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The Practical Implications of the WHTI June 28, 2009

Posted by Matthew in USA, WHTI.
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Editor’s Note: This is a great article about the upsides of the WHTI, and why it was put in place. It doesn’t discuss the privacy issues in regards to the implementation of the WHTI, but rather focuses on how the anti-fraud measures will make it harder for fraudsters to enter the U.S. This article is reprinted with permission of www.stratfor.com.

Fred Burton was formerly the Deputy Chief of the Counter-Terrorism division of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), and is currently STRATFOR‘s VP of Counterterrorism and Corporate Security.

By Scott Stewart and Fred Burton

On June 1, 2009, the land and sea portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will go into effect. The WHTI is a program launched as a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and intended to standardize the documents required to enter the United States. The stated goal of WHTI is to facilitate entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors while reducing the possibility of people entering the country using fraudulent documents. (more…)

Of Passports and Airport Crossings March 27, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Air Crossing, NEXUS Card, Passports, WHTI.
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3 comments

When crossing the border by air, you still want to bring your passport(s). Although the NEXUS card has the machine-readable ID text (including issuing country, etc.), airlines and security officials still want your passport instead.

The NEXUS card is listed as a “WHTI-Compliant Travel Document” on the US Department of State website. Although it was accepted at the Customs agent, when I presented it to the airline employee and the security officials insisted on seeing a passport. This might be standard due to airline policy/security policy/etc. that have not been updated to include NEXUS and other WHTI-compliant, Trusted Traveler cards.

Traveler beware: a trusted traveler card is all you are required to carry, at least by customs agents; however, it seems airlines and security officials aren’t quite on the same page. Don’t forget to take your passport with you when you travel.

Crossing Borders March 12, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Canada, Citizenship, NEXUS Card, Passports, USA.
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2 comments

When crossing borders as a dual citizen, remember that the USA sees you as an American, and Canada sees you as Canadian, so it seems wisest to present your passports as such.

US Department of State has this to say about entering and leaving the USA:

Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada says:

The Canadian government strongly encourages you to use your Canadian passport when travelling abroad, especially when entering the country of your second citizenship.   … Using your Canadian passport may provide the basis under which Canada can provide you with consular assistance if you run into difficulties. You should also obtain a visa, if that is required for entry by Canadian citizens, and always present yourself as a Canadian when dealing with local authorities.

As far as ease of travel goes, it’s most definitely easier to present your US passport to US officials and Canadian passport to Canadian officials… Less confusion that way. (Of course, the NEXUS card alleviates all the hassle, since you declare both citizenships in the NEXUS application) (more…)

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