Business and Vacation Travelers Be Wary: All Travelers Entering the United States by Air Will Soon Be Required to Present Passports

Business and Vacation Travelers Be Wary: All Travelers Entering the United States by Air Will Soon Be Required to Present Passports

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Beginning January 23, 2007, the US Departments of Homeland Security and State will require all travelers, including US citizens, to present their passports when entering the United States by air from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. This new policy, which is a result of recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, is part of the recently enacted Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. It changes current rules that allow US citizens and some citizens of other Western Hemisphere countries to enter the United States without presenting their passports. The only exceptions to this policy will be for those on official Merchant Marine business, members of the US military on official orders and participants in the NEXUS Air program who present their NEXUS Air cards.

The Department of Homeland Security anticipates that a separate rule requiring US citizens to present their passports when entering the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will take effect as early as January 1, 2008.

US citizens can visit the State Department's travel website or call the US National Passport Information Center at +1 877 487 2778 (TDD/TTY: +1 888 874 7793) for information about applying for a US passport.

For more information regarding travel policies or immigration matters, contact the authors listed above.

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