Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do not travel to Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime.
Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common.
Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related.
Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Trinidad and Tobago:
Port of Spain
Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to the following areas: Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah. After dark, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.
See our Fact Sheet on Trinidad and Tobago for information on U.S.-Trinidad and Tobago relations.
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 nationality, prevention 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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.
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.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
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.
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.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
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
Telephone: 625-5505 Ext. 2631
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Please check back for update.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Please check back for update.
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.
Available. Data included in police certificate.
Available to the applicant only; for fee and additional information click here.
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.
Parliamentary Passports: These passports are issued specifically for members of Parliament and meet the definition of a passport for visa purposes.
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (Embassy)
All visa categories for all of Trinidad and Tobago.