FAQ for the Permanent Mission to the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland

Can a previously issued passport still be used for travel as long as it is still valid?

Yes, previously issued passports that are still valid can be used for travel. It is important to note that the existing Trinidad and Tobago passport is increasingly being subject to international scrutiny and you may experience delays at international ports of entry. All valid non-machine-readable passports can be used for travel until December 31, 2013.

Can I bring in my own passport-sized photograph for the processing of the new machine-readable passport?

No. The Immigration Division is charged with the responsibility for capturing the applicant's image in keeping with ICAO's specifications. Subsequent renewals of the machine-readable passport will facilitate the applicant supplying good quality photographs.

Can I have pages added to my current passport?

No. An applicant who has a valid passport in which the visa pages have become filled with visas or entry-exit stamps must apply for a new passport.

Can I travel anywhere in the world with the old format passport although the new machine-readable passports are being issued?

The old format passport will continue to be legal tender until December 31, 2011. After this date, the traveller must be in possession of the machine readable passport.

Can the new machine-readable passport be amended, for example, if I change my name?

No. The new passport will not be amended. If an individual changes his/her name after he/she has been issued a new passport, the person will have to bear the cost of replacement.  If an error is made by the applicant in completing his/her application form and that error is reflected in the passport, the person will bear the cost of replacement.

However, if the error is due to Immigration processing then that passport will be invalidated and a new passport issued to the person free of charge.

How can I tell if my passport is machine readable?

If you look at the page on your passport that contains your photograph and data there should be two lines of numbers, letters and chevrons(<<). These are the machine-readable characters.

How do I add my married name to my machine-readable passport?

If you already hold a machine-readable passport, your married name CANNOT be added to that passport. In order for your married name to be included, you will have to apply for another machine-readable passport, supplying your marriage certificate along with the other required documentation.

How much does a new machine-readable passport cost?

Machine-readable passports for both adults and children will cost USD $60.00 (Money Order Only).

Machine-readable passports for children under 2 years of age will cost SFr: 20.00 (Money Order Only).

Do I need to go to Trinidad to get a new machine-readable passport, for example, if I am an F1 student or H1B employee in the US?

No. Trinidad and Tobago nationals living in the United States can obtain a new machine-readable passport at our Miami, Washington, and New York offices when it is available, regardless of visa status. However, nationals should consult with US Immigration (or Consulate for the issuing country) for instructions on having their visas issued in the new passport.

How long will the machine-readable passport be valid?

All Trinidad and Tobago machine-readable passports will be valid for five (5) years.

What documents are required to apply for my child's passport if it is a first time application?

A birth certificate, with affidavit if any. Also, some form of identification from parent applying for passport.

What happens if the passport is lost or stolen?

Any passport that is lost or stolen should be reported immediately to the Police. Trinidad and Tobago machine-readable passports which have been reported lost or stolen can no longer be used for travel and will be invalidated.

What is a machine-readable passport?

A machine-readable passport has certain biographical data entered on the data page in accordance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Doc 9303, Part 1 Machine-Readable Passports.  In its current form, machine- readable passports generally have two lines of text that can be read using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The strips of text contain the holder's basic personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and the passport number.

Why are machine-readable passports being issued?

The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) has mandated its member states, which include Trinidad and Tobago, to begin issuing machine-readable passports before April 01, 2010. Member states can no longer use the traditional eye-readable passport for travel after April 01, 2010.

Will this passport allow me entry to any country in the Caribbean?

Yes, subject to that country's other entry requirements.

Can my child travel on my passport?

No. Every person/individual must have their own passport. Therefore you would need to apply for a passport for your child.

I travel often and my passport fills up quickly. What can I do?

If your passport fills up before the expiry date, you can:

•Apply for a new passport
•Apply for a passport with more pages i.e. a 48 page passport

When I collected my passport there was an error in the bio-data. What can I do?

Return the document to the issuing authority immediately, pointing out the error.

Can someone else pickup my new passport?

Yes. Please see Third Party Pick-up Authorization.

Do you keep my old passport while processing my application for the new machine-readable passport?

No. Your old passport is returned after your appointment.

How do I know when my passport is ready for pickup?

You will be notified by the Consulate.

What are the documents required for the shipment of human remains to Trinidad & Tobago?

The documents required for the shipment of human remains to Trinidad & Tobago are as follows:
1.Trinidad & Tobago Passport
2.Death Certificate (The cause of death must be stated)
3.Permit to dispose of or transport human remains issued by the Swiss authorities Department of Health
4.Transit Label issued by the Swiss authorities Department of Health
5.Letter of no Communicable Diseases (Department of Health)
6.Exemplification of Birth or Death Record (Department of Health)
7.Letter of embalming prepared by the funeral home
8.A money order for US$:12.00 made payable to the Consulate General of Trinidad & Tobago.

Originals and one (1) copy of all documents must be submitted.

What are the necessary requirements for importing a companion animal into Trinidad & Tobago?

Companion animals (dogs and cats) are subject to quarantine regulations as outlined by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago. For information on these procedures, please see Regulations Regarding Pets or visit the Ministry of Agriculture’s web site at www.agriculture.gov.tt

What tax concessions are available to returning nationals of Trinidad & Tobago?

Please see Information for Returning Nationals. Information regarding exemptions from duties and other taxes applicable personal effects and motor vehicles being imported into Trinidad & Tobago by returning nationals can be mailed by the Trinidad & Tobago Consulate to interested persons upon request.

Can non-nationals purchase real estate in Trinidad & Tobago?

The Foreign Investment Act of 1990 allows non nationals (including individuals and companies) to purchase up to one acre of land for residential purposes and up to five acres for commercial purposes provided that the purchase price is paid in an internationally traded currency through a bank or other entity authorized by law as a dealer in that currency. The non national must, through his/her attorney, deliver to the Minister of Finance, a notice specifying hi/her name, address and nationality, the date and registration particulars of the instrument by which he/she became the owner of the property and evidence of payment in foreign currency.

If a non national wishes to purchase land in excess of the stipulated acreages, he/she must apply for a license from the President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in order to do so. This application must indicate the proposed land use and must comply with the regulations of the relevant planning and environmental authorities.

Can the Consulate provide legal/financial assistance to nationals?

The Consulate General cannot:
1.provide nationals with legal advice
2.get nationals out of prison or
3.pay hotel, travel, medical, bail or other related personal expenses.

Can the Consulate assist with the shipment of charitable donations to persons and/or institutions in Trinidad & Tobago?

The cost of shipping charitable items for donation to individuals or institutions in Trinidad & Tobago must be borne by the shipper. Depending upon the agency to which the goods are consigned, the Consulate General can assist with communication to the relevant Ministry to ascertain whether that Ministry may be able to expedite clearance of the items in Trinidad & Tobago.

Can the Consulate General assist with financial donations/ sponsorship to individuals or organizations?

The Consulate General does not receive funds in its budgetary allocations to facilitate the provision of financial assistance to individuals for educational pursuits or to organizations for the sponsorship of advertisements or events.

Can I adopt a child residing in Trinidad & Tobago?

The Adoption of Children Act No. 31 of 1946 does not allow for the adoption of children residing in Trinidad & Tobago by persons residing overseas. Prospective adopters must be resident in Trinidad & Tobago to facilitate home visits and reports by the national Family Services Division. If however a child is already residing in an overseas country and the family has retained the services of an attorney or is working with an adoption agency in that country, the National Family Services Division of the Office of The Prime Minister can be contacted for assistance in reaching parties locally (i.e. in Trinidad & Tobago), for obtaining signatures to documents or in any other procedure as may be relevant to expediting the adoption process.

How do I establish a business in Trinidad & Tobago?

Companies in Trinidad & Tobago are governed by the Companies Act, 1995 (amended to the Companies Amendment Act of 1997). The principal forms of business in Trinidad & Tobago are:
•Public and non public limited liability companies
• External companies or branches
• Sole Proprietorships
• Non – Profit companies

For basic information on conducting business in Trinidad & Tobago and on the existing investment and tax climates, investors and prospective investors are encouraged to refer to the publication entitled “A Guide to Investing in Trinidad & Tobago” which is available on line by visiting www.investtnt.com

What are the requirements for application for a Special Marriage License?

A Special Marriage License can be granted to persons wishing to get married in Trinidad & Tobago. To qualify for such a license:

•Both parties must be non residents of Trinidad & Tobago.

•Parties must establish residence in Trinidad & Tobago of not less than three full days (this does not include the date of their arrival).

•Both parties must present themselves to the Registrar General’s Office located at Registration House, Huggins Building, 72-74 South Quay, Port of Spain not less than 24 hours before the date of their intended marriage and must present their passports, airline tickets and $TT300.00 ( payable in cash only). If either party is divorced, an original or notarized copy of the divorce decree must be presented. If either party is widowed, the original death certificate of the spouse must be presented. If the original is not in English, a notarized English translation must be submitted at the time of application.

•Proof of name change must also be submitted where the name differs from that stated on the documents submitted.

In Tobago, applicants may visit the Registrar General’s Office, Jerningham Street, Scarborough (868 639 3210) or either of the Warden’s Offices located in Roxborough or Sangster’s Hill.

If only one party is a resident of Trinidad & Tobago, applicants must apply for a President’s License. In this case, applicants must establish residency in Trinidad & Tobago for at least seven full days (this does not include the date of their arrival). Both applicants must present:
•Valid passports
• Airline ticket (in the case of the non resident)
• $TT 100.00

What kind of visa should I apply for?

The categories of visas issued include Official, Business, Tourist or Visit for single or multiple entry. You should apply for that which suits the purpose of your travel.

How do I apply for the visa?

 Download forms and instructions in the Downloads section of this website or visit the Consulate-General between to pick up the visa forms.

Do I need to apply in person?

 No you may submit your application through courier or a Third Party. Read the instructions and procedures carefully. If you utilize a Third Party, e.g. travel agent, please note that the High Commission is not responsible for additional delays in processing which may be caused by the Third Party.

What is the duration of the visa?

 Duration varies from one month to six months. The High Commission does not normally issue long term visas, these should be obtained from Immigration Division, Trinidad and Tobago. How long does it take to process the visa application? Currently it takes from 3 to 21 days depending on the country.

How can I check the status of my visa application?

 By calling the Consulate-General @ 022 918.03.90 or send an email to consulate@ttperm-mission.ch

Can I get the visa on arrival?


As I have to travel frequently to Trinidad can I get the visa for longer durations?

 The Consulate does not normally issue visas with a validity of more than 3 months. You should approach the Immigration Division while in Trinidad and Tobago for such a visa.

I am going for a business related issues for my company for more than 30 days do I need to apply for the work permit?

Yes. Your company should obtain a work permit from the Ministry of National Security before you apply for the visa.

Is it mandatory to provide references if I am travelling to Trinidad and Tobago to see business opportunities available and I don't have any invitation letter?

 Yes. Provide information about the organizations on the form or additional paper of which you intend to meet with. It is recommended that you to setup confirmed appointments and have these people issue invitation letters or letter of confirmation of appointment that you could enclose with your visa application.

I am going as a tourist and I don't have any references, what do I do?

 You should provide the name of the hotel at which you will be staying.

Where can I extend my visa duration when I am in Trinidad and Tobago?

Visit the nearest Immigration Division Office. See www.immigration.gov.tt for a list of locations.

Can I take a visa in advance as I have to travel other countries before reaching Trinidad and Tobago?

Yes. Make sure your visa application includes a travel itinerary with your entire travel plans indicating the date of arrival in Trinidad and Tobago.

Is it mandatory to submit financial documents of the references in Trinidad and Tobago even though I am supporting myself financially?


If I submit all the documents listed for the visa application, can I get the visa?

 Visa issuance are subject to the Immigration Division in Trinidad and Tobago.

Can I get a visa for the West Indies?

 No. There is no country called the West Indies therefore there is no visa available. The West Indies is a term applied to the Caribbean region which includes many independent countries with their own visa rules.

Where can I get a visa for other countries in the Caribbean e.g. Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia and elsewhere?

You should check that country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or contact their nearest Embassy/Consulate.