February 11, 2009

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: Upcoming Passport Requirements when entering the United States

I have been in the process of applying for my passports and at the same time keeping myself informed of the upcoming requirements when crossing the border. To avoid the long waits and headaches that occurred when when the last requirements went into effect I applied early. As these new regulations effect Canadians and Americans I feel that it's fitting to provide some information. The information below is from http://getyouhome.gov. More specifics on the program are available from the State Department.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, or WHTI,requires U.S. and Canadian travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. It is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA).

The goal of the WHTI is to facilitate entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, while strengthening U.S. border security. Standard documentation will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler. WHTI will go into effect June 1, 2009 for land and sea travel into the U.S.

WHTI went into effect for air travelers on January 23, 2007.


Canadian Citizens

Simplify your travel checklist!

On June 1, 2009, Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. by land or sea will be will be required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

Many of these documents are already available, and obtaining one now will ensure that you are ready on June 1, 2009, when they will be required.

Canadian Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and citizenship. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

Enhanced Driver’s Licence – British Columbia has launched a pilot program to issue this driver’s licence that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea. Several other provinces will be issuing an enhanced driver’s licence or identification document.

Trusted Traveler Programs – NEXUS or FAST/Expres enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and
are issued only to pre-approved travelers. FAST/Expres cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used at land or sea ports of entry and at kiosks at participating airports.

Special Audiences – Information for Parents and Children, Native Americans, and Boaters.

Canadian Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and citizenship. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

Canadian Passport

24 pages
CAN $87 (Age 16 & Older)
CAN $37 (Age 3 to 15)
CAN $22 (Under Age 3)

Validity: 5 years for anyone age 3 and over
3 years for children under age 3

Issued by: Passport Canada

Info: www.passportcanada.gc.ca


Enhanced Driver's License – An enhanced driver’s licence is a secure driver’s licence that denotes both identity and Canadian citizenship, and will be issued by certain provinces and territories. It is an acceptable document for entry into the U.S. by land and sea.

British Columbia has launched the first phase of a program to issue an EDL. Several other provinces and territories are planning to implement EDL programs.

Enhanced Driver's License

Currently Issued by: British Columbia for a limited pilot program. No new applications are being accepted at this time.

Limitations: Not valid for international air travel.

Info: Check your province's website or www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca for updates.

Children: U.S. and Canadian children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificates, or other proof of citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card to enter the U.S. by land or sea.

Groups of U.S. and Canadian children ages 16 through 18, when traveling with a school or religious group, social organization, or sports team, will be able to enter under adult supervision with originals or copies of their birth certificates or other proof of citizenship.

Native Americans: Native Americans will be able to continue presenting tribal documents, including the current Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) card, until June 1, 2009, provided they are affixed with a photo. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada plans to issue a new identification card for Canadian Indians, which, if designated by the US government, will be acceptable for entry to the United States following implementation of WHTI on June 1, 2009.

For additional information on the Secure Certificate of Indian Status, visit the website for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Ferries and Small Boats: Passengers on ferries and small boat operators are processed much like travelers entering the U.S. through a land border. They are required to present one of the travel document that complies with WHTI.

Boaters: I-68 Registration Holders: Boaters who have an I-68 form will need to follow the new travel document requirements. A NEXUS card is an alternative to a passport for entry into the U.S., and ensuring that you have either a NEXUS card or a passport will enable you to continue to utilize telephonic clearance procedures currently in place for I-68 holders.

An I-68 form is similar to a vehicle registration, and is not an identity document or a travel document.

Canadian citizens traveling by air to, through or from the United States must present a valid passport or a valid NEXUS card when used at kiosks at participating airports. This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca


US Citizens

Simplify your travel checklist!

On June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, know that they will soon be required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

Many of these documents are already available, and obtaining one now will ensure that you are ready on June 1, 2009, when they will be required.

U.S. PassportThis is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

U.S. Passport CardThis is a new, limited-use travel document that fits in your wallet and costs less than a U.S. Passport. It is only valid for travel by land, and sea.

Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)Several states and Canadian provinces are issuing this driver’s license or identification document that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.

Trusted Traveler Program CardsNEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.

Special AudiencesInformation for Parents and Children, Native Americans, and Boaters.

Knowing what documents are required and having them ready when you return home will help streamline the entry process and ensure your return to the U.S. is as smooth as possible.

U.S. Passport - This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

U.S. Passport [Image]

Cost: $100 (Age 16 & Older)
$85 (Under Age 16)

Validity: 10 years for adults
5 years for children under age 16

Issued by: U.S. Department of State

Info: www.travel.state.gov

U.S. Passport Card – This is a limited-use international travel document valid for entry into the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda. It is not valid for international air travel.

U.S. Passport Card [Image]

Cost: $45 (Age 16 & Older))
$35 (Under Age 16)
$20 (If requested with a new or renewed passport)

Validity: 10 years for adults
5 years for children under age 16

Issued by: U.S. Department of State

Limitations: Not valid for international air travel

Info: www.travel.state.gov

Enhanced Driver's License – This is a driver’s license that can also be used as a cross-border travel document to enter the U.S. by land and sea. It denotes both identity and citizenship.

Enhanced Driver's License [Image]

Cost: $15 - $30 more than a regular license

Validity: Validation will vary by state

Currently Issued by: Washington State

Limitations: Not valid for international air travel

Info: Washington State DMV, New York DMV

Coming Soon: ...Vermont, Arizona, and Michigan

Children: U.S. and Canadian children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificates, or other proof of citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card.

Groups of U.S. and Canadian children ages 16 through 18, when traveling with a school or religious group, social organization, or sports team, will be able to enter under adult supervision with originals or copies of their birth certificates or other proof of citizenship.

Native Americans: Native Americans will be able to continue presenting tribal documents until June 1, 2009, provided they are affixed with a photo. Customs and Border Protection is working closely with interested Native American tribes toward the development of an enhanced tribal card that complies with WHTI.

Cruise Ship Passengers: U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) will be able to enter or depart the country with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.

U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents: Document requirements for Lawful Permanent Residents will not change under WHTI. U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can continue to use their permanent resident card (Form I-551) or other valid evidence of permanent residence status.

Ferries and Small Boats: Passengers on ferries and small boat operators are processed much like travelers entering the U.S. through a land border. They are required to present one of the travel document that complies with WHTI.

Boaters: I-68 Registration Holders: Boaters who have an I-68 form will need to follow the new travel document requirements. A NEXUS card is an alternative to a passport for entry into the U.S., and ensuring that you have either a NEXUS card or a passport will enable you to continue to utilize telephonic clearance procedures currently in place for I-68 holders.

An I-68 form is similar to a vehicle registration, and is not an identity document or a travel document.

When traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, you are required to present a U.S. Passport, except as noted below. This applies to everyone including newborns, infants and children.

The only exceptions to this requirement are for:

  • U.S. citizen on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, traveling with military ID and travel orders
  • U.S. citizen merchant mariners traveling in conjunction with maritime business, with U.S. issued Merchant Mariner Document
  • Travelers with a NEXUS card for use at a NEXUS kiosk at Canadian Preclearance airports
  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents with a Permanent Resident Card or other evidence of permanent residence status and required documentation; refugees and asylees with a Refugee Travel Document

For more information on the travel documents required for U.S. citizens to enter or re-enter the United States, please click here.

3 comments:

  1. Articles interesting and useful, This is the first comment, do not delete ok!
    you may want to take the time to read my article about Canada travel
    or Hawaii Vacation

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh gee. I need to renew my passport some time this semester. Yay, paperwork and a field trip to Moncton...at least they have a good candy store there.

    ReplyDelete
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