Are you a Canadian citizen planning on travelling to the United States? - New U.S. document requirements come into effect on June 1st. - Get your approved documents now



    OTTAWA, June 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada is reminding
Canadian citizens that as of Monday, June 1, they are required under U.S. law
to present a valid passport or another approved secure document when entering
the United States.
    "We are pleased to hear that the United States intends to apply this law
in a practical and flexible way," said Stephen Rigby, President of the Canada
Border Services Agency. "Nevertheless, any Canadian citizen thinking about
travelling to the United States should ensure they have an approved document
as soon as possible."
    Starting June 1, 2009, Canadian citizens are required to present one of
the following valid documents when seeking to enter the United States by land
or water:
    
    - a passport;
    - a NEXUS card;
    - a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card;
    - an enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card (available in
      British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec); or
    - a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (when this certificate is
      available and approved by the United States).
    - Canadian citizens aged 15 years or under only require proof of
      citizenship, such as an original or photocopy of a birth certificate,
      or an original Canadian citizenship card. Canadian citizens aged 18
      years or under who are travelling with a school or another organized
      group, under adult supervision with parental/guardian consent, may also
      present proof of Canadian citizenship alone.
    

    The U.S. document requirements for air travel require Canadian citizens
flying to, through or from the United States to present a valid passport. A
valid NEXUS card is also acceptable when used by a NEXUS member at a NEXUS
kiosk at designated Canadian airports or at any U.S. airport when returning to
Canada. The air travel requirements apply to all Canadian citizens, regardless
of age, including children.

    For more information about U.S. document requirements for Canadian
citizens and how to apply for an approved document, visit the Canada Border
Services Agency's Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

    
    Backgrounder

    Acceptable documents to present when entering the United States

    NEXUS card

    NEXUS is a joint Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) program that enhances security while expediting the
border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and
the United States. Under U.S. law, a NEXUS card may be presented when entering
the United States from within the western hemisphere by air, land and water.
For more information and to start the enrolment process, visit the NEXUS Web
site at www.nexus.gc.ca.

    Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card

    The FAST program is a joint CBSA and U.S. CBP commercial clearance program
that helps ensure safety and security while expediting legitimate trade across
the Canada-U.S. border. Under U.S. law, a FAST card may be presented when
entering the United States by land and water only. For more information and to
start the enrolment process, visit the CBSA's Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

    Passport

    The Government of Canada continues to recommend that Canadian citizens
carry a valid passport for all visits abroad, including visits to the United
States. A passport is the only universally accepted identification document,
and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada. Under U.S. law, a
valid passport may be presented when entering the United States by air, land
and water. Get ahead by applying for your passport online at
www.passportcanada.gc.ca. Canadian citizens can submit their completed
application in person to Passport Canada, send it by mail or use Service
Canada or Canada Post services.

    Enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card

    The enhanced driver's licence (EDL) is a secure driver's licence that
denotes a person's identity and Canadian citizenship and is issued by certain
provinces. The enhanced identification card (EIC) offers the same advantages
as an EDL for those who do not drive or who do not want to obtain an EDL.
Under U.S. law, an EDL or EIC is an acceptable document to present when
entering the United States by land or water only.
    EDLs are available in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and
Quebec. EICs are available in the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba.
For more information, visit the following Web sites:

    - British Columbia - www.icbc.com (Insurance Corporation of British
      Columbia)
    - Manitoba - www.mpi.mb.ca (Manitoba Public Insurance)
    - Ontario - www.ontario.ca (Government of Ontario)
    - Quebec - www.saaq.qc.ca (Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec)

    Secure Certificate of Indian Status

    When the Secure Certificate of Indian Status is available and approved by
the United States, it will be an acceptable document to present when entering
the United States by land or water. Until then, the current Certificate of
Indian Status is an acceptable document to present when entering the United
States by land or water. For more information, visit the Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada Web site at www.inac.gc.ca.

    Youth

    Under U.S. law, Canadian citizens aged 15 years or under are only required
to present proof of citizenship, such as an original or photocopy of a birth
certificate, or an original Canadian citizenship card, when entering the
United States by land or water. Canadian citizens aged 18 years or under who
are travelling with a school or another organized group, under adult
supervision with parental/guardian consent, may also present proof of Canadian
citizenship alone when entering the United States by land or water.

    Air travel

    The air travel requirements apply to all Canadian citizens, regardless of
age, including children. Canadian citizens flying to, through or from the
United States are required to present a valid passport. A valid NEXUS card is
also acceptable when used by a NEXUS member at a NEXUS kiosk at designated
Canadian airports or at any U.S. airport when returning to Canada.

    For more information about U.S. document requirements for Canadian
citizens, visit the CBSA's Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.
    




For further information:

For further information: Media Relations, Canada Border Services Agency,
(613) 957-6500


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