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New Travel Requirements for U.S. Citizens

MVA Immigration Team
Immigration Update
May 2009

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the land and sea requirements of The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).   U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda via land or sea will be required to present a WHTI compliant document such as:  a U.S. Passport or Passport Card; an Enhanced Driver's License; or a Trusted Traveler Program Card.  

Also, beginning June 1, 2009, citizens of Canada and Bermuda entering the U.S. will need to present a single document that complies with WHTI.  

WHTI has designated separate requirements for several Special Groups including:

  • "Closed Loop" Cruises:  U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the U.S., travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization).
  • Children:  U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 16 arriving by land or sea from a contiguous territory may present a birth certificate (original or copy), a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.
  • Groups of Children:  U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 19 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization, or sports team, may present a birth certificate (original or copy), a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.

If you have any questions regarding these new travel requirements, please call or email your MVA Immigration Team contact.