The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires that by January 1, 2008, all U.S. citizens have a valid passport or other secure, accepted document, in order to enter or re-enter the United States by land. The proposed timeline for the implementation of this requirements will be as follows:
January 23, 2007: A passport will be required for re-entering the United States by air from the following destinations: Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Bermuda, in addition to all other foreign destinations that already require a passport.
Summer, 2008 date to be determined: The passport requirement will be extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.
A United States passport is an official government document issued by the United States Department of State. A United States passport certifies an individual's identity and U.S. citizenship. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document and it allows the passport holder to travel abroad and return to the United States. A valid United States passport may be used to enter most foreign countries.
Some Facts about United States Passports:
- A U.S. passport is an internationally recognized travel document
- A U.S. passport verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer
- Nearly 7 million U.S. passports are issued every year
- Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to issue United States passports
- Only U.S. citizens have the right to apply for a U.S. passport. If you are not a U.S. citizens, you first need to apply for United States citizenship
Why apply for a United States Passport?
- It is your right as a U.S. citizen to have a U.S. passport
- Be ready to travel on short notice to visit relatives or friends abroad
- International travel is considered a right that cannot be denied to any U.S. citizen and by having a passport you can exercise your right to travel abroad
- The process of obtaining visas to some foreign countries may take weeks and a valid U.S. passport is usually required
- A valid United States passport is required to enter and leave most countries
- U.S. passport holders can travel to many countries without obtaining a visa
- As of January 23, 2007, all U.S. citizens are required have a valid travel document when traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and all other international destinations. Only the following valid travel documents are accepted: U.S. passport, AIR NEXUS card or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card.
- As of January 1, 2008, all U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport or other acceptable document as determined by Department of Homeland Security when crossing any land borders, in addition to air and sea travel.
- The process of obtaining a passport may take some time and it is more convenient to have a valid passport ready
For Information on how to apply for a United States Passport visit our passport application page
Information source - US Department of State