Ask the Consul General – #2 in a Series with US Embassy (Barbados & Eastern Caribbean)

I am a U.S. citizen but do not have a U.S. passport and need to travel. What should I do?

U.S. law requires that U.S. citizens enter and leave the United States on a valid U.S. passport. If you are in the United States, you may apply at the nearest passport acceptance facility (

If you are in the Eastern Caribbean, then you need to come to the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, or contact our Consular Agency in Antigua or Martinique. Please visit our website for more information:

Any further questions about this, or other Consular and travel topics can be found at our website at

Any further questions about this, or other Consular and travel topics can be found at our website at

If I am a citizen of both the United States and an Eastern Caribbean nation, may I travel to the U.S. on my Eastern Caribbean Passport or an Eastern Caribbean travel document?

No, U.S. law requires that U.S. citizens enter and leave the United States on a valid U.S. passport.

My U.S. passport is about to expire. Do you still have those long delays before I can get it renewed? How soon do I need to come in to have it renewed?

If you plan on travelling, we recommend that you check your passport to be sure that it will be valid for the duration of your trip. If your passport is going to expire in less than six months, then you should get it renewed or the airlines may refuse to board you or your destination country may refuse to allow you entry. It normally takes six to eight weeks to renew your U.S. passport in the United States and about four weeks if you apply at our Embassy or Consular Agencies.

I was born in the Eastern Caribbean, but I am now a U.S. citizen. I plan to stay in the Eastern Caribbean for an open-ended period of time. Someone from the U.S. Embassy asked me if I was registered. What does that mean and why should I register? Is it mandatory?

It is not mandatory, but the U.S Embassy strongly encourages all U.S. citizens to register. There are several reasons for registering whether you are in the Eastern Caribbean for a short visit or residing in the Eastern Caribbean. If there is an emergency, civil disturbance, or impending danger about which U.S. citizens must be alerted, the Consular Section needs to be able to communicate with U.S. citizens in the Eastern Caribbean quickly. Moreover, if there is a natural disaster that would require the evacuation of U.S. citizens, the registration system allows the Consular Section to identify more quickly those U.S. citizens in need of services. When a U.S. citizen registers with the U.S. Embassy, it is easier for the Consular staff to follow up with services in the event that citizens encounter trouble or needs assistance.

Thanks to the Internet, U.S. citizens overseas can save themselves a trip to the Embassy by registering online at the Department of State website at

Those who wish to register in person may come to the Embassy during normal American Citizens Service business hours (Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.).

What services can the U.S. Embassy provide for U.S. citizens?

The U.S. Embassy is concerned with the welfare of all U.S. citizens in the Eastern Caribbean. The U.S. Embassy has a section known as the American Citizens Services (ACS) unit that provides a wide range of services to U.S. citizens within its Consular District, including obtaining or renewing a U.S. passport, documenting a child born to a U.S. citizen parent or parents, or assisting with an emergency, such as a death or arrest.

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