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How to get a visa for Montserrat?

by Juan José Herranz | January 12, 2021
Get your visa for travelling to Montserrat

Montserrat is a Caribbean island located southeast of Puerto Rico. Though surrounded by many other islands, Montserrat has its own distinctive charm and history. Montserrat is a British overseas territory that's dependent on the United Kingdom. It is a small island that has been an inspiration for great artists like the Beatles and Stevie Wonder, who came to relax and compose the lyrics of some of their much-loved songs.

Montserrat is a volcanic island. In July 1995 the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted, and lava swept away more than two-thirds of the island, turning everything to ash, including the former capital of Plymouth. This fateful incident caused more than half the population to leave the island forever and severely shook the country's economy.

Due to the disaster and the risk of further volcanic eruptions, Montserrat 'moved' to another part of the island where its inhabitants were safe and where they could start again. Montserrat based its new capital Brandes in Carr Bay, on the north-western tip of the island, leaving its former capital in the south-west totally abandoned.

Today, only a third of the island can be inhabited and visited, but it is more than enough to enjoy this island wonder, which is well deserving of its title the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean.

Without a doubt, Montserrat is a special Caribbean island. Besides enjoying the most impressive turquoise water beaches in the Caribbean, and unique marine fauna, you can also take a tour of the volcanic area to observe the whims of nature.

Do I need a visa to travel to Montserrat?

Many nationalities require a visa to travel to the country. Check our eligibility tracker for your particular case.

Types of visas for Montserrat

For those nationalities who require a visa to travel to the country, there are two types available, depending on the reason for your trip:

Tourist visa

Except for those nationalities which are exempt from needing a visa, all other foreigners must apply for a tourist visa to enter Montserrat if travelling to the country for tourism. It is valid for one year and allows multiple entries to the island.

Residence permit

This permit must be applied for by non-nationals of the island. This is typically for British citizens who have some form of housing or property in Montserrat. The validity of the residence is 1 year and must be renewed for identical periods when it expires.

baby sea turtle on the sand

How do I apply for a Montserrat visa?

The visa to travel to Montserrat can be applied for online. Although you can apply through a Montserrat embassy, there are not many, so the online procedure is preferable.

Who needs a visa for Montserrat?

Many nationalities must apply for a visa to travel to Montserrat, although there are countries with agreements that exempt them from applying for tourist visas. Spanish, Australian and Canadian citizens, among others, do not require a visa to travel to Montserrat. 

What are the requirements to apply for a visa to Montserrat?

To apply for a Montserrat visa, you must have a valid passport for more than 6 months after your trip, fill out the application form, and pay the government fees with a credit card. Depending on your nationality, the government may require extra information or documentation.

Can the Montserrat visa be changed once it has been processed?

Once your visa is in process or already approved, it is not possible to make any changes. If you need to make any corrections, you must re-apply for a new visa and pay any applicable fees again.

How much does a visa to Montserrat cost?

The cost of government tourist visa fees is $50. The residence permit must be applied for in person at an embassy, where they will offer guidance on the procedure and associated cost.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Montserrat visa?

Obtaining the Montserrat tourist visa is a quick procedure. You must apply for it at least 48 hours in advance, although it is advisable to apply at least 15 days before your trip, to avoid any last-minute problems. If you are going to go to the embassy to carry out the procedures, you must do it at least 1 month in advance of travel.

What are the entry borders to Montserrat?

To travel to Montserrat, you can fly in through John A Osborne International Airport, located in the north end of the island. The previous airport of Blackburne was destroyed after the eruption of the volcano.

As it is an island, you can naturally access Montserrat by sea through the port of Little Bay via one of the nearby islands. The old seaports of Bransby and Fort Point were also destroyed by the volcano and are in the exclusion zone of the island, which is not accessible.

Do I need any vaccines to travel to Montserrat?

No compulsory vaccine is required for travel to Montserrat, except for yellow fever if travelling from a yellow fever endemic country. If you are going to visit the tropical forests, it is advisable to take anti-malaria medication, as in the rainy months there is a species of mosquito that could transmit the disease.

It is advisable to go into the forests wearing appropriate clothing and mosquito repellent.

coastline with trees and rocks

What is the currency of Montserrat?

The official currency of Montserrat is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC $). Most establishments do not yet accept credit cards, except major hotels, so it is advisable to carry cash. It's recommended to travel with local currency already exchanged as it can be tricky finding places upon arrival.

There are only two banks on the island, the Bank of Montserrat and the Royal Bank of Canada.

When is the best time to travel to Montserrat?

The island of Montserrat has a tropical climate with average temperatures all year round between 21 and 26 degrees.

There are two seasons, the dry season from December to June, and the wet season from July to November, although there are no heavy rains. The biggest problem is the hurricanes that can hit the island between July and November.

Is it safe to travel to Montserrat?

Montserrat is a safe country; tourist altercations are not common. The inhabitants of the country are welcoming and kind, so it is a safe and pleasant island.

The biggest risk in the country is the Soufrière Hills volcano, which although it has a very low activity at the moment, it is still a risk for its inhabitants.

Important tips for travelling to Montserrat

  • As in many Caribbean islands, you must use good insect repellent if you are in places with a lot of vegetation. In Montserrat, there is an area where during the rainy season the Chikungunya mosquito lives, which can be a carrier of diseases such as Dengue or Malaria.
  • You are best to use a good sunscreen and cover up with light, loose clothing as the Caribbean sun is strong.
  • If you are going to practice any water sports, it is advised to always do so with specialised equipment.
  • You cannot leave Montserrat without visiting its black volcanic sand beaches, as the contrast of the turquoise blue water makes them spectacular.