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I'm a citizen in my brother's town, and he's the mayor. Both of us have paid off our mortgage, but he can get to the island while I can't.

I've waited a day and nobody gave me an invite. Am I just not able to go to the island?

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Citizens (even visitors) can go to the Island, but I'll bet the Mayor has to actually unlock the island (the mayor needs to do certain tasks, and the Island unlock is part of the "tutorial" that's unique to the mayor).

Have your brother check in and Tortimer should appear outside his house a day or two after paying off the downpayment and the day after Tortimer stops by and invites him, Kapp'n should appear. If I recall correctly the boat only appears the day after the invitation is made.

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    I, a mere citizen, was the first to unlock the island in my family's town. In fact, doing so did not unlock the island for the mayor or our other citizen - it seems they had to pay off their own mortgages, and then go through the same delay of meeting Tortimer and then Kapp'n. – DMA57361 Jul 14 '13 at 18:35
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To get to your village's island, you will require a mayor of the town. To do this, the player who needs to be mayor must have a house (so they have to pay off their mortgage and upgrade from their tent), and get citizens approval. You can get this via doing certain tasks. My preferred way of doing this is: collecting fruit and seashells; catch bugs, fish, or deep sea creatures (borrow a wetsuit from a friend); and do variety of other tasks which gets you items, then sell them all. You'll get money and citizen approval to 100% very quickly. When you become mayor, save and quit. The following day, start the game up again and everything will happen as usual, but you can speak to Tortimer during the start screen. He'll tell you to go to the beach, to that pier structure. He'll be there, and he'll tell you about the island; no winter, tours, and other things. Also, he'll tell you about the boat that will take you there and back whenever you want, starting from the day after. So now, wait until the next day and go to the pier. Speak to kapp'n, and he'll take you to the island for a small fee of 1,000 bells.

Hope this helped!

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