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Western Hemisphere Air Travelers Must Have Passports

January 23, 2007

Western Hemisphere Air Travelers Must Have Passports
Jan. 23, 2007 – Citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda now need a passport to enter the United States when arriving by air from any part of the Western Hemisphere. This includes American citizens returning home via air transportation from anywhere outside the country.

As previously announced, there is a separate proposal addressing land and sea travel. This provision, which won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2008, at the earliest, requires all those traveling by land or sea between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State said that public awareness of the air travel requirement continues to grow and current data shows that 88 percent of affected passengers are already traveling to the United States with passports. Since the week of Thanksgiving 2006, 83 percent of U.S. citizens, 94 percent of Canadians, 88 percent of Mexicans, and 99 percent of Bermudans have arrived at U.S. airports with passports.

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