Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as of January 23, 2007, citizens of both Canada and the United States were required to present a valid passport at a U.S. Preclearance Facility -- located at all major Canadian airports -- prior to boarding their flight to the United States. Beginning June 1, 2009, it was established that travelers entering the U.S. through a land or sea border must present a passport or WHTI-compliant document. For more information on the WHTI, click here.
It is strongly recommended that all citizens of both Canada and the United States carry passports when crossing the U.S./Canada border. All persons, whether U.S. Citizens or foreign nationals, must present a valid passport or alternate approved travel document to enter or depart from the United States by air. Additional information is available at the following websites:
- General Travel Information at the U.S. State Department
- Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was mandated by Congress in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for citizens and legitimate international visitors. WHTI requirements for air travel took effect on 23 January 2007.
Since implementation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has and will continue to exercise its current authorities in unique circumstances to allow individuals subject to the WHTI requirements into the United States based on other evidence of identity and citizenship.
Travel document security remains a top priority for the U.S. Government. Both the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress urged strengthening of travel documents to prevent entry of terrorists across our borders, reduce use of fraudulent documents, and speed up entry procedures.
For additional information, please see:
The general information above applies to both American and Canadian citizens. For the most detailed and up-to-date information, please refer to this State Department page, New Requirements for Travelers.
Additional related information can be found at the following pages:
- Know Before You Go (an online brochure for Americans from U.S. Customs)
- NEXUS -- Frequent Traveler Program, for low risk pre-screened travelers between USA and Canada
For information on obtaining a passport, please visit the relevant section of this website.
Printable Summary of Requirements
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.