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Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect 1 June 2009, and requires U.S. and Canadian travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. It is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA).

The goal of WHTI is to facilitate entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, while strengthening U.S. border security. Standard documents will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

Under the WHTI, Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. are required to present one of the following travel documents:

  • a Canadian Passport
  • an Enhanced Driver's Licence or Enhanced Identification Card. Canadian provinces have begun issuing these documents that denote identity and citizenship that are WHTI-compliant for cross-border travel into the U.S.
  • a Trusted Traveler Program card: NEXUS and FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved travelers. FAST cards are valid for use at land or sea ports of entry, while the NEXUS card can be used at land or sea ports of entry and at kiosks at participating airports.

In addition, the WHTI offers certain provisions to special groups, including children (both individuals under age 16 and groups under age 19), Native Americans, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters. Please see the relevant page on Get You for more information.