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Passport Services and Information...
...from the U.S. State Department

Important ... Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery !

New Passport Requirements for Travelers Between the United States and the Western Hemisphere

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by January 1, 2008, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.  In order to facilitate the implementation of this requirement, the Administration is proposing to complete it in phases following a proposed timeline, which will be published in the Federal Register in the near future.

This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports.   This new requirement will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States.  Most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and to a lesser degree, Mexican citizens will be affected by the implementation of this requirement.

When will the Travel Initiative be implemented?

In the proposed implementation plan, which is subject to a period of initial public comment, the Initiative will be rolled out in phases, providing as much advance notice as possible to the affected public to enable them to meet the terms of the new guidelines.   The proposed timeline will be as follows:

  • December 31, 2006 – Requirement applied to all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
  • December 31, 2007 – Requirement extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.

For land border crossings, other documents that we anticipate will be acceptable under this Initiative are SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST program cards. These are current international frequent traveler programs.

We anticipate that the Border Crossing Card (BCC – also known as “laser visa”) will also be acceptable as a substitute for a passport and a visa for citizens of Mexico traveling to the United States from contiguous territory.

No other document is currently available that will be an acceptable substitute for the passport, or the Border Crossing Card, SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST cards. However, we are using new technologies to create other acceptable travel documents. We will make public additional travel document options as they become available.

Passport Services


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