We are presenting the current information listed on the US Customs and Border Patrol website as of January, 1 2017 concerning the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for your convenience.

Please ensure you verify the following information prior to your group traveling.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. and Canadian travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S

The goal of WHTI is to facilitate entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, while strengthening U.S. border security. Standard documents will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

The Following information concerns Canadian Citizens entering the U.S.A.

Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. by land or sea are required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

Canadian Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and citizenship. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

Enhanced Driver’s Licence/Enhanced Identification Card– Canadian provinces have begun issuing these documents that denote identity and citizenship that are WHTI-compliant for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.

Trusted Traveler Programs – NEXUS, FAST/Expres and SENTRI enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved travelers. FAST/Expres cards are valid for use at land or sea ports of entry; the NEXUS card can be used at land or sea ports of entry and at kiosks at participating airports.

Special Groups – Children, Groups of Children, Native Americans, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters.

Children: U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 16 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory may also present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.

Groups of Children: U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 19 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization, or sports team, may also present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.

  • The name of the group and supervising adult,
  • A list of the children on the trip, and the primary address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child,
  • A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has obtained parental or legal guardian consent for each participating child.
  • Who should sign the consent letter?

    The consent letter should be signed by parents who are not accompanying the child on a trip, including:

    • One or both parents who are married or in a common-law relationship and live together with the child. Both parents usually have custody rights over the child. In some provinces or territories, other terms (e.g. guardianship rights or parental authority) may be used.
    • One or both parents who are separated, divorced or do not live together. In some situations, parents have “joint custody” or “joint guardianship” of a child, meaning that they make important decisions about the child together. In other situations, one parent has “sole custody” and is responsible for making important decisions for the child, while the other parent has “access rights.” We recommend that the letter be signed by all parents who are not travelling with the child, whether they have custody or access rights.
    • One or more individuals (other than parents) or an organization with guardianship rights and responsibility for the care of the child.

    • In Quebec, one or both parents with parental authority over the child. Whether the parents are married, in a civil or de facto union, separated or divorced, they have rights and duties relating to the child, unless a court order states otherwise.

Court orders or agreements sometimes specify who is or is not required to sign a consent letter for children travelling abroad. If in doubt about who should sign the letter, consult with a lawyer.

https://travel.gc.ca/docs/child/consent-letter_lettre-consentement-eng.pdf

 

The Following information concerns U.S. Citizens entering Canada

When you enter Canada, a CBSA officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa, if one is necessary. If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada. However, you should carry proof of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo identification. If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S, you should bring your Permanent Resident Card with you.

Travelling with Children

Parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. It is also recommended that they have a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent to take the child on a trip out of the country. Such a letter will confirm that the child is not being abducted or taken against his/her will. The parents’ full name, address and telephone number should be Included in the letter of authorization.

When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as the children.

Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. The permission letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached.

CBSA officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you

The Following information concerns U.S. Citizens returning home from Canada

U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, are required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

U.S. Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

U.S. Passport Card – This is a new, limited-use travel document that fits in your wallet and costs less than a U.S. Passport. It is only valid for travel by land and sea.

Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – Several states and Canadian provinces are issuing this driver’s license or identification document that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.

Trusted Traveler Program Cards – NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.

Special Groups – Information for Children, Groups of Children, Native Americans, “Closed Loop” Cruises, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, U.S. Military, Merchant Mariners, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters.

Children: U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 16 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory may also present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.

Groups of Children: U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 19 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization, or sports team, may also present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.

The group should be prepared to present a letter on organizational letterhead with the following information:

  • The name of the group and supervising adult,
  • A list of the children on the trip, and the primary address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child,
  • A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has obtained parental or legal guardian consent for each participating child.
  • https://travel.gc.ca/docs/child/consent-letter_lettre-consentement-eng.pdf

We also recommend checking the following sites for other Border Crossing information

Canadian Border Services Agency – www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol –  www.cbp.gov

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative  – www.getyouhome.gov/html/eng_map.html