'Passport Information' Category


Passport Information being handed out at the Lukeville Border

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Here is a 2 sided document they are currently handing out at the Lukeville Border when you re-enter the US.

   Travel Updates.jpg   Travel Updates (1).jpg

Please contact Sea Side Reservations if you have any question. You can reach out Phoenix Office at 602-404-2982 or 1-866-785-2350. You can reach our Mexico Office at 1-888-262-4508.

Passport Requirements Delayed until June 2009

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Language was included in the Omnibus Spending Bill passed by the U.S. Congress this week that delays passport identification requirements for U.S. land border crossings until June 1, 2009 at the earliest. This means that U.S. citizens vacationing in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) will not need to provide passports until June 2009 when crossing back into Arizona at the Lukeville border crossing.

However, enhanced identification requirements requiring government issued identification (like a drivers license) and proof of citizenship (like a birth certificate) to cross back into the U.S. will still go into effect on January 31, 2008. For more information about these requirements, read here. To help educate border crossers, Customs & Border Patrol is now passing out flyers at the Lukeville border when re-entering the U.S. that outline these requirements.

The language passed by Congress also requires DHS to make significant progress in testing and preparation for implementation of the WHTI identification requirements before Congress will approve funds for this implementation. This includes considering alternative identification requirements to passports such as passcards and enhanced drivers licenses. Several states (including Arizona) have already agreed to pilot programs testing enhanced drivers licenses that are expected to contain citizenship information that can be read using radio frequency instead of being swiped (thus speeding up border crossings). Enhanced drivers licenses will cost less than a passport and should be easier to implement using motor vehicle department resources already in place.

So for now, bring your drivers license and birth certificate when coming to Puerto Peñasco (or use your passport if you have one). Note that children 18 and under will only need a birth certificate (no ID required). Also note that those flying from Puerto Peñasco to the U.S. are required to have a passport.

Used with permission from Paul P. Kingsley. Mr. Kingsley is a founding member of The Primestone Group LLC (http://www.primestonegroup.com) and writes a business, real estate and tourism blog about Puerto Peñasco at http://www.puertopenascopost.com

New travel rules leave Native Americans in limbo

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

By Tim Gaynor

LUKEVILLE, Ariz (Reuters) – The U.S. border inspector at this lonely desert crossing with Mexico fingers the tribal enrollment card decorated with a wooden staff and eagle feathers, and glances at the holder’s photograph.

Tohono O’odham elder Ofelia Rivas, 51, has used the document to cross between the tribe’s ceremonial sites in Mexico and her home in Arizona for years, but the inspector tells her that it will soon no longer be valid for international travel.

The U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative in January will require U.S. citizens to present government photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, when they enter the United States by land or sea.

The measure, which is to be followed by requirements for a passport by June 2009, is causing confusion and anxiety among some Native American tribes that straddle the United States’ borders with Mexico and Canada.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, there are around 40 U.S. tribes whose members cross regularly over the northern and southwestern borders, some to work and visit kin, others to attend ceremonies at traditional sites.

With implementation of the new travel rules looming in just a few weeks, some tribal members say it is still unclear whether enrollment documents issued by their own tribal governments will be acceptable at the borders, and are unsure if they can meet the new travel ID requirements if they are obliged to comply.

“We were all born at home with a midwife, and nobody at the time recorded our births,” said Rivas, explaining the difficulty for her and other members of her family who cross frequently to and from Mexico using their tribal enrollment cards.

“I have no birth certificate so how am I supposed to get a passport?”

CONFUSION

The U.S. travel initiative kicked off in January this year, when all people traveling between the United States and Canada by air were required to present a passport to enter or re-enter the United States.

The second phase for land and sea travel comes into effect on January 31 2008. It will be followed by tougher rules requiring all U.S. citizens to hold passports or new “passport cards,” created for limited cross-border travel, by June 1 2009.

The impending changes will affect traditional nations including the Confederated Colville Tribes, the Blackfeet and the Mohawks, who cross back and forth across the northern border with Canada, as well as several tribes who travel between Alaska and British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

Southwest border tribes affected include the Tohono O’odham, in Arizona and Sonora, the Campo Band of the Kumeyaay Nation who have members in California and in Baja California in northwest Mexico, and the Kickapoo Band of Texas and Tribe of Oklahoma, who have ties to kin in Coahuila, Mexico.

The new passport rules make exceptions for some travelers including cruise ship passengers embarking from and returning to U.S. ports as well as U.S. and Canadian children traveling in designated groups, who will not be required to show passports for travel.

But so far, the Kickapoo are the only tribe authorized to cross over the border using their American Indian Cards instead of a passport, under a special law that was passed in the early 1980s.

Several border tribes are in talks with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security individually to discuss the status of tribal enrollment cards, yet it remains unclear what arrangement they might reach.

“It’s very confusing. Nobody except for the DHS staff who are writing it right now knows what the final law is going to look like,” said Heather Dawn Thompson, the Director of Government Affairs at the National Congress of American Indians.

LINGERING UNCERTAINTY

The U.S. government recognizes several hundred Native American nations whose members lived on the land for centuries before the United States, Canada and Mexico existed, speaking their own languages and following beliefs centered on the natural world.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Reuters that Native Americans will be able to continue presenting tribal enrollment cards if they are affixed with a photo ID during the transition period from the end of January.

Kelly Klundt said the challenge remains in ensuring that all tribal enrollment documents have adequate security features to comply with the new requirements, and that tribes can demonstrate that the issuing process is secure.

“We are working with the tribes to see what solutions we can come up with that will meet the security requirements while recognizing their cultural and historical needs,” Klundt said.

“It is very high on our radar, and we are very cognizant of their specific concerns,” she added.

But despite assurances that tribal ID documents will continue to be valid for travel, the situation on the southwest border is confused.

While crossing north from Mexico through Lukeville with this correspondent late last month, Rivas was told by a CBP inspector she would need a passport to cross from January.

Rivas said that the lingering uncertainty over Tohono O’odham members’ ability to visit family and carry out sacred ceremonies at Quitovac in Mexico haunts her and other traditionalists in the tribe.

“The elders are distraught that they might not be able to go and conduct a ceremony that we have carried out since Creation,” she said. “It is devastating. I can’t imagine not going.”

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Eddie Evans)

Posted by www.reuters.com  

Napolitano signs onto Real ID secure license plan

Monday, December 10th, 2007

By The Associated PressWASHINGTON — A deal between Arizona and the government will mean new and more secure state driver’s licenses, including one for use as ID at border crossings as early as next year.

WASHINGTON — A deal between Arizona and the government will mean new and more secure state driver’s licenses, including one for use as ID at border crossings as early as next year.Arizona becomes the fourth state to sign up for a federal program intended to offer an enhanced version of a driver’s licenses.

Arizona becomes the fourth state to sign up for a federal program intended to offer an enhanced version of a driver’s licenses as secure as a passport for the purpose of crossing the U.S. border under tighter, post-Sept.11security measures.

Governor Napolitano says Arizona’s standard license eventually would comply with the program — known as Real ID — that is designed to make it harder for would-be terrorists to get a license.

Unlike Arizona’s enhanced license, a Real ID license would not be sufficient proof of identity to enter the U.S.

Both types of Arizona licenses will be available only to U.S. citizens.

Napolitano said she hopes the new license will be available by the end of 2008.

Posted by www.azfamily.com  (Video Available)

Traveling to Canada, Mexico and Bermuda by Land/Sea

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Beginning January 31, 2008, the Department plans to move towards WHTI implementation at land and sea ports of entry by ending the routine practice of accepting oral declarations of citizenship alone.

Citizens of the United States, Canda, Bermuda and Mexico will need to present the following to enter or depart the United States by land or sea:

, the Department plans to move towards WHTI implementation at land and sea ports of entry by ending the routine practice of accepting oral declarations of citizenship alone.U.S. and Canadian Citizens

Ages 19 and older: a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate

Children ages 18 and younger: proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

: proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.Passports and trusted traveler program cards – NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST – will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel.

: a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate: proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.Citizens from Bermuda

Passport issued by the Government of Bermuda or the United Kingdom.

Citizens from Mexico

As under current entry requirements, Mexican nationals, regardless of age, must present a passport issued by the Government of Mexico and a visa, or a valid Form DSP-150, B-1/B-2 laser visa (Border Crossing Card).

Trusted traveler program cards – NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST – will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel.

Passport Requirements

All citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda are now required to present a valid passport when entering the United States at any airport as of January 23, 2007. This includes:

Children of any age, including children of Legal Permanent Residents who are United States citizens.

Mexican citizens who have a Border Crossing Card (BCC) when entering the United States by air. (The BCC is still valid in lieu of a passport and visa for land border crossings within the border region.) The BCC may be used as a visa.

Effective last January all persons entering the US by air, including US citizens were required to present a valid passport or other WHTI accepted document

On June 20, 2007 the Department of Homeland Security quietly muted the implementation of the requirement by expanding the definition of ‘acceptable documents’ (See: WHTI accepted document) to include a valid drivers license and proof of citizenship “such as a birth certificate” What will end is their acceptance of your verbal declaration of nationality. (See Dept of Homeland Security Page and US Department of State)Complete implementation of the policy is expected in the summer of 2008. At that time only a passport or equivalent document will be acceptable. The DHS will issue 60 days notice on the implementation of this policy.

The first phase of the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) planned since 9/11, was begun last January. As of January 2007 all persons entering the United States by air were required to present a valid passport. When this plan was hatched back in 2002 fewer than 20% of all US citizens had passports. Falling short of their own estimation of demand for passports, the US Department of Homeland Security fell as much as 6 months behind in the backlog for new passports. This resulted in some loosening of the requirements last summer.

Posted by www.BajaInsider.com

Travel Tips: Passports and PASS Card

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

In several previous posts (RFID Passports and Protection, Traveler Tips: RFID Passports (Update)), I have discussed the changes in US Passport rules, including the introduction of the RFID chip.

Some important date changes have been announced that should be kept in mind.

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all US citizens traveling into or out of the US to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda by air will be required to have a valid passport by January 8, 2007.

The rule is to be applied to travel by sea and land, but there are few criteria that Congress is requiring the Department of State and Homeland Security to meet before that rule can go into effect. As of now, the rule will be applied to sea and land travel on June 1, 2009. However, Congress has also allowed the departments to meet their criteria and move that date back.

While having the passport seems fairly cut and clear, the waters have become slightly muddied. Instead of having a passport, the departments are developing a so-called PASS Card that could be used in place of a passport for western hemisphere travel.

As of yet, there are few details about this new card, but the primary motivation seems to be offering a ‘more economic’ alternative to the passport.

Most of you have probably been to Mexico or Canada with only your driver’s license. Those days are over. Visit the US Department of State passport site to learn more.

From the Dennis Baron Diary

Arizona Teams with Federal Homeland Security to Create Secure ID

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 24, 2007
Arizona Teams with Federal Homeland Security to Create Secure ID
PHOENIX – Governor Janet Napolitano has announced that Arizona will partner
with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to launch a “3-in-1” driver’s
license. The state of Arizona will enhance the security of the state driver’s
license to meet Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requirements,
provide Arizona employers with a secure document that can be used in validating
a person’s legal status, and align to satisfy future requirements of Real ID.

The Arizona project, much like the agreement reached with Washington State
earlier this year, will serve as a compliance alternative to WHTI requirements
available to U.S. citizens. (Starting January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian
citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document or a
government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such
as a birth certificate, to be granted entry into the U.S. The federal
government plans to end the routine practice of accepting oral declarations alone at
land and sea ports of entry. The 9/11 Commission endorsed secure
documentation for entering the country and Congress mandated WHTI implementation in the
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.)
The Arizona project will require legislative approval, which the Governor has
committed to seek.
“Arizona has been a leader among the states on issues related to border
security and immigration,” said Governor Napolitano. “My hope is that this
project will lead to an effective permanent program that can be implemented
nationwide.”
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, “I applaud the leadership
of the state of Arizona who came forward to join us in our effort to bolster
security through secure identification. This partnership helps us strike the
right balance between security and facilitation, incorporating 21st century
technology and innovation.”
Under the plan, Arizona will develop a technologically enhanced driver’s
license that will provide its residents, who voluntarily apply and qualify, with
a document that is acceptable for use at U.S. land and seaports. The enhanced
driver’s license will be slightly more expensive than a standard Arizona
state driver’s license and will require proof of citizenship, identity, and
residence.
In addition, the bearer will be able to use a newly-issued MVD card in the
work eligibility process.
Finally, the Real ID requirements – slated to be issued later this year – are
intended to strengthen the underlying document through physical security
features and a secure issuance process. Arizona’s new driver’s license is poised
to be one of the nation’s first to comply with Real ID requirements.
Governor Napolitano will continue to urge the federal government to fully fund Real
ID, so it does not become another unfunded mandate to the states.
For more information about the Office of the Governor, please visit
_http://www.azgovernor.gov/_ (http://www.azgovernor.gov/) .

Posters Note: this would be a huge step forward for Tourism in Rocky Point.

Timetable for Passports

Monday, August 20th, 2007

January 23, 2007 – Passport will be required for Air and Sea entries to the United States, including American citizens

January 1, 2008 – Passports will be required for ALL entries to the United States, including American citizens

Fast Passport Service Gets Slower

Friday, August 17th, 2007
August 16, 2007
By DEVLIN BARRETT   Associated Press Writer
For people seeking U.S. passports, faster service is getting slower. 

The summer’s maddening backlog in passport applications has forced officials to abandon the old standard of a week’s wait for people willing to pay $60 extra for speedy service.

People can expect to wait about three weeks for expedited service, and the government indicated Thursday they should get used to it. A regular application now takes 10 to 12 weeks.

The State Department announced the policy change a day after officials offered a new estimate of the burgeoning cost of processing the mountain of passport applications. It will cost nearly $1 billion over three years to handle the surge in applications created by post-9/11 security rules for travel.

Because of the backlog, officials said they will no longer offer assurances that an expedited application will be processed within three business days of receipt.

Instead, customers will have to check the State Department Web site to see how fast “expedited” is.

That processing time is 10 business days. Factoring in shipping time, expedited service usually takes about three weeks.

Critics saw the announcement as fresh evidence of mismanagement.

“What color is the sky in their world?” said Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio. “I can’t believe they’re proposing a rule where they want to charge you the same amount and in return you’re virtually guaranteed to get worse service.”

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the agency changed its rules “to ensure that the department can continue to offer this expedited service consistent with its regulations despite increases in demand for expedited passport processing.”

Asked if a longer wait was still worth the same $60 fee, McCormack joked: “I’ll ask people. Maybe we could have like sort of first class and business class and economy class.”

The new government rule leaves open the possibility that expedited service may someday become a one-week affair again, but the State Department no longer wants to promise such speed.

Officials on Thursday renewed their pledge to clear up the overall passport backlog by September.

“This is a clear admission of failure and a decision not to solve the problem,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Last year, the agency processed 12.1 million passports. Through the next four years, officials expect to process almost 100 million passports.

The surge in demand stems from rules that went into effect in January requiring U.S. travelers to carry passports when flying to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. A similar requirement is to go into effect for all land and sea crossings next year.

During the worst of the delays in late spring and early summer, some applicants who would normally expect to wait six weeks for passports found they had still not received them after 12 weeks or more.

As a result, the Homeland Security Department eased or delayed its requirements, and the State Department was forced to take drastic and expensive measures to trim the backlog, hiring hundreds and paying some employees to return to the U.S. from overseas to handle the paperwork.

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

___

On the Net:

Department of State Passports: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

Don’t let passport problems spoil summer travels

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

From The Village News in Fallbrook, California

The Clerk of the Board has seen a significant increase in passport applications after the US State Department began requiring passports for airline travelers returning from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean. The new rules have delayed turnaround time from six weeks to more than ten weeks.

Due to the backlog, US citizens who have applied for but not yet received passports can use a government-issued photo identification and official proof of passport application until September 30, 2007.

The following tips will ensure travelers have the proper documents:

• Those who have applied for a passport through the county or another agency can check their application status on the State Department’s Web site at http://travel.state.gov/passport.

• They can check with the airline to make sure they have the appropriate documentation and check with the country where they are traveling to make sure they have appropriate documentation to enter the country.

• They shouldn’t wait until the last minute to get the information they need!

County passport services are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the County Administration Center. To find out more, visit www.sdcounty.ca.gov/cob/passport/index.html or call (619) 531-5600.

www.thevillagenews.com

Information posted by Shea Peil at seasideshea@gmail.com