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Archive for the ‘WHTI’ Category

WHTI – Documents needed to enter the US

You can find updated information on the Customs and Border Protection website.

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>Border crossing rules in effect June 1, 2009

>New rules requiring passports or new high-tech documents to cross the United States’ northern and southern borders took effect Monday, June 1, 2009. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say they’re confident the transition will be smooth.

“Our research indicates approximately 80 percent of the individuals coming in now, U.S. and Canadians, are compliant,” and are crossing with proof of citizenship, said Thomas Winkowski, assistant commissioner for field operations at Customs and Border Protection. The higher noncompliance areas, he said, are primarily U.S. citizens in the southern border region. Travelers who do not comply with the new requirements will get a warning and be allowed to enter the U.S. after a background check, said Michele James, director of field operations for the northern border that covers Washington state. “We’re going to be very practical and flexible on June 1 and thereafter,” James said.

Under the new rule, travelers also can use a passport card issued by the U.S. State Department to cross land borders. The card does not work for air travel. At $45 for first-time applicants, it’s a more affordable alternative to the traditional passport, which costs $100. More than 1 million passport cards have been issued since last year. Identification documents available under the “Trusted Traveler” programs are also accepted. Those require fees ranging from $50 to more than $100. These programs, developed by the U.S, Canadian and Mexican governments, allow vetted travelers faster access to the border. In some cases, members in these programs have their own lanes at border crossings.

There will be some exceptions. Children under 16 traveling with family, people under 19 traveling in youth groups, Native Americans and members of the military will be able to use different forms of identification. Also, travelers in cruises that depart from a U.S. port, sail only within the Western Hemisphere and return the same port do not have to comply.

The rules are being implemented nearly eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks and long after the 9/11 Commission recommended the changes. They were delayed by complaints from state officials who worried the restrictions would hinder the flow of people and commerce and affect border towns dependent on international crossings. In 2001 a driver’s license and an oral declaration of citizenship were enough to cross the Canadian and Mexican borders; Monday’s changes are the last step in a gradual ratcheting up of the rules. Now thousands of Americans are preparing by applying for passports or obtaining special driver’s licenses that can also be used to cross the border.
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Excerpted from the Associated Press. Writers Eileen Sullivan and Matthew Lee in Washington, D.C., and Christopher Sherman in McAllen, Texas contributed to this report.

>Travel requirements for entering the US from Mexico

>The WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) will go into effect June 1, 2009 for land and sea travel into the U.S. WHTI requires U.S. citizens to present a passport or other document that proving their identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. WHTI went into effect for air travelers in 2007.

Information about the WHTI ‘Get You Home’ program appears below. Check for updates on their website: Get You Home.

On June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, will be required to present one of the travel documents listed below.
U.S. Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that denotes a bearer’s identity and citizenship. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea, per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

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, per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. It is not valid for international air travel.

Trusted Travel Card > SENTRI – The SENTRI Card is for pre-approved travelers who cross the U.S./Mexico border frequently. It has the added benefit of access to dedicated commuter lanes on the southern border.

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