Government of Canada

Government of Canada

November 24, 2006 16:58 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: New American Law Will Require Canadians to Carry a Passport to Travel by Air Into the U.S.

A correction from source is issued with respect to the release sent out this afternoon at 1:37 pm ET due to multiple changes in the backgrounder entitled: "United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative."

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 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.

For more information, please see the attached backgrounders or visit the Canada Border Services Agency's Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

Backgrounders

United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a new U.S. initiative that will require all travellers, including Canadians, to carry a valid passport or other appropriate secure document when travelling to the United States from within the western hemisphere.

Canada's New Government continues to work vigorously in keeping its borders open to legitimate trade and travel but closed to terrorists, criminals and other threats to our health and safety.

WHTI will be implemented in two phases.

The first phase will affect travel to the United States by air only. As of January 23, 2007, Canadians will require:

- A valid passport or

- A NEXUS Air membership when used at a NEXUS Air kiosk.

The second phase will include travel to the United States by all modes, including land and sea. The United States has yet to release the rules for land and sea travel; however, a passport will be valid for all modes of travel under WHTI. The U.S. government has approved a potential delay of the full implementation of the WHTI to June 1, 2009; however, should the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security be able to certify that certain criteria are met, the WHTI could be fully implemented earlier.

Canada is continuing to work with the U.S. government to ensure that the rules allow for the continued flow of legitimate trade and travel over the Canada-U.S. land border.

Until the WHTI is implemented, Canadians can continue using Canadian documents providing evidence of identity and citizenship such as birth certificate and government-issued photo identification such as driver's license when travelling to the United States.

For more information, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency's Web site the website www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

Cette fiche d'information est aussi disponible en francais.

How to apply for a Canadian passport

Applying for a Canadian passport is a serious business - your Canadian passport is a secure and internationally respected travel document proving your identity and citizenship.

Here are the steps involved in applying for a Canadian passport:

Where can a passport application form be obtained?

An application form for a Canadian passport can be obtained through any of the following options:

- By downloading a form from Passport Canada's website www.passportcanada.gc.ca;

- By picking up an application form in person at a Passport Canada service location, Service Canada centre or Canada Post outlet; or

- By using Passport On-line, available at www.passportcanada.gc.ca. This service is only available to Canadians 16 years of age or older.

What is needed to apply for a passport?

The following items are required for an application to be considered complete:

- Fully completed application form, supported by:

- proof of citizenship, such as birth certificate or citizenship certificate,

- photo identification to support your identity,

- two photographs - one signed by a guarantor, and

- the appropriate application fee.



Where can completed applications be submitted?

Several channels are available for submitting an application:

- In person at a Passport Canada office or at a Receiving Agent,

- By mail to

Passport Canada
Foreign Affairs Canada
Gatineau, QC
K1A 0G3

- By courier to

Passport Canada
70 Cremazie Street
Gatineau, QC
J8Y 3P2


How much does it cost?

The fees for a 24-page passport (in Canadian dollars) are as follows:

- $87 for an adult (16 or over),

- $37 for children ages 3 to 15, and

- $22 for children under 3.

A 48-page passport for frequent travellers is also available - please note that different fees are applicable.

How long does it take to process an application?

Passport Canada is dedicated to providing prompt, courteous service to Canadians. The following service standards have been developed as a way to ensure that a passport application is processed in a timely manner. Please note that the processing time does not include mailing time:

- Mail or courier - processing time is 20 working days;

- In person at a Passport Canada office - processing time is 10 working days;

- In person at a Canada Post Receiving Agent location - processing time is 15 working days (an additional $15 fee is applicable);

- In person at a Service Canada Receiving Agent location - processing time is 20 working days.



Need more information?
Visit www.passportcanada.gc.ca or
call 1 800 567-6868.


Contact Information

  • Canada Border Services Agency
    Media Relations
    613-957-6500
    or
    Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications
    613-991-2863