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Caribbean Tourism Organization partners with United States Postal Service to promote need for U.S. Passports

NEW YORK, NY – The United States Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to partner with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to facilitate application for U.S. passports at CTO-organized events.

CTO has taken this necessary leadership role in approaching the USPS to establish a partnership to ensure that the passport application process is quick and convenient for prospective Caribbean vacationers who will need documentation to return home starting in January 2007.

The partnership helps to address the new U.S. requirement under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for all travelers entering or re-entering the United States starting December 31, 2006 to be in possession of a valid passport.

“We see this partnership as a crucial ingredient in our nationwide efforts to inform consumers about the need to get passports before the December 31, 2006 deadline set by the U.S. government,” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s director of marketing for the Americas, adding: “We support the U.S. Postal Service efforts and appreciate all that they plan to do to help inform and sign up citizens for U.S. passports.

“With the deadline fast approaching, we don’t want to jeopardize the peak vacation season next winter when vacationers will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. without a valid passport.”

The USPS has been actively promoting their passport services around the country and will have application forms and a camera at the Caribbean Fair at the South Street Seaport on June 13, 2006 where U.S. citizens can apply for a U.S. without difficulty. Chequess and money orders will be accepted on-site. The USPS will also promote their participation in these events to draw consumer attention as they alert prospective passport seekers to come and bring the relevant information needed to begin processing their passports.

Persons wishing to apply for a U.S. passport at the Caribbean Fair on June 13 will need the following:

• Completed Passport Application (NOT signed). Application forms can be downloaded from the USPS website http://usps.com/passport. Forms will also be available at all Caribbean Tourism Organization events.

• Evidence of Citizenship (original documents only)

• Current Photo Identification (Driver’s License)

• Passport Fees (cheque or postal money order). Passport fees are paid to the U.S. Department of State. Execution fees are paid to the Postmaster of New York. Fees are as follows: Passport Fee ($67), Execution Fee ($30) and Photo Fee ($15). Prospective passport seekers may also bring their own passport photos.

• Special Requirements for Children: Each minor must appear at the time of acceptance with parent(s). For a child under age 14, both parents must appear. Required documents include: evidence of a child’s U.S. citizenship, evidence of relationship to both parents, and parental identification. If only one parent appears, they must also submit a notarized written statement from the second parent consenting to passport issuance for the child. Fees for children under age 16 are as follows: Passport Fee ($52), Execution Fee ($30) and Photo Fee ($15).

USPS retail associates will be at the Caribbean Fair in New York on Tuesday, June 13 from 10 am –
2 pm at Piers 16 and 17 of the historic South Street Seaport. The Caribbean Fair cultural extravaganza is one of many events taking place during CTO’s annual Caribbean Week 2006 in New York City.

Consumers seeking to renew their passports can obtain postage at the Caribbean Fair to mail the completed application. The Renewal Fee is $67.

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