PASSPORT FOR CANADA - US TRAVEL
Most Canadians unsure about
passport for US travel
7 November 2007
Even now, many Canadians are
confused about when a passport is
required to enter the United States,
even as a majority of them believe
that they are aware of the present
According to a recent survey conducted
by Harris-Decima, 51% of Canadians
polled said they believed that they
needed a passport to enter the United
States at sea, and 39% said they
believe that a passport is required to
enter at land border crossings.
The fact is that currently Canadians
only need a passport to enter the
United States by air.
The survey of 1,000 Canadian adults,
commissioned by Disney Parks Canada,
also revealed that 42% of those polled
lacked a Canadian passport.
The results of the survey were
released on November 4, 2007.
The findings show that Canadians could
be in trouble if they do not become
better informed, in the form of
delayed trips and lost business
opportunities, according to Bruce
Anderson, president of Harris/Decima.
Anderson added in an interview: “What
these numbers are telling us is that
not only do all Canadians not really
know what the future rules will be but
also most of them feel confident that
they do know. So I think there’s some
work ahead, obviously, for those who
have a need to make sure that
Canadians are well informed.”
Though the Canadians at present only
need a passport to enter the United
States by air, that is expected to
change in the summer of 2008 when
passports will be required at land and
sea entry points in the US.
The new rules are part of a “Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative’ passed
by the United States Congress in 2004
in an effort to plug security holes
after the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks on the US.
These new rules were supposed to take
effect in January 2007, but, in June
2007, the US issued a reprieve on
passports for people entering at land
and sea points until at least the
summer of 2008.
Canada has been trying to make the US
officials endorse high-technology
driver’s licenses as alternatives to
passports, arguing that the plan to
require passports has already hit
Ottawa is also considering whether to
devise a passport card, like the one
the United States is developing, that
would cost less but provide the same
proof of identity and citizenship.
A current alternative to a passport
when traveling by air from Canada to
the United States is a NEXUS card.
Low-risk, pre-approved, frequent
travelers can obtain the NEXUS card
for $80, which would help them move
quickly through the border clearance