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Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

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Presentation on theme: "Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

2 BACKGROUND The WHTI is a U.S. legislated requirement for entry into the U.S. stemming from the 9/11 Commission Report and the (U.S.) Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (2004) Requires all travellers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a passport or other approved secure document that establishes citizenship and identity when entering the U.S. This law does not affect entry requirements into Canada WHTI represents a significant change in the way Canadians and Americans cross our shared border.

3 WHTI – Air Mode Since January 23, 2007, all Canadian citizens must present one of the following valid documents for travel to, through, or from the U.S. by air: passport; or NEXUS card when used at kiosks at designated airports for entry into the U.S. NEXUS card when returning to Canada from the U.S. at any U.S. airport. This is a U.S. requirement. It will not affect entry requirements into Canada. It is important to mention that all travellers regardless of their age need to have a passport. WHTI Air – includes all travellers entering the U.S. from the western hemisphere (including Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda). US requires that you have a passport or NEXUS card to depart from the U.S.- APIS.

4 WHTI Land & Water Phased implementation commenced January 31, 2008 until May 31, 2009. As of June 1, 2009, Canadian citizens must present one of the following valid documents: a passport; a NEXUS card a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card; or an EDL/EIC, in provinces and territories where U.S. approved programs are implemented. for those 15 years old and under, only proof of Canadian citizenship (such as a birth certificate or a citizenship card); or for those 18 years old and under travelling with school or other organized groups, under adult supervision with parental/guardian consent, only proof of Canadian citizenship (such as a birth certificate or a citizenship card). The Government of Canada is seeking approval from the U.S. to accept the new Secure Certificate of Indian Status as a WHTI-compliant document. All identification documents must have a photo, name, and date of birth The EIC is a document that allows people who do not drive the option of obtaining a secure government-issued photo identification card that denotes both citizenship and identity.

5 Passport Canada Update
The WHTI Air Rule resulted in exceptional demand for passports in Canada As of today, passport offices can process in-person applications within 2 weeks plus delivery time It may take up to 4 weeks to process applications sent by mail within Canada New, simplified process for passport renewals and simplified guarantor policy were implemented in the fall of 2007 For more information, please visit PPTC increased their staff and expanded its facilities to address this issue. New simplified passport renewal program – for Canadians currently holding a valid passport and who meet certain eligibility criteria to renew without submitting documentary evidence of citizenship or a guarantor declaration A simplified guarantor policy: allow most Canadian adult passport holders to act as guarantors for a first-time applicants Passport possession rate in Canadians 53%. By 2010, PPTC estimates that 57%-62% will have a passport. 29% of Americans currently possess a passport

6 Alternative Documents: NEXUS
NEXUS meets the requirements of WHTI and is an alternative document to a passport for Canadian citizens entering the U.S. by air, land and water. NEXUS is a joint Canada/U.S. initiative designed to expedite the border clearance process for low risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the U.S. NEXUS members can benefit from dedicated lanes by land, self-service kiosks by air and telephone reporting in advance of arrival for boaters in the marine mode The cost of NEXUS is $50 CAD/USD For more information: NEXUS is available at all major Canadian international airports (where U.S. pre-clearance is available), at 16 land border crossings and has been expanded to 456 marine reporting sites If pressed (should not be discussed unless asked ) NEXUS can be used at any land border in any lane when entering the U.S. but Canada is still in the process of examining the feasibility of reciprocating this policy. NEXUS meaning: a link, a connection NEXUS - Total of 274,779 (198,312 Canadian/76,467 U.S. – approx.) members – Feb. 28, 2009 NEXUS membership is growing by approximately 2,000 new members a week Hamonization of all 3 NEXUS programs was announced on December 14, 2006 You can apply at online through the GOES or by mail Rigorous Canadian/U.S. background checks followed by an interview with a CBSA or CBP officer before approval is granted. Due to strong Canadian dollar- Minister Stockwell Day announced the cost reduction of NEXUS and FAST from 80$ CAD to 50$ CAD Membership is valid for 5 years

7 NEXUS Sites NEXUS Ports of entry Edmonton Vancouver Calgary Winnipeg
Woodstock, NB / Houlton, ME Coutts AB / Sweetgrass MT Fort Frances, ON / International Falls MN Pacific Highway BC / Blaine WA Boundary Bay BC / Point Roberts WA Douglas BC / Peace Arch WA Emerson MB / Pembina, ND Montreal Halifax Ottawa Sault Ste. Marie, ON / Sault. Ste. Marie, MI Lacolle QC / Champlain NY St. Armand-Philipsburg QC / Highgate Springs VT Toronto Sarnia ON / Port Huron MI The Bluewater Bridge Niagara ON / Niagara NY The Whirlpool Bridge The Peace Bridge The Rainbow Bridge Windsor ON / Detroit MI The Ambassador Bridge The International Tunnel NEXUS Air NEXUS Highway NEXUS Marine – covers all Canada / US waterways

8 Alternative Documents: Free and Secure Trade (FAST)
FAST meets the requirements of WHTI and is an alternative document to a passport for Canadian citizens entering the U.S. by land and water only FAST is a joint Canada/U.S. commercial initiative to expedite the movement of authorised goods across the border and is available at 21 land border crossings The cost of FAST is $50 CAD/USD For more information: Membership is valid for 5 years. Total 77,750 members as of February If pressed (discuss only if asked): FAST cards are accepted south bound in non-FAST lanes. Canada is examining the feasibility of reciprocating this policy.

9 Alternative Documents: EDL/EIC
The Government of Canada’s cooperation and negotiations with the U.S. have led to acceptance of the EDL/EIC as an alternative to the passport in the land and water modes. Note: citizenship indicator for Phase 1 BC EDL is Canadian flag and on Washington state card US flag Cards contain an MRZ and RFID and US card has “Enhanced” in title. All PTs will also have “Enhanced” in title. New cards have been issued to 521 Phase 1 participants in BC EIC – is a voluntary, enhanced provincial document denoting identity and citizenship that is intended to be acceptable for entering the U.S. by land or water and will meet Canada/U.S. travel document security standards. It also serves as a secure piece of gov’t issued photo id for non-drivers. New Indicators: “CAN” for P/Ts – U.S. Flag on all state EDL/EICs “Enhanced” in the title MRZ

10 Alternative Documents: EDL/EIC
The EDL/EIC are secure documents for Canadian and U.S. citizens denoting citizenship and identity that meet the requirements for travel to the U.S. by land and water only The U.S. will review each province, territory and state’s EDL/EIC proposal to ensure that they meet WHTI standards The EDL/EIC contains Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) that will facilitate crossing the U.S. border

11 PT EDL/EIC Issuance Status
Province / Territory Implementation Date EDL EIC Comment Manitoba Launched January 19, 2009 X Fall 2009 Quebec Launched March 2009 British Columbia Launched April 6, 2009 Phase One January 2008 Ontario Spring 2009 Ontario has sent U.S. CBP sample EDL’s for testing New Brunswick will not be developing an EDL program - cost being the main reason.

12 U.S. State EDL/EIC Issuance Status
Implementation Date EDL EIC Comment Washington State Launched January 2008 X Michigan April 2009 (date TBD) New York Launched September 2008 Vermont Launched December 2008 Arizona TBD Currently working on Business Plan

13 Alternative Documents: Certificate of Indian Status (CIS)
The CIS is an official form of identification issued by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to a person who is registered as an Indian under the provisions of the Indian Act. Under the transitional provisions in place until May 31, 2009, the U.S. will accept the current CIS card. We are negotiating with the U.S. DHS for the new Secure CIS to receive approval as a WHTI-compliant document. INAC expects to have the new SCIS available for issuance in time for the implementation of WHTI in June 2009. CIS is a form of identification for status Indians in Canada and does not confirm citizenship INAC has been working on a pilot project for several years to introduce a new and improved card & card issuance process.

14 U.S. Passport Card The U.S. has developed a wallet-sized Passport Card available to U.S. citizens only and valid for land and water travel only Production of cards began July 14, 2008. Approximately 870,000 passport cards in circulation today. The Passport Card contains the same data as a passport. This is a U.S. document for U.S. citizens only Fast and secure system: eight PASS cards can be read at once, thereby expediting the flow of traffic and trade Canada is not considering a similar card at this time The card will have the same validity period as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger.  For adults who already have a passport book, they may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20.  First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children The passport card can be used for entry/ re-entry back into the US for Americans from both Canada and Mexico. As of February 28, 2009, there are 870,000 U.S. Passport Cards in circulation.

15 A Closer Look at WHTI Compliant Documents
Features Canadian Passport U.S. Passport NEXUS FAST EDL U.S. Passport Card Cost (Adult) $87.00 CDN $ US $50.00 CDN/US TBD by issuing jurisdictional authorities With valid U.S. passport: $20 First time applicants: $45 US Validity (Adult) 5 years 10 years Same validity as current DL (TBD) Availability fed/prov/terr/state) Canada U.S. Canada & U.S. Prov/Terr/ State U.S. only RFID No Yes Travel mode All Land & Water Eligibility Canadian Citizens U.S. Citizens Low risk U.S. & Canadian Citizens & PRs Canadian & U.S. Citizens Dedicated lane/ Kiosk Destinations (Canada/ U.S./ International) International Passport document entitlement criteria established by the federal passport issuing authority Each participating province/ territory state will determine the cost of their EDL Phase 1 BC EDL- no fee. Washington State EDL- $15. New York State EDL- $30 Must meet document entitlement criteria established by each participating province/ territory/ state NEXUS and FAST membership are valid for five years provided the member continues to meet all the terms and conditions of the FAST or NEXUS program and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Only U.S. and Canadian citizens can use NEXUS/FAST as WHTI compliant documents. PRs of both countries must carry-in addition to their NEXUS card- a proof of citizenship and all other immigration documentation required by both US and Canadian legislation. Manitoba and Saskatchewan will likely move towards a 5year EDL.

16 What is Canada doing? Our Government has been working to ensure that legitimate trade and travel across our borders are not interrupted as a result of the U.S. WHTI CBSA will continue to inform external stakeholders, partners and public of these document requirements and new developments CBSA will ensure that Border Services Officers in Canada are provided with timely information on new WHTI compliant documents coming into circulation. CBSA- Phase 1 communications campaign has concluded. It included: radio ads, public notices in dailies, tear-away information sheets at borders, fact sheets, posters, internet banners, web-text, …etc The communications campaign dates for Phase 2 have yet to be determined PPTC- Phase 1: 2.4 million “Get your passport now campaign” Phase 2: National campaign kicked off in the U.S. during NFL season opener in Sept 2008 until November 15, 2008.  TV, print, radio and internet ads Spent $.5 Million dollars advertising in Canada Campaign focused on awareness of the documents and that the law was changing. Phase 3 U.S. localized ad campaign – Costing $8 Million begins February 2, 2009 Targeting Northern and Southern border states (Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo, Burlington, Bangor) Call to action to get documents now TV, print, radio, and internet ads, billboards Canadian target audience – border communities (will spend slightly more than $.5 Million in Canada) Local TV, print, Public Service Announcement (Glenn Frey singing “Take it Easy”) Canadian funding for final implementation is still under consideration. Under today’s fiscal restraint- Gov’t Canada being careful with funding for all advertising- given US law and previous efforts.

17 Port of Entry Tear-Away

18 Questions? For more information on WHTI, please visit:
For more information on U.S. travel requirements, please visit: For more information on obtaining a Canadian passport, please visit: I am not an official media spokesperson. Should you wish to speak to an official spokesperson- contact the media enquiry line at

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