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Ensure all personal official documents are updated and secure for the hurricane season and beyond.

Published 13th April 2018, 2:54pm

The Passport and Corporate Services Office (P&CSO) is urging all residents to ensure that personal official documents are updated and always secure, for the hurricane season and beyond.

Passports and other vital documents such as birth, marriage, naturalisation, registration certificates and Caymanian Status and Permanent Residence documents should be kept together in waterproof bags or containers. They should be stored securely in a place that is easily accessible during emergencies.

As part of readiness preparations, it is essential to ensure that:

• Passports and other travel documents are valid.

• If applying for the issuance of a United Kingdom (UK) passport, submit only copies of the valid British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC) – Cayman Islands passport. Actual passports should not be sent during the hurricane season.

• Residents are encouraged to make copies of key documents, including passports, birth and marriage certificates, naturalisation and registration certificates.

• Original documents and the copies should be stored 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, persons travelling to the United States (U.S.), either before or immediately after a hurricane, must ensure that their travel documents are in order.

This is essential because:

• Holders of BOTC – 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 the P&CSO 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.

• Holders of U.K. passports without a U.S. Visitor’s Visa, but with an approval from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), may travel to the U.S. 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.

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 require the closure of Government Offices, including the Passport & Corporate Services Office.