The DHS recently announced it will be implementing new entry requirements at land and sea ports effective January 31, 2008. Last year on January 23, 2007, DHS began to require that all travelers entering the United States by air must have a valid passport to enter the United States. Although DHS at this time is not expanding the passport requirement to land and sea port entries, it will now be requiring that all travelers who enter through land and sea ports document their citizenship in order to enter the United States. Previously, U.S., Canadian and Bermudan citizens could enter the United States by orally claiming to be a citizen of one of these countries. However, beginning January 31, 2008, U.S., Canadian or Bermudan citizens will be required to present evidence of citizenship (e.g. passport or birth certificate and photo identification) in order to enter the United States. The DHS stated that as early as June 1, 2009, it may begin to require all travlers to present a passport or an acceptable alternative document in order to enter the United States through a land or sea port. Although DHS initially planned to begin implementing this passport requirement at land and sea ports as early as the summer of 2008, a recently enacted appropriations bill restricts DHS from implementing this new requirements until at least June 2009.
Additional information about the expansion of the passport requirement to enter the United States at land or sea ports will be contained in our firm's future Immigration Updates when it becomes available