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TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

September 05, 2007

The following press release was issued on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding the end of the temporary Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Accommodation.

For additional information, please contact the DHS press office at the telephone number as shown below.

September 4, 2007
Contact: DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reminding air carriers and the traveling public that the temporary Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) accommodation allowing U.S. citizens to travel by air within the Western Hemisphere using a Department of State (DOS) official proof of passport application receipt will end as scheduled at midnight on Sept. 30, 2007. U.S. citizens who departed the country under this travel accommodation prior to Oct. 1 with a Department of State official proof of passport application receipt and government-issued identification will be readmitted with these same documents if returning to the United States after Sept. 30.

As a reminder, through Sept. 30, 2007, U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for, but not yet received, passports can temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and DOS official proof of application for a passport.

Effective Oct. 1, 2007, U.S. Citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda must present a passport or other WHTI-compliant documentation to enter or depart from the United States. It is always strongly recommended that U.S. Citizens verify the specific documentary requirements for their destination country.

DHS and DOS announced the temporary WHTI accommodation for air travel in June. The federal government made this accommodation due to longer than expected processing times for passport applications in the face of record-breaking demand.

WHTI was mandated by Congress in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and addresses core 9/11 Commission findings for secure and reliable identification documents. It requires all travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a passport or other approved document that establishes the bearer’s identity and nationality in order to enter or re-enter the United States. For more information about WHTI approved travel documentation, please visit our website at www.dhs.gov. For information on obtaining a U.S. passport please go to www.travel.state.gov.

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The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries publishes visitation data for more than 200 countries that generate visitors to the United States, as well as visitation data for each world region .To learn more about international visitation and visitor spending in the United States, access the 2006 data tables, and to read additional analyses of these data, please visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html