For North American travellers, looks like travel between the countries in North America may be getting a little harder. They say that only 20% of Americans, and 30% of Canadians have passports.
WASHINGTON: Citizens of the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Mexico will need a passport to enter the United States by 2008, U.S. officials announced Tuesday.
The aim of the new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is to enhance security and expedite travel, officials of the Departments of Homeland Security and State said.The requirement becomes effective Jan. 1, 2008.
"Our goal is to strengthen border security and expedite entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors," said Randy Beardsworth, acting under secretary for border and transportation security.
U.S. citizens and some citizens of other nations in the Western Hemisphere are not currently required to present a passport to enter or re-enter the United States when traveling within the hemisphere.
Officials said the advance notice would give industry, business and the general public an opportunity to comment on the policy and possible alternative documents.
The initiative will be implemented in phases, providing as much advance notice as possible to the public to enable them to acquire documents before the deadline, they said.