The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is U.S. legislation that requires all travelers carry a valid passport or other appropriate secure document, or combination of documents that establish citizenship and identity when travelling to the United States from within the Western Hemisphere.
Since January 23, 2007, anyone travelling by air between the United States and Canada is required to present a valid passport or NEXUS card (when used at designated airports) to enter or re-enter the United States.
As of June 1, 2009, a valid passport OR one of the following documents is mandatory for any person over the age of 16 travelling between the United States and Canada by LAND or SEA/WATER (including cruises and ferries):
- U.S. Passport Card (not valid for international air travel)
- A NEXUS or FAST/EXPRESS Card
- State or Province-issued Enhanced Driver’s License (not valid for international air travel)
As of June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens under the age of 16, or under the age of 19 if travelling with a school, religious, or other youth group, may present a birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Canadian Citizenship Card or a naturalization certificate. Birth certificates can be an original, photocopy, or certified copy.
WHAT IS NEXUS?
NEXUS is a joint program between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that expedites the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the United States.
OBTAINING A NEXUS CARD
To become a member in the NEXUS program, you must submit an application and go through a registration process, satisfy the eligibility criteria, be admissible in Canada and the United States, and pass risk assessments by both countries.
If you are approved to participate in NEXUS, you will receive a membership identification card to use when entering Canada or the United States at all participating NEXUS air, land and marine ports of entry.Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)