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Passport Woes When Travelling Overseas

U.S. citizens are now required to have a passport for visiting any destination outside of the United States. This includes Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, whether visited by sea or by air.

If you are planning to travel outside of the Western Hemisphere by air in 2007, you will be required to have a passport (if you don’t currently have one that is valid).

Passports are issued for adults for a period of ten years (and for five years for children). We recommend not waiting till the last minute, when the processing time to get a passport will no doubt increase considerably to keep up with the backlog of new applications.

If you currently have a passport, keep in mind your passport needs to be valid for at least six months beyond your return date to the U.S.

By June 1, 2009, a passport (or other accepted document) will be required for U.S. citizens who travel by air, sea and land to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South America, Canada and Mexico. (At present, a passport is not required for Canada or the Caribbean, for example, but will be by 2007 if traveling by air, or by June, 2009, if by car or cruise ship.)

For more information on the initiative and how it may affect you, please visit the State Department’s consular website or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s web site.

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