contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy.

Antigua Embassy

Photo credit: The Art of Pics/

Below are the necessary steps to get an emergency passport as quickly as possible:

  1. The first thing you'll need to do is make a report to local police. Ask for a copy of this report to take with you.
  2. Get in contact with the nearest embassy or consulate to make arrangements for your emergency passport. You'll need to provide details, like those included in your police report. You may also need to show your ticket, which will serve as proof of your need to travel.
  3. Complete the DS-11 passport application form.
  4. Fill out and complete Form DS-64 which includes a statement pertaining to your lost passport.
  5. Pay the required fee of $110 (the same fee as a new passport).

When at the consulate, try to provide as many documents as possible. Staff at the embassy or consulate will guide you through the steps of applying for an emergency passport and give you an estimate of how long the process will take. You may be asked to provide the following documents:

Embassy United States America

Photo credit: Syda Productions/

  • Passport photo.
  • Picture identification, like a driver's license.
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or a photocopy of your missing passport.
  • Travel itinerary (airline or cruise tickets).
  • Police report, if available.

Be aware that the emergency passport you will be given in these circumstances has limited validity. This means you will be required to re-apply for a new passport upon your return to the U.S.

What to do when your trip exceeds your maximum period of stay

U.S. visitors can stay visa free in Antigua for a period not exceeding six months, which should be enough to check off most points of interest in Antigua. If you go to Antigua for vacation and want to extend your trip, you'll need to get in contact with the local immigration department. Once you make contact with them and fill out the necessary application forms, you'll be able to extend your trip. Contact for the local immigration department in Antigua is listed below:

Antigua & Barbuda Immigration Department
Long and Thames Streets, St. John's, Antigua
Tel: (268)-562-1387, 562-1389
Fax Local: (268)-562-1388
Fax Overseas: (268)-562-1388
Email: [email protected]

Bonus: Do I need to get vaccinated before traveling to Antigua?

While in general, there are no requirements for U.S. visitors to Antigua to be vaccinated, it is recommended that you are properly vaccinated before traveling to Antigua. Ensure you're up to date with vaccinations like MMR, DPaT, polio, yellow fever, rabies and chicken pox. The CDC also recommends vaccinations like Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, and vaccinations for typhoid fever.

Where yellow fever is concerned, travelers from regions that are considered high risk for yellow fever may need to provide a vaccination certificate. Some of these regions include:

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Chad, Congo, Congo (Dem, Rep.) Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.

This list is complete at time of writing, please do check whether it's still up to date before planning your vacation to Antigua.

Vaccine Patient Doctor Travel

Photo credit: PanyaStudio/

Regulations pertaining to yellow fever may in some cases extend to visitors who have been in transit for over 12 hours in regions with a high risk of yellow fever. In these cases, travelers can be required to provide proof of being vaccinated 10 days before arrival to Antigua.

Bonus: What are the currency restrictions for travel to Antigua?

There are no existing currency restrictions for travel to Antigua, though amounts exceeding the equivalent of US$10,000 need to be declared. Travelers are also only allowed to 'export' local and foreign currency up to the amount 'imported' and declared.

Consulate and Embassy contacts

Consular Agent in Antigua
Address: Jasmine Court, Suite #2, Friars Hill Rd., St. John's, Antigua
Telephone Numbers: 268-463-6531 (office), 268-726-6531 (cellular)
Mailing address: P.O. Box W-1562, St. John's, Antigua
Office hours: Mondays 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Wednesdays 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, Fridays 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

**Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in the USA **
Address: 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016,
Telephone: (202)- 362-5122

Antigua & Barbuda High Commission in the UK
Address: 2nd floor, 45 Crawford Place, London, W1H 4LP
Telephone: +44 020 7258 0070
Opening Times: Monday-Thursday 10:00AM to 5:00PM, Friday 10:00AM to 2:30PM

Disclaimer: All information on this article was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Sandals is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centers and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

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