New Passport Requirements Proposed
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 provides that by Jan. 1, 2008, U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens may enter the U.S. only with passports or such alternative documents as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designates as satisfactorily establishing identity and citizenship. On Friday, the DHS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) as the first phase of a joint DHS and Department of State plan to implement these new requirements. This NPRM proposes that, beginning January 8 next year U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico entering the U.S. at air ports-of-entry (and most sea ports-of-entry), with “certain limited exceptions,” will generally be required to present a valid passport. Comments are due by September 25. For more information, contact the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection at (202) 344-2847 or the State Department at (202) 663-2662.