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Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative -

Change in International Travel Requirements

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require all travelers to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda and Panama to have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearerís identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel requirements. The goal is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What is the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative?

A:

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require all travelers to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other secure, accepted form of documentation to enter or re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel requirements. The goal is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors.

Q:

Who will the Travel Initiative affect?

A:

The Travel Initiative will affect all United States citizens traveling within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports. It will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States namely most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and Mexican citizens.

Q:

When will the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative be implemented?

A:

The proposed phased-in timeline is as follows:December 31, 2006 - Apply the requirement to all travel (air/sea) to or from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South AmericaDecember 31, 2006  - Apply the requirement to all air and sea travel to or from Mexico and Canada. December 31, 2007 - Apply the requirement to all air, sea and land border crossings.

Q:

How do I get a passport?

A:

For more information, United States citizens can visit the State Departmentís consular website http://www.travel.state.gov, or call the National Passport Information Center: 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778); TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793.

You should allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to apply and receive your passport in advance of travel. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing of your passport application. If you need to travel urgently and require a passport sooner, please visithttp://www.travel.state.gov for additional information.

Foreign nationals should contact their respective governments to obtain passports.

For more information,

visit: www.dhs.gov 

OR 

www.travel.state.gov