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Intercountry Adoption

English

Country Information

Trinidad and Tobago

Country Information

Trinidad and Tobago
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months or the duration of stay at the time of entry.  

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays under 90 days. 

 

VACCINATIONS:

Routine vaccinations required.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

$5,000USD.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: +(868) 622-6371

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(868) 622-6371, then press 1.

Fax: +(868) 822-5955

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Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Trinidad and Tobago for information on U.S.-Trinidad and Tobago relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Questions pertaining to visas should be directed to the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dual national U.S. citizens are strongly advised to obtain a U.S. passport prior to departing from the United States, as failure to do so can lead to significant delays when attempting to return.
Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Trinidad and Tobago. 

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Safety and Security

Crime: Violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault, and murder have involved expatriate residents and tourists, including U.S. citizens. The perpetrators of many of these crimes have not been arrested. It is highly recommended that female visitors and residents avoid traveling alone, particularly at night or in secluded areas. 

Scenic rest stops and public parks including Fort George, downtown Port of Spain, the interior and perimeter of Queen’s Park Savanah, and all beaches should be avoided after dark. Tourists are particularly vulnerable to pick-pocketing and armed assaults in these locations. Holiday periods often see an increase in criminal activity.

In Tobago, violent crime is an issue, including attacks on expatriate residents and tourists in their residences, many of which involve the use of machetes. There have been reports of home invasions in the Mt. Irvine/Buccoo Bay, and Bacolet areas, and robberies occurring at the waterfalls and on isolated beaches in Tobago where visitors are not in a group. If you rent a villa or private home, the Embassy urges you to ensure adequate, 24-hour security measures are in place. Visitors residing at these facilities have encountered intruders in the middle of the night who entered their rented, private residences with copied sets of the actual keys.

The 2015 OSAC Annual Crime Report provides a comprehensive overview of crime in Trinidad and Tobago.  

Scams: Financial scams are common in Trinidad and Tobago. These scams target foreigners worldwide, and pose risks of both financial loss and personal danger to their victims. Scams are often initiated through internet postings and unsolicited emails. Never provide personal or financial information to unknown parties via email, telephone, mail or fax

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.

We can:

  • Replace a stolen passport.
  • Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
  • Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
  • Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.  

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Trinidad and Tobago is: Police 999, Fire Service 990, Ambulance Service 990 or 811, and Coast Guard 634-4440. SCIEMS is a private ambulance service and can be reached at 694-2404. The Anti-Crime hotline is 555 or 800-TIPS. The kidnapping hotline is 623-6793.

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

For Further Information:

 

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

It may be illegal to take pictures of government and military facilities. In these instances, it is advisable to obtain permission before taking pictures.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Trinidad and Tobago are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

It is illegal to carry ammunition when arriving, departing, or transiting through Trinidad and Tobago. Individuals found with as little as one bullet or even previously discharged bullet casings in their luggage have been detained at Piarco Airport, charged, and fined.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, request that the police or prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

Special Circumstances: It is prohibited to import any camouflage-pattern material without  approval from the Ministry of National Security. Wearing camouflage clothing in public is prohibited. However, camouflage uniforms may be worn if you are in Trinidad and Tobago on official military business.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Although Trinidad and Tobago law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity, with penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment, the government generally has not enforced such legislation, except in conjunction with more serious offenses such as rape. Immigration law also bars the entry of homosexual persons into the country, but this legislation is not enforced. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) travel, please read our LGBTI Travel Information page.

See State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 for more detailed information.

Accessibility: Most sidewalks are impassible for wheelchairs, due to the deep gullies that run alongside most roads. Additionally, cars parked on sidewalks, uncovered manholes, and other obstacles force persons in wheelchairs onto the main roadways in what can be very dangerous traffic conditions.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

 

 

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Health

The U.S Embassy does not pay medical bills for travelers: Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Many care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medical care is below U.S. standards: While care at some private facilities is better than at most public health facilities, patients may be expected to prove their ability to pay before assistance is given, even if emergency care is needed. Patients requiring blood transfusions are expected to arrange for at least the same amount to be donated on their behalf. Physicians and nurses have been known to go on strike, causing strain on public and private medical services. Ambulance service is often extremely limited in response time due to low availability and high demand.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Zika Virus: 
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Chikungunya, Dengue, and Yellow Fever are present on the island.  Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marine hazards: Do not bathe at unmarked, unpatrolled beaches. Tides and undercurrents can be dangerous, and waves can exceed five feet in height.

 

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: It is against the law in Trinidad and Tobago to use mobile phones while driving, except in "hands-free" mode. The penalty for talking or texting while driving is USD$240 or three months imprisonment. Trinidad and Tobago police administer breathalyzer tests at unannounced checkpoints and conduct traffic stops when driving under the influence is suspected.

Roadside assistance exists, but is limited and may be subject to lengthy delays. The Beetham Highway, a main thoroughfare in and out of the city, is dangerous if your vehicle has broken down. If your vehicle is still drivable you should get out of the area before seeking help.

Intoxicated drivers on the road are a particular concern on the weekends, especially after dark when many people are going to or returning from social events. Drivers should take extra precaution on narrow and winding roads leading in and out of beach areas and small towns in Trinidad and Tobago. As always, defensive driving is strongly encouraged.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the left in Trinidad and Tobago. Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand drive vehicles are permitted. Rental cars are available, and are generally right-hand drive. A U.S. driver's license and/or an International Driving Permit are valid for up to 90 days after arrival. Seatbelts are required for drivers and front seat passengers, and cars may be pulled over and drivers fined for not wearing seatbelts.

Public Transportation: Unmarked taxis and “maxi taxis” make frequent, rapid stops in the middle of the roadway or veer across several lanes of traffic to pick up or drop off passengers. It is recommended that you use only private taxis for transportation around Port of Spain, and only private taxis or full-sized inter-city buses for travel between cities.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is responsible for road safety in Trinidad and Tobago. We also suggest that you visit the website of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Tourism.

Vehicle Accident Procedures: Contact local authorities immediately. If it is safe to do so, render aid or assistance and remain on the scene until authorities arrive. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Trinidad and Tobago’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Marine Safety and Oversight: Visitors arriving aboard a private vessel must register any firearms with local customs authorities. Failure to declare firearms or making false customs declarations is a serious offense. There is a small community of private boat owners who stay in Trinidad temporarily during the hurricane season. There have been incidents in which vessels were boarded and the occupants assaulted and robbed. Sailors should report any incidents to the Coast Guard and local police. 

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: +(868) 622-6371

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(868) 622-6371, then press 1.

Fax: +(868) 822-5955

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General Information

Trinidad and Tobago and the United States have been treaty partners under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction since August 1, 2013.

For information concerning travel to Trinidad and Tobago, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, currency and entry regulations, and crime and security, please see country-specific information for Trinidad and Tobago.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Trinidad and Tobago.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign central authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website

The Trinidadian Central Authority (TCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the International Office of Child Rights & Civil Child Abduction Authority, under the Ministry of the Attorney General.  The TCA's role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of, or access to, children.  The TCA's contact information is as follows:

International Office of Child Rights & Civil Child Abduction Authority
Ministry of the Attorney General
23-27 St. Vincent Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Email: childabduction@ag.gov.tt
Telephone: 625-5505 Ext. 2631
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Trinidad and Tobago, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the TCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the TCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Trinidad and Tobago.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Trinidad and Tobago.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Trinidad and Tobago.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in Trinidad and Tobago.  However, parents should consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on cases, directly provide information to courts, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances.  A privately-hired attorney should contact the TCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed.  If a parent does not hire a private attorney, the TCA will act as the legal representative of the state of Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of Hague applications, but does not act as the legal representative of either parent. 

Some parents may qualify for legal aid in Trinidad and Tobago.  For more information, on requirements, click here.

The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

In Hague Abduction Convention cases, the TCA always promotes mediation between parents before sending the case to the courts, and it can schedule a formal conciliation hearing with a court to negotiate and formalize a mediated agreement.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago and from the United States to Trinidad and Tobago are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Trinidad and Tobago is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases. The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

Please note: There are two ways of gaining custody of a child from Trinidad and Tobago: obtaining an Adoption Order or legal guardianship.

Adoption Order: The first option is to go through the adoption process and obtain an Adoption Order. If the prospective adoptive parent(s) is a resident of Trinidad and Tobago, then the Adoption Board acts as the lead agency in the adoption process. (See Adoption Authority Section below for contact information). If the prospective adoptive parent(s) are not residents of Trinidad and Tobago, they must contact an adoption agency that handles intercountry adoption. Since intercountry adoptions are adjudicated through the High Court and not the Adoption Board, prospective adoptive parents are advised to contact an attorney since these are done through the High Court and not handled by the Adoption Board.

An Adoption Order issued by the Court carries different rights to the adopting parents than Guardianship/custody Order, in the latter cases, the birth parents still retain parental rights. With an Adoption Order the birth parents are required to relinquish their rights.

Legal Guardianship: The second option is to seek legal guardianship of a child from the courts in Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States. While considerably less burdensome than seeking a formal adoption in Trinidad and Tobago, prospective parents need to keep in mind that legal guardianship is not as secure as an adoption order. Legal guardianship does not provide full parental rights to the adopting party. Legal guardianship is also vulnerable to revocation by the courts if the biological parents or other relatives subsequently petition the courts for a change of guardianship.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Trinidad and Tobago must meet the following requirements:

  • Residency: Applicant(s) for Adoption Orders should be residents of Trinidad and Tobago and must have residential status proof from Trinidadian immigration authority in order to establish residency. Foreigners may apply to the High Court for an Adoption Order for a child born in Trinidad, Orders are granted in certain limited circumstances as outlined in Adoption of Children Act 2000. This act was amended with an updated definition of the word "court" in 2003.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: The adoptive parent(s) must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child they are adopting. Individuals seeking legal guardianship must be at least 25 years old and there is no specification as to an age difference between the guardian and the child.
  • Marriage: The government of Trinidad and Tobago allows married couples and single women to adopt. Single men may not adopt. A married couple or unmarried individuals, either male or female, are allowed to gain legal guardianship.
  • Income: None Specified
  • Other: First preference is given to citizens/nationals of Trinidad and Tobago to adopt a child.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Relinquishment: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.
  • Abandonment: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: None Specified. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)).
  • Sibling Adoptions: None Specified.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: None Specified.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

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How to Adopt

Trinidad and Tobago’s Adoption Authority

Adoption Board

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Trinidad and Tobago generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)
  3. Apply to Trinidad and Tobago’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Trinidad and Tobago [or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption]
  5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)
  6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

Before taking steps to adopt a child from Trinidad and Tobago, you should select a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider to be the primary provider in your case. As of July 14, 2014, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case under the UAA, unless an exception applies. The primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided;
  • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.

Laws in Trinidad and Tobago make it illegal for any local persons or local agencies other than the Adoption Board and or the Courts to facilitate adoptions. Where persons have a guardianship order, they may still apply for adoption of the child through an international adoption agency, but the Guardianship Order should also include that the child be sent abroad for adoption.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Trinidad and Tobago, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and U.S. immigration law.

To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also choose to file a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, with USCIS to be found suitable and eligible to adopt before you identify a child to adopt. You may also choose to file the Form I-600 petition along with all the required Form I-600A application supporting documentation, including an approved home study, once you have been matched with a child and have obtained all the necessary documentation. Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options. Regardless of which approach you take, the home study must meet the same requirements. As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

3. Apply to Trinidad and Tobago’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

If you are found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law, you must also submit an adoption application to the Adoption Board of Trinidad and Tobago to be found eligible to adopt by Trinidad and Tobago.

For adoptions where the prospective adoptive parents are not residing in Trinidad, an application must be made to the High Court for an adoption order. Local attorneys may be contacted to interpret local adoption laws.

As stated before, there are two ways of gaining custody of a child from Trinidad and Tobago obtaining an Adoption Order or Legal Guardianship. These two options have two separate application processes.

Adoption Order: The local adoption process begins with the prospective adoptive parent(s) filing a formal application that can be obtained only from the Adoption Board. Prospective adoptive parents will have to appear in person in order to obtain these forms. However, if an Order is applied for through the Courts, the attorney drafts the legal documents after taking instruction from their clients and submitting medical reports to the Adoption Board. The Board may request additional documents depending on the circumstances of each case. Prospective adoptive parents will be made aware of additional requirements when they attend the initial interview with the Board. Once the process is initiated, the Board identifies children eligible for adoption.

Legal Guardianship: To gain legal guardianship, the prospective guardians should contact the Clerk of the Peace in their district. The Clerk of the Peace will arrange for the prospective guardian to fill out the necessary forms and will set a court date. The Probation Office, which works with and takes instructions from the court, will also require proof that the prospective guardians are deemed fit (International Social Services certification is acceptable) and investigate the appropriateness of the change in guardianship. All the information will be presented before the Magistrate and the court will make a final decision based on the recommendations from the Probation Office.

If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Trinidad and Tobago will review your adoption dossier and, if an appropriate match is found, will provide you with a referral. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but each family must decide for itself whether it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child, and must conform to the recommendations in the home study for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Trinidad and Tobago’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

Adoption Order Procedure: Children are typically are referred to the Boar by children's homes and institutions. The Adoption Board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child. The Adoption Board will then grant temporary custody to the prospective adoptive parents. Meanwhile, the Welfare Officers in Trinidad and Tobago complete a home study report to ensure that the adoption will be beneficial to the child. The Adoption Board then reviews all the information and decides whether a probationary period can be granted to the prospective parents. The probationary period is a minimum of six months and is a requirement that must be completed in Trinidad and Tobago in order to bring the case before the courts. The Adoption Board may extend the probationary period if it feels more time is needed in the trial period. During this period the Adoption Board keeps a close supervision of the child and monitors the child's reactions to the new family. At any point during the probationary period, the Adoption Board may terminate the temporary custody if it feels that the child is in a harmful situation. Upon the completion of the probationary period, whether by notice of the Adoption Board or by its expiration, the prospective adoptive parents may apply to the court for an adoption order to finalize the adoption. Once the Court grants an adoption Order, the process is finalized.

Legal Guardianship: The court makes a final decision based on the recommendations from the Probation Office.

4. Adopt the Child in Trinidad and Tobago [or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption]

The process for finalizing the adoption [or obtaining legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption] in Trinidad and Tobago generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.
  • Role of the Court: To seek legal guardianship, the prospective guardians need to contact the Clerk of the Peace through the courts in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Laws in Trinidad and Tobago make it illegal for any local persons or local agencies other than the Adoption Board and/or the Courts to facilitate adoptions. Where persons have a guardianship Order, they may still apply for adoption of the child through an international adoption agency, but the Guardianship Order should also include that the child be sent abroad for adoption.

Starting July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  1. Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  2. Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  3. Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
  4. Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
  5. Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
  6. When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.
  • Adoption Application: 
    Adoption Order - The local adoption process begins with the prospective adoptive parent(s) filing a formal application that can be obtained only from the Adoption Board. Prospective adoptive parents will have to appear in person in order to obtain these forms. However, if an Order is applied for through the Courts, the attorney drafts the legal documents after taking instruction from their clients and submitting medical reports to the Adoption Board. The Board may request additional documents depending on the circumstances of each case.

    Legal Guardianship - To gain legal guardianship, prospective guardians should contact the Clerk of the Peace in their district. The Clerk of the Peace will arrange for the prospective guardian to fill out the necessary forms and will set a court date.
  • Time Frame: In Trinidad and Tobago, Adoption Orders take more than six months due to the Adoption Board's six-month probation period. Securing legal guardianship can take anywhere from one week to several months depending on the cooperation of the parties and the time availability of the courts.
  • Adoption Fees:  Adoption in Trinidad and Tobago is free. Payment to anyone, other than an attorney for their legal services, is illegal.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by themselves directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to U.S. law, or the law of Trinidad and Tobago, with your adoption service provider. Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying achild, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Trinidad and Tobago at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the UAA and IAA make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

Documents Required: 

  • Adoption Order
    • Original certified birth certificates of the prospective adoptive parents and child;
    • Certificate of successful immunization record of child issued by the Ministry of Health. (This is obtained from the medical clinics that provide immunization shots to the public. This card details all immunization records for individuals);
    • Result of blood test of the prospective adoptive parents and child;
    • Result of chest x-ray of the prospective adoptive parents and child;
    • Medical fitness examination conducted in Trinidad and Tobago for the prospective adoptive parents;
    • Original certified copy of the prospective adoptive parents' marriage certificate (if applicable);
    • Original certified death registration of the child's birth parents (if applicable) or consent from the child's birth parents. If the birth parents are alive, they must relinquish rights;
    • Photographs in color - one full length and one head and shoulders of applicant(s); and
    • Other general forms given by the Adoption Board.
  • Legal Guardianship
    • Current valid photo ID of prospective guardian(s); and
    • Original or certified copy of birth certificate of applicants and the child.

Note: Additional documents may be requested.

Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States as an

   Orphan

After you finalize the adoption [or gain legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption] in Trinidad and Tobago, USCIS must determine whether the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order for the child to immigrate to the United States. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered. For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition. This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved.

If you have an approved, valid Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, you may file your Form I-600 petition either in the United States with USCIS or in person at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago must complete a Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption (sometimes informally referred to as an orphan determination), to verify the child’s orphan status. When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by an international USCIS office, USCIS generally completes the Form I-604 determination.

For Form I-600 petitions filed with the Embassy’s consular section, the consular officer must complete the Form I-604 determination after you file your Form I-600 petition. Conducting the Form I-604 determination is a critical part of the orphan adoption process. It can take weeks or months to complete, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Consular officers appreciate that families are eager to bring their adopted child home as quickly as possible. Some of the factors that may contribute to the length of the process include prevailing fraud patterns in the country of origin, civil unrest or security concerns that restrict travel to certain areas of the country, and the number of determinations performed by available staff. Consular officers make every effort to conduct them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You are advised to keep your travel plans flexible while awaiting the results.

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete [or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States and the Form I-604 determination has been completed finding that your child meets the legal definition of an orphan for immigration purposes, there are a few more steps to take before you and your child can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

If you have finalized the adoption in Trinidad and Tobago, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

If you have been granted legal custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Trinidad and Tobago Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Trinidad and Tobago.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). If you filed a Form I-600 petition in the United States, you should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24 hours. It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain before making final travel arrangements.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically upon entry into the United States if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s entry into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Trinidad and Tobago

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Trinidad and Tobago, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Trinidad and Tobago, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

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After Adoption

There are no post-adoption requirements for adoption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Port of Spain, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600 petition process. 

The Hague Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers. If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago
15 Queen’s Park West
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Tel: 868-622-6371 (through 6)
Fax: 868-822-5905
Internet: tt.usembassy.gov/

Trinidad and Tobago’s Adoption Authority
Adoption Board
55-57 St. Vincent Street
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Tel: 868-627-4447

Probation Office

The Adoption Board is not responsible for legal guardianship cases. To seek legal guardianship, the prospective guardians need to contact the Clerk of the Peace through the courts in Trinidad and Tobago.
rd Floor ANSA House
Corner of Queen and Henry Streets
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Telephone: 868-623-8180 

Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago
1708 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-467-6490
Fax: 202-785-3130
Internet: https://foreign.gov.tt/

Trinidad and Tobago also has consulates in Miami, FL and New York, NY.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9thFloor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Email: Adoption@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

For questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A application or I-600 petition:

USCIS National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 24 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 24 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 24 Months
R-2 None Multiple 24 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Applicant must include: date of birth, district of birth, mother's name at time of birth, mother's maiden name, and, if the child was born in wedlock, father's name. Birth certificates are can be obtained, for both residents and non-residents, from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain, Trinidad (868) 624-1660. Period covered: 1848 to date. Immediately following birth, an uncertified document may be obtained from the District Registrar and the Registrar General's Office will certify the document for a fee. Persons seeking a birth certificate sometime after the event must apply to the Registrar General's Office – charges include: search fee, issuing fee and certifying fee. Processing time: two to three weeks.

Opening hours: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

Death Certificates

Available.  Applications for a death certificate must indicate the name, district of death, and date of death.  Certificates are obtainable from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Trinidad, West Indies Tel. (868) 624-1660 for both residents and non-residents. Period covered: 1848 to date. Processing time for applications made in person: one week. Process time for mail-in applications: one to two months. Mail-in applications should contain a return self-addressed stamped envelope. 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. Marriage certificate applications must include the names of the parties and date and place of marriage. Certificates are obtainable from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Trinidad, West Indies Tel. (868) 624-1660 for both residents and non-residents. Period covered: 1848 to date. Processing time for applications made in person: one week. Process time for mail-in applications: one to two months. Mail-in applications should contain a return self-addressed stamped envelope. 

Divorce Certificates

Not available as a public record; however, a copy of a Civil Divorce Order is obtainable from the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Copy Section, Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port of Spain. Applicant must provide divorce case number. No fee is required. Certified copies of Muslim religious divorce decrees are obtainable from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Trinidad, West Indies Tel. (868) 624-1660

Adoption Certificates

Available. Applicant must furnish child's full name, adoptive parents' full names, date and place of adoption, and name of the court granting adoption. Certificates are available from Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain, Trinidad (868) 624-1660. Return postage and envelope should be enclosed with request. A court record of the adoption is generally not available. Fee TT$25.00 payable by TT stamps or by postal money order. 

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Records prior to 1990 were destroyed in a fire at Police Headquarters, but have been largely recreated using prison, court, and other records. Records are fully computerized and can be accessed by name or date of birth. A Certificate of Good Character may be obtained in person at the local police station closest to where the applicant resides. Fingerprints are taken there and the certificate, which is issued by the Central Police Agency, is returned to the local police office for pick-up. Processing time is two to three weeks.

Persons residing outside of Trinidad and Tobago may request a Certificate of Good Character by mail from: Superintendent, CID and CRO, Police Headquarters, Corner of Sackville and Edwards Streets, Port of Spain. The request must be accompanied by a fingerprint card completed by a police department or similar organization, or a Trinidadian diplomatic establishment abroad. The fee is payable only by postal money order. Processing time by mail is approximately eight weeks.   A Trinidadian abroad may send his/her fingerprints and money to relatives who are resident in Trinidad and request that they apply to the local police station on his/her behalf. The relative can then either post or send via courier service the Certificate to the applicant after it has been picked up from the local police station. Police Criminal Records Office: (868) 627-4180 or visit the website.

Note: Statements from the Ministry of National Security attesting to an individual's good behavior, sometimes known as "pardons," are not acceptable in lieu of police certificates as they refer only to good conduct since the last arrest or conviction.

Prison Records

Available. Data included in police certificate.

Court Record

Available to the applicant only; for fee and additional information click here.


Military Records

Available via mail only. Write to: Ministry of National Security, Knox Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad, or Chief of Defense Staff, Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force Headquarters, Airways Road, Chaguaramas, Trinidad. (868) 627-3456. No return postage required. Documents should be returned via mail within a month. 

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Parliamentary Passports: These passports are issued specifically for members of Parliament and meet the definition of a passport for visa purposes.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts
Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Trinidad and Tobago.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 467-6490 (202) 785-3130

Miami, FL (305) 374-2199 (305) 374-3199

New York, NY (212) 682-7272 (212) 232-0368

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain
15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone
+(868) 622-6371
Emergency
+(868) 622-6371, then press 1.
Fax
+(868) 822-5955
Trinidad and Tobago Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Trinidad and Tobago
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months or the duration of stay at the time of entry.  

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays under 90 days. 

 

VACCINATIONS:

Routine vaccinations required.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

$5,000USD.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: +(868) 622-6371

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(868) 622-6371, then press 1.

Fax: +(868) 822-5955

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Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Trinidad and Tobago for information on U.S.-Trinidad and Tobago relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Questions pertaining to visas should be directed to the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dual national U.S. citizens are strongly advised to obtain a U.S. passport prior to departing from the United States, as failure to do so can lead to significant delays when attempting to return.
Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Trinidad and Tobago. 

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Safety and Security

Crime: Violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault, and murder have involved expatriate residents and tourists, including U.S. citizens. The perpetrators of many of these crimes have not been arrested. It is highly recommended that female visitors and residents avoid traveling alone, particularly at night or in secluded areas. 

Scenic rest stops and public parks including Fort George, downtown Port of Spain, the interior and perimeter of Queen’s Park Savanah, and all beaches should be avoided after dark. Tourists are particularly vulnerable to pick-pocketing and armed assaults in these locations. Holiday periods often see an increase in criminal activity.

In Tobago, violent crime is an issue, including attacks on expatriate residents and tourists in their residences, many of which involve the use of machetes. There have been reports of home invasions in the Mt. Irvine/Buccoo Bay, and Bacolet areas, and robberies occurring at the waterfalls and on isolated beaches in Tobago where visitors are not in a group. If you rent a villa or private home, the Embassy urges you to ensure adequate, 24-hour security measures are in place. Visitors residing at these facilities have encountered intruders in the middle of the night who entered their rented, private residences with copied sets of the actual keys.

The 2015 OSAC Annual Crime Report provides a comprehensive overview of crime in Trinidad and Tobago.  

Scams: Financial scams are common in Trinidad and Tobago. These scams target foreigners worldwide, and pose risks of both financial loss and personal danger to their victims. Scams are often initiated through internet postings and unsolicited emails. Never provide personal or financial information to unknown parties via email, telephone, mail or fax

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.

We can:

  • Replace a stolen passport.
  • Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
  • Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
  • Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.  

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Trinidad and Tobago is: Police 999, Fire Service 990, Ambulance Service 990 or 811, and Coast Guard 634-4440. SCIEMS is a private ambulance service and can be reached at 694-2404. The Anti-Crime hotline is 555 or 800-TIPS. The kidnapping hotline is 623-6793.

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

For Further Information:

 

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

It may be illegal to take pictures of government and military facilities. In these instances, it is advisable to obtain permission before taking pictures.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Trinidad and Tobago are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

It is illegal to carry ammunition when arriving, departing, or transiting through Trinidad and Tobago. Individuals found with as little as one bullet or even previously discharged bullet casings in their luggage have been detained at Piarco Airport, charged, and fined.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, request that the police or prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

Special Circumstances: It is prohibited to import any camouflage-pattern material without  approval from the Ministry of National Security. Wearing camouflage clothing in public is prohibited. However, camouflage uniforms may be worn if you are in Trinidad and Tobago on official military business.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Although Trinidad and Tobago law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity, with penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment, the government generally has not enforced such legislation, except in conjunction with more serious offenses such as rape. Immigration law also bars the entry of homosexual persons into the country, but this legislation is not enforced. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) travel, please read our LGBTI Travel Information page.

See State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 for more detailed information.

Accessibility: Most sidewalks are impassible for wheelchairs, due to the deep gullies that run alongside most roads. Additionally, cars parked on sidewalks, uncovered manholes, and other obstacles force persons in wheelchairs onto the main roadways in what can be very dangerous traffic conditions.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

 

 

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Health

The U.S Embassy does not pay medical bills for travelers: Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Many care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medical care is below U.S. standards: While care at some private facilities is better than at most public health facilities, patients may be expected to prove their ability to pay before assistance is given, even if emergency care is needed. Patients requiring blood transfusions are expected to arrange for at least the same amount to be donated on their behalf. Physicians and nurses have been known to go on strike, causing strain on public and private medical services. Ambulance service is often extremely limited in response time due to low availability and high demand.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Zika Virus: 
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Chikungunya, Dengue, and Yellow Fever are present on the island.  Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marine hazards: Do not bathe at unmarked, unpatrolled beaches. Tides and undercurrents can be dangerous, and waves can exceed five feet in height.

 

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: It is against the law in Trinidad and Tobago to use mobile phones while driving, except in "hands-free" mode. The penalty for talking or texting while driving is USD$240 or three months imprisonment. Trinidad and Tobago police administer breathalyzer tests at unannounced checkpoints and conduct traffic stops when driving under the influence is suspected.

Roadside assistance exists, but is limited and may be subject to lengthy delays. The Beetham Highway, a main thoroughfare in and out of the city, is dangerous if your vehicle has broken down. If your vehicle is still drivable you should get out of the area before seeking help.

Intoxicated drivers on the road are a particular concern on the weekends, especially after dark when many people are going to or returning from social events. Drivers should take extra precaution on narrow and winding roads leading in and out of beach areas and small towns in Trinidad and Tobago. As always, defensive driving is strongly encouraged.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the left in Trinidad and Tobago. Most vehicles are right-hand drive, but left-hand drive vehicles are permitted. Rental cars are available, and are generally right-hand drive. A U.S. driver's license and/or an International Driving Permit are valid for up to 90 days after arrival. Seatbelts are required for drivers and front seat passengers, and cars may be pulled over and drivers fined for not wearing seatbelts.

Public Transportation: Unmarked taxis and “maxi taxis” make frequent, rapid stops in the middle of the roadway or veer across several lanes of traffic to pick up or drop off passengers. It is recommended that you use only private taxis for transportation around Port of Spain, and only private taxis or full-sized inter-city buses for travel between cities.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is responsible for road safety in Trinidad and Tobago. We also suggest that you visit the website of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Tourism.

Vehicle Accident Procedures: Contact local authorities immediately. If it is safe to do so, render aid or assistance and remain on the scene until authorities arrive. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Trinidad and Tobago’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Marine Safety and Oversight: Visitors arriving aboard a private vessel must register any firearms with local customs authorities. Failure to declare firearms or making false customs declarations is a serious offense. There is a small community of private boat owners who stay in Trinidad temporarily during the hurricane season. There have been incidents in which vessels were boarded and the occupants assaulted and robbed. Sailors should report any incidents to the Coast Guard and local police. 

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain

15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: +(868) 622-6371

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(868) 622-6371, then press 1.

Fax: +(868) 822-5955

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General Information

Trinidad and Tobago and the United States have been treaty partners under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction since August 1, 2013.

For information concerning travel to Trinidad and Tobago, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, currency and entry regulations, and crime and security, please see country-specific information for Trinidad and Tobago.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Trinidad and Tobago.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign central authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website

The Trinidadian Central Authority (TCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the International Office of Child Rights & Civil Child Abduction Authority, under the Ministry of the Attorney General.  The TCA's role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of, or access to, children.  The TCA's contact information is as follows:

International Office of Child Rights & Civil Child Abduction Authority
Ministry of the Attorney General
23-27 St. Vincent Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Email: childabduction@ag.gov.tt
Telephone: 625-5505 Ext. 2631
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Trinidad and Tobago, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the TCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the TCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Trinidad and Tobago.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Trinidad and Tobago.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Trinidad and Tobago.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in Trinidad and Tobago.  However, parents should consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on cases, directly provide information to courts, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances.  A privately-hired attorney should contact the TCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed.  If a parent does not hire a private attorney, the TCA will act as the legal representative of the state of Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of Hague applications, but does not act as the legal representative of either parent. 

Some parents may qualify for legal aid in Trinidad and Tobago.  For more information, on requirements, click here.

The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

In Hague Abduction Convention cases, the TCA always promotes mediation between parents before sending the case to the courts, and it can schedule a formal conciliation hearing with a court to negotiate and formalize a mediated agreement.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago and from the United States to Trinidad and Tobago are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Trinidad and Tobago is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases. The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

Please note: There are two ways of gaining custody of a child from Trinidad and Tobago: obtaining an Adoption Order or legal guardianship.

Adoption Order: The first option is to go through the adoption process and obtain an Adoption Order. If the prospective adoptive parent(s) is a resident of Trinidad and Tobago, then the Adoption Board acts as the lead agency in the adoption process. (See Adoption Authority Section below for contact information). If the prospective adoptive parent(s) are not residents of Trinidad and Tobago, they must contact an adoption agency that handles intercountry adoption. Since intercountry adoptions are adjudicated through the High Court and not the Adoption Board, prospective adoptive parents are advised to contact an attorney since these are done through the High Court and not handled by the Adoption Board.

An Adoption Order issued by the Court carries different rights to the adopting parents than Guardianship/custody Order, in the latter cases, the birth parents still retain parental rights. With an Adoption Order the birth parents are required to relinquish their rights.

Legal Guardianship: The second option is to seek legal guardianship of a child from the courts in Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States. While considerably less burdensome than seeking a formal adoption in Trinidad and Tobago, prospective parents need to keep in mind that legal guardianship is not as secure as an adoption order. Legal guardianship does not provide full parental rights to the adopting party. Legal guardianship is also vulnerable to revocation by the courts if the biological parents or other relatives subsequently petition the courts for a change of guardianship.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Trinidad and Tobago must meet the following requirements:

  • Residency: Applicant(s) for Adoption Orders should be residents of Trinidad and Tobago and must have residential status proof from Trinidadian immigration authority in order to establish residency. Foreigners may apply to the High Court for an Adoption Order for a child born in Trinidad, Orders are granted in certain limited circumstances as outlined in Adoption of Children Act 2000. This act was amended with an updated definition of the word "court" in 2003.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: The adoptive parent(s) must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child they are adopting. Individuals seeking legal guardianship must be at least 25 years old and there is no specification as to an age difference between the guardian and the child.
  • Marriage: The government of Trinidad and Tobago allows married couples and single women to adopt. Single men may not adopt. A married couple or unmarried individuals, either male or female, are allowed to gain legal guardianship.
  • Income: None Specified
  • Other: First preference is given to citizens/nationals of Trinidad and Tobago to adopt a child.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Relinquishment: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.
  • Abandonment: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: None Specified. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)).
  • Sibling Adoptions: None Specified.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: None Specified.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

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How to Adopt

Trinidad and Tobago’s Adoption Authority

Adoption Board

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Trinidad and Tobago generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)
  3. Apply to Trinidad and Tobago’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Trinidad and Tobago [or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption]
  5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)
  6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

Before taking steps to adopt a child from Trinidad and Tobago, you should select a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider to be the primary provider in your case. As of July 14, 2014, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case under the UAA, unless an exception applies. The primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided;
  • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.

Laws in Trinidad and Tobago make it illegal for any local persons or local agencies other than the Adoption Board and or the Courts to facilitate adoptions. Where persons have a guardianship order, they may still apply for adoption of the child through an international adoption agency, but the Guardianship Order should also include that the child be sent abroad for adoption.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Trinidad and Tobago, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and U.S. immigration law.

To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also choose to file a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, with USCIS to be found suitable and eligible to adopt before you identify a child to adopt. You may also choose to file the Form I-600 petition along with all the required Form I-600A application supporting documentation, including an approved home study, once you have been matched with a child and have obtained all the necessary documentation. Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options. Regardless of which approach you take, the home study must meet the same requirements. As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

3. Apply to Trinidad and Tobago’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

If you are found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law, you must also submit an adoption application to the Adoption Board of Trinidad and Tobago to be found eligible to adopt by Trinidad and Tobago.

For adoptions where the prospective adoptive parents are not residing in Trinidad, an application must be made to the High Court for an adoption order. Local attorneys may be contacted to interpret local adoption laws.

As stated before, there are two ways of gaining custody of a child from Trinidad and Tobago obtaining an Adoption Order or Legal Guardianship. These two options have two separate application processes.

Adoption Order: The local adoption process begins with the prospective adoptive parent(s) filing a formal application that can be obtained only from the Adoption Board. Prospective adoptive parents will have to appear in person in order to obtain these forms. However, if an Order is applied for through the Courts, the attorney drafts the legal documents after taking instruction from their clients and submitting medical reports to the Adoption Board. The Board may request additional documents depending on the circumstances of each case. Prospective adoptive parents will be made aware of additional requirements when they attend the initial interview with the Board. Once the process is initiated, the Board identifies children eligible for adoption.

Legal Guardianship: To gain legal guardianship, the prospective guardians should contact the Clerk of the Peace in their district. The Clerk of the Peace will arrange for the prospective guardian to fill out the necessary forms and will set a court date. The Probation Office, which works with and takes instructions from the court, will also require proof that the prospective guardians are deemed fit (International Social Services certification is acceptable) and investigate the appropriateness of the change in guardianship. All the information will be presented before the Magistrate and the court will make a final decision based on the recommendations from the Probation Office.

If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Trinidad and Tobago will review your adoption dossier and, if an appropriate match is found, will provide you with a referral. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but each family must decide for itself whether it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child, and must conform to the recommendations in the home study for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Trinidad and Tobago’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

Adoption Order Procedure: Children are typically are referred to the Boar by children's homes and institutions. The Adoption Board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child. The Adoption Board will then grant temporary custody to the prospective adoptive parents. Meanwhile, the Welfare Officers in Trinidad and Tobago complete a home study report to ensure that the adoption will be beneficial to the child. The Adoption Board then reviews all the information and decides whether a probationary period can be granted to the prospective parents. The probationary period is a minimum of six months and is a requirement that must be completed in Trinidad and Tobago in order to bring the case before the courts. The Adoption Board may extend the probationary period if it feels more time is needed in the trial period. During this period the Adoption Board keeps a close supervision of the child and monitors the child's reactions to the new family. At any point during the probationary period, the Adoption Board may terminate the temporary custody if it feels that the child is in a harmful situation. Upon the completion of the probationary period, whether by notice of the Adoption Board or by its expiration, the prospective adoptive parents may apply to the court for an adoption order to finalize the adoption. Once the Court grants an adoption Order, the process is finalized.

Legal Guardianship: The court makes a final decision based on the recommendations from the Probation Office.

4. Adopt the Child in Trinidad and Tobago [or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption]

The process for finalizing the adoption [or obtaining legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption] in Trinidad and Tobago generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority: The adoption board confirms consent of the birth parent(s) or current guardian(s) to relinquish custody of the child.
  • Role of the Court: To seek legal guardianship, the prospective guardians need to contact the Clerk of the Peace through the courts in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Laws in Trinidad and Tobago make it illegal for any local persons or local agencies other than the Adoption Board and/or the Courts to facilitate adoptions. Where persons have a guardianship Order, they may still apply for adoption of the child through an international adoption agency, but the Guardianship Order should also include that the child be sent abroad for adoption.

Starting July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  1. Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  2. Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  3. Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
  4. Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
  5. Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
  6. When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.
  • Adoption Application: 
    Adoption Order - The local adoption process begins with the prospective adoptive parent(s) filing a formal application that can be obtained only from the Adoption Board. Prospective adoptive parents will have to appear in person in order to obtain these forms. However, if an Order is applied for through the Courts, the attorney drafts the legal documents after taking instruction from their clients and submitting medical reports to the Adoption Board. The Board may request additional documents depending on the circumstances of each case.

    Legal Guardianship - To gain legal guardianship, prospective guardians should contact the Clerk of the Peace in their district. The Clerk of the Peace will arrange for the prospective guardian to fill out the necessary forms and will set a court date.
  • Time Frame: In Trinidad and Tobago, Adoption Orders take more than six months due to the Adoption Board's six-month probation period. Securing legal guardianship can take anywhere from one week to several months depending on the cooperation of the parties and the time availability of the courts.
  • Adoption Fees:  Adoption in Trinidad and Tobago is free. Payment to anyone, other than an attorney for their legal services, is illegal.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by themselves directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to U.S. law, or the law of Trinidad and Tobago, with your adoption service provider. Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying achild, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Trinidad and Tobago at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the UAA and IAA make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

Documents Required: 

  • Adoption Order
    • Original certified birth certificates of the prospective adoptive parents and child;
    • Certificate of successful immunization record of child issued by the Ministry of Health. (This is obtained from the medical clinics that provide immunization shots to the public. This card details all immunization records for individuals);
    • Result of blood test of the prospective adoptive parents and child;
    • Result of chest x-ray of the prospective adoptive parents and child;
    • Medical fitness examination conducted in Trinidad and Tobago for the prospective adoptive parents;
    • Original certified copy of the prospective adoptive parents' marriage certificate (if applicable);
    • Original certified death registration of the child's birth parents (if applicable) or consent from the child's birth parents. If the birth parents are alive, they must relinquish rights;
    • Photographs in color - one full length and one head and shoulders of applicant(s); and
    • Other general forms given by the Adoption Board.
  • Legal Guardianship
    • Current valid photo ID of prospective guardian(s); and
    • Original or certified copy of birth certificate of applicants and the child.

Note: Additional documents may be requested.

Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States as an

   Orphan

After you finalize the adoption [or gain legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption] in Trinidad and Tobago, USCIS must determine whether the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order for the child to immigrate to the United States. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered. For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition. This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved.

If you have an approved, valid Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, you may file your Form I-600 petition either in the United States with USCIS or in person at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago must complete a Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption (sometimes informally referred to as an orphan determination), to verify the child’s orphan status. When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by an international USCIS office, USCIS generally completes the Form I-604 determination.

For Form I-600 petitions filed with the Embassy’s consular section, the consular officer must complete the Form I-604 determination after you file your Form I-600 petition. Conducting the Form I-604 determination is a critical part of the orphan adoption process. It can take weeks or months to complete, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Consular officers appreciate that families are eager to bring their adopted child home as quickly as possible. Some of the factors that may contribute to the length of the process include prevailing fraud patterns in the country of origin, civil unrest or security concerns that restrict travel to certain areas of the country, and the number of determinations performed by available staff. Consular officers make every effort to conduct them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You are advised to keep your travel plans flexible while awaiting the results.

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete [or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States and the Form I-604 determination has been completed finding that your child meets the legal definition of an orphan for immigration purposes, there are a few more steps to take before you and your child can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

If you have finalized the adoption in Trinidad and Tobago, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

If you have been granted legal custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Trinidad and Tobago Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Trinidad and Tobago.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). If you filed a Form I-600 petition in the United States, you should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24 hours. It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain before making final travel arrangements.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically upon entry into the United States if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s entry into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Trinidad and Tobago

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Trinidad and Tobago, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Trinidad and Tobago, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

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After Adoption

There are no post-adoption requirements for adoption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Port of Spain, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600 petition process. 

The Hague Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers. If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago
15 Queen’s Park West
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Tel: 868-622-6371 (through 6)
Fax: 868-822-5905
Internet: tt.usembassy.gov/

Trinidad and Tobago’s Adoption Authority
Adoption Board
55-57 St. Vincent Street
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Tel: 868-627-4447

Probation Office

The Adoption Board is not responsible for legal guardianship cases. To seek legal guardianship, the prospective guardians need to contact the Clerk of the Peace through the courts in Trinidad and Tobago.
rd Floor ANSA House
Corner of Queen and Henry Streets
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Telephone: 868-623-8180 

Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago
1708 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-467-6490
Fax: 202-785-3130
Internet: https://foreign.gov.tt/

Trinidad and Tobago also has consulates in Miami, FL and New York, NY.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9thFloor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Email: Adoption@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

For questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A application or I-600 petition:

USCIS National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 24 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 24 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 24 Months
R-2 None Multiple 24 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Applicant must include: date of birth, district of birth, mother's name at time of birth, mother's maiden name, and, if the child was born in wedlock, father's name. Birth certificates are can be obtained, for both residents and non-residents, from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain, Trinidad (868) 624-1660. Period covered: 1848 to date. Immediately following birth, an uncertified document may be obtained from the District Registrar and the Registrar General's Office will certify the document for a fee. Persons seeking a birth certificate sometime after the event must apply to the Registrar General's Office – charges include: search fee, issuing fee and certifying fee. Processing time: two to three weeks.

Opening hours: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

Death Certificates

Available.  Applications for a death certificate must indicate the name, district of death, and date of death.  Certificates are obtainable from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Trinidad, West Indies Tel. (868) 624-1660 for both residents and non-residents. Period covered: 1848 to date. Processing time for applications made in person: one week. Process time for mail-in applications: one to two months. Mail-in applications should contain a return self-addressed stamped envelope. 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. Marriage certificate applications must include the names of the parties and date and place of marriage. Certificates are obtainable from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Trinidad, West Indies Tel. (868) 624-1660 for both residents and non-residents. Period covered: 1848 to date. Processing time for applications made in person: one week. Process time for mail-in applications: one to two months. Mail-in applications should contain a return self-addressed stamped envelope. 

Divorce Certificates

Not available as a public record; however, a copy of a Civil Divorce Order is obtainable from the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Copy Section, Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port of Spain. Applicant must provide divorce case number. No fee is required. Certified copies of Muslim religious divorce decrees are obtainable from the Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain Trinidad, West Indies Tel. (868) 624-1660

Adoption Certificates

Available. Applicant must furnish child's full name, adoptive parents' full names, date and place of adoption, and name of the court granting adoption. Certificates are available from Registrar General's Office, Registration House, South Quay, Port of Spain, Trinidad (868) 624-1660. Return postage and envelope should be enclosed with request. A court record of the adoption is generally not available. Fee TT$25.00 payable by TT stamps or by postal money order. 

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Records prior to 1990 were destroyed in a fire at Police Headquarters, but have been largely recreated using prison, court, and other records. Records are fully computerized and can be accessed by name or date of birth. A Certificate of Good Character may be obtained in person at the local police station closest to where the applicant resides. Fingerprints are taken there and the certificate, which is issued by the Central Police Agency, is returned to the local police office for pick-up. Processing time is two to three weeks.

Persons residing outside of Trinidad and Tobago may request a Certificate of Good Character by mail from: Superintendent, CID and CRO, Police Headquarters, Corner of Sackville and Edwards Streets, Port of Spain. The request must be accompanied by a fingerprint card completed by a police department or similar organization, or a Trinidadian diplomatic establishment abroad. The fee is payable only by postal money order. Processing time by mail is approximately eight weeks.   A Trinidadian abroad may send his/her fingerprints and money to relatives who are resident in Trinidad and request that they apply to the local police station on his/her behalf. The relative can then either post or send via courier service the Certificate to the applicant after it has been picked up from the local police station. Police Criminal Records Office: (868) 627-4180 or visit the website.

Note: Statements from the Ministry of National Security attesting to an individual's good behavior, sometimes known as "pardons," are not acceptable in lieu of police certificates as they refer only to good conduct since the last arrest or conviction.

Prison Records

Available. Data included in police certificate.

Court Record

Available to the applicant only; for fee and additional information click here.


Military Records

Available via mail only. Write to: Ministry of National Security, Knox Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad, or Chief of Defense Staff, Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force Headquarters, Airways Road, Chaguaramas, Trinidad. (868) 627-3456. No return postage required. Documents should be returned via mail within a month. 

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Parliamentary Passports: These passports are issued specifically for members of Parliament and meet the definition of a passport for visa purposes.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts
Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Trinidad and Tobago.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 467-6490 (202) 785-3130

Miami, FL (305) 374-2199 (305) 374-3199

New York, NY (212) 682-7272 (212) 232-0368

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Port of Spain
15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone
+(868) 622-6371
Emergency
+(868) 622-6371, then press 1.
Fax
+(868) 822-5955
Trinidad and Tobago Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.