Oh .. By The Way .. I guess you heard? New American law will require Canadians to carry a passport to travel by air into the U.S.

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This news release happened November 24, 2006 …

Ottawa, November 24, 2006 – As of January 23, 2007, a new American law will require everyone entering the United States by air to have a passport.

The U.S. Government has announced the final rule for travel by air to the United States under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

“As of January 23, 2007, a new American law will require Canadians to carry a passport to travel to the United States by air,” said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety. “We are ensuring that our borders are kept open to legitimate trade and travel but closed to terrorists, criminals and other threats to our health and safety,” he added.

“Passport Canada has taken a number of initiatives in anticipation of this requirement and is confident it will be able to meet the increase in demand while maintaining its security standards,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Until January 23, 2007, Canadians can enter the United States by all modes of travel by simply providing proof of citizenship and identity, such as a birth certificate and a government-issued photo identification (e.g. driver’s licence). After January 23, 2007, only requirements for travel by air to the United States will change. Canadians can continue to use such documents as their birth certificates and drivers’ licences to cross the Canada-U.S. border by land and sea for at least another year.

In order to continue to be able to travel to the United States by air after January 23, 2007, Canadians are advised to have a valid passport. In the case of travellers crossing into the United States through the Vancouver International Airport, where there is a NEXUS Air program – a joint Canada-U.S. trusted traveller program – a NEXUS Air membership when used at a NEXUS Air kiosk is also acceptable in place of a passport.

See also:

United States ’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
How to apply for a Canadian passport
Canada Border Services Agency

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For further information:

CBSA Media Relations
613-957-6500

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety
613-991-2863

Source: Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC site)

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