The Associated Free State of Puerto Rico has been a United States possession since 1898. It became a Commonwealth in 1952. It consists of half a dozen islands in the northeastern Caribbean Sea slightly east of Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola. Because Commonwealth natives are citizens of the United States of America (USA), they are entitled to passport services Puerto Rico issued by the USA.
In most cases, those wishing to travel from their native country to the United States or one of its territories are required to obtain a visa from the US Embassy in their country prior to departing. However, because of the Visa Waiver Program, citizens of some countries may apply to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. They must intend to stay for less than 90 days, the reason for their trip must be for pleasure or for business and they are not already in possession of a valid visa. There may be additional security requirements. You may have to apply for U S passports.
History Of Puerto Rico
The islands that now make up the Commonwealth were populated originally by an indigenous race of people known as the Tainos. In 1493, Christopher Columbus took the islands under Spanish rule. This status remained in place for more than 400 years, despite attempts by England, the Netherlands and France to capture the islands for their own. Following the Spanish Civil War, the islands were handed over to the United States by Spain in 1898 as a result of the Treaty of Paris.
US Congress Involvement
Some aspects of commonwealth life are under the control of the United States Congress. These include defense, foreign relations, communications,interstate commerce and currency. Natives are not allowed to vote in elections for the American President. Their local government is the responsibility of a popularly elected major and council. San Juan has a slightly different system of local government.
Between the years 1493, when Columbus claimed the islands for Spain, and 1898, when they were handed over to the USA, the local governor was appointed by the King of Spain. In 1579, Juan Ponce de Leon II was the first native chosen to serve as governor. Since 1948, local citizens have been electing their own governor. The first elected governor was Luiz Munoz Marin, a native citizen, the first to be chosen by the people.
In terms of physical geography, the main island is divided into three regions. There is a central mountain range, the Cordillera Central, which rises to an elevation of 4,000 feet at its highest peak. There is a plateau to the north and a coastal plain.
The months from April to December mark the main tourist season. The islands experience summer temperatures all year round. The area is susceptible to hurricanes from May through November, although they are infrequent in June, July and August.
United States citizens may travel freely without needing US passport services Puerto Rico. Anyone from another country who wishes to stay beyond ninety days or who wishes to study or work must apply for a pass port, which by itself does not guarantee entry. This is subject to inspection at the airport by the US Department of Agriculture, where, among other things, the visitor is checked for prohibited substances such as fruits. Travelers carrying prohibited fruits are subject to an immediate fine.