New Year's Resolution for U.S. & Canadian Travelers: Get Appropriate Documents Now

U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") has issued a reminder to all U.S. and Canadian travelers to obtain the travel documents that will be required at all land border crossings beginning June 1, 2009 - the date on which the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative ("WHTI") will go into effect at land and sea ports of entry.

WHTI-compliant documents include:

  • U.S. or Canadian passports;
  • Trusted Traveler Card (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST);
  • U.S. Passport Card;
  • State- or province-issued Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (when and where available);
  • Form I-872 American Indian Card, or (when available) enhanced tribal cards;
  • Military identification cards presented by members of the U.S. armed forces traveling on official orders; and
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens, when conducting official maritime business).

CBP indicates that travelers without appropriate travel documents may face delays as CBP officers attempt to verify identity and citizenship.

So get your new WHTI-compliant documents now to avoid any unneccesary delays!

Read CBP News Release: New Year’s Resolution for U.S. and Canadian Travelers: Get Appropriate Documents Now

More information on the WHTI: www.GetYouHome.gov



Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Website

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has created a website that explains the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative ("WHTI"), which will go into effect at U.S./Canada land border (and sea) ports of entry on June 1, 2009.

The website lists the acceptable travel documents, one of which will be required to enter the United States at a land border (and sea) port of entry as of June 1, 2009.

WHTI website: www.getyouhome.gov


The Obama Agenda for Immigration Reform

President-Elect Barak Obama's website gives an overview of his plan to fix the immigration problem in the U.S.  This plan includes additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.  It also includes a "system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens."

Read more about the immigration plan: http://change.gov/agenda/immigration_agenda/


CBP Guidance on Renewing Waivers of Inadmissibility

CBP has offered additional guidance on applying for waivers of inadmissibility (Form I-192), including information about renewing waivers, waiver validity periods, and using waivers for business or pleasure.  

Read article: Reapplying for a Waiver of Inadmissibility, using it for business or pleasure, validity period of a waiver 


U.S. Border Patrol Expands Transportation Checks

The U.S. Border Patrol is part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and is responsible for patrolling the areas at and around international land borders.

Two recent USA TODAY articles discuss the increase of U.S. Border Patrol's presence on domestic trains, buses, and ferries, even on routes that do not cross into Canada or Mexico. 

One article specifically discusses Border Patrol inspection methods in Upstate New York.

Read article: Border Patrol expands transportation checks

Read article: Some travelers criticize Border Patrol inspection methods