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Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

The passport requirements have changed for U.S. citizens traveling to and returning from Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean islands and Mexico. It is all part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The initiative is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S.

The goal of the initiative is to strengthen U.S. border security while facilitating entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

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  • U.S.Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air, land or sea between the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere countries.
  • The Passport Card: The passport card is only valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.
  • WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of June 1, 2009:
    • Trusted Traveler Programs (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
    • State Issued Enhanced Driver's License (when available)
    • Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available and approved by DHS)
    • U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
    • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
    • Form I-872 American Indian Card


All persons traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States.


U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry need to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

Source: U.S. Department of State

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