COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an English-speaking developing Caribbean island nation. Tourism facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on St. Vincent and the Grenadines for additional information.
SMARTTRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM(STEP)/EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines, please take the time to tell our Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados about your trip. If you check in, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Department of State’s travel registration page. We encourage U.S. citizens traveling to St. Vincentto download our free Smart Traveler app, available through iTunes and the Android market
Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.
U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown
Wildey Business park
St. Michael, Barbados
Telephone: (246) 227-4399
Emergency after-hours telephone: (246) 227-4000
Facsimile: (246) 431-0179
Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Barbadian and U.S. holidays.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: For information concerning entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 3216
New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 364-6730, or visit the Embassy’s website at www.embsvg.com.
All U.S. citizens traveling outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States. This extended to all sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service on June 1, 2009. Travelers must now present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements. We strongly encourage all U.S. citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. U.S. citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.
NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the U.S. (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, we strongly recommend that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.
HIV/AIDS entry restrictions may exist for visitors to and foreign residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Please contact the Embassy of St. Vincent and the Grenadinesat firstname.lastname@example.org before you travel.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.
You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
There is nobody better at protecting you than yourself. Take some time before travel to improve your personal security—things are not the same everywhere as they are in the United States. Here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Crimes of all types, including violent crime, occurs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. From time to time, property has been stolen from yachts anchored in the Grenadines. Valuables left unattended on beaches are vulnerable to theft. Persons interested in nature walks or hikes in the northern areas of St. Vincent should arrange in advance with a local tour operator for a guide; these areas are isolated and police presence is limited.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States,you may be breaking local law too.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates ). If your passport is stolen we can help you replace it. For violent crimes such as assault and rape, we can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and help you get money from them if you need it. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
The local emergency telephone number in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is: 911/999.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in another country, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods or engage in child pornography. While you are overseas, U.S. laws don’t apply. If you do something illegal in your host country, your U.S. passport won’t help. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating St. Vincent and the Grenadines laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from early June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados is responsible for consular issues on the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including U.S. Citizens Services. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their citizenship documents with them at all times so, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.
Please see our Customs Information.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical facilities are limited. The main hospital is Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (Telephone (784) 456-1185). This hospital is in the capital, Kingstown, but serious medical problems usually require evacuation to another island or to the United States. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island. The closest hyperbaric chamber is located in Barbados. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals usually expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Good Information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found via the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning St. Vincent and the Grenadines is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Vehicles travel on the left side of the road. Roads are narrow, and generally poorly paved, with steep inclines throughout the islands. Taxis and buses are relatively safe, but buses are often overcrowded. Vans are generally overcrowded and frequently travel at high rates of speed. Night driving is discouraged in mountainous areas because the roads are not well marked; there are few, if any, guardrails, and roads are steep and winding.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. For specific information concerning St. Vincent and the Grenadines driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Tourist Organization in New York.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government ofSt. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
* * *
This replaces the Country Specific Information for St. Vincent and the Grenadines dated December 12, 2011 without substantive changes.