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Melanie Lieberman
June 23, 2016

Just because a trip to Puerto Rico definitely qualifies as a tropical getaway, doesn’t mean you need to bring a passport. Despite a handful of reports and rumors, there’s no passport or visa requirement for U.S. citizens. After all, Puerto Rico is an official U.S. commonwealth. The U.S. Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are passport-free destinations for U.S. citizens as well.

Consider it the equivalent of boarding a flight to Hawaii. Just because they’re on island time doesn’t mean you need any special documentation. As with any standard domestic flight, you will only need a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or a permanent resident card.

Related: Do You Need a Passport for the Bahamas?

Only non-U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens entering Puerto Rico from a foreign country will be required to present a passport. Additionally, if you are visiting other islands—such as the British Virgin Islands or members of the Caribbean nations including Bermuda, Dominica, or Jamaica—you will need to present your passport upon arrival and re-entry into the United States.

Related: Things to do in Puerto Rico

But Puerto Rico is an extremely easy and convenient “exotic” vacation for U.S. citizens. In addition to passport-free travel, travelers won’t need to change currency (Puerto Rico operates on the U.S. dollars) and your phone service will continue to work, too.

Related: Do You Need a Passport to Visit Mexico?

Of course, there are a handful of other reasons to visit Puerto Rico now, having nothing to do with documents or dollars. The island boasts a burgeoning contemporary arts scene, a vibrant local cuisine (green banana escabeche, yucca fritters with blue crab) and boutique properties that make Puerto Rico an appealing weekend escape. 

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