Many of our clients are still unsure about whether they and/or their students will need passports to travel between Canada and the United States.
The answers are YES and NO.
Final passport regulations went into effect on June 1, 2009. Thereafter, students on school are be exempt from passport requirements if traveling by land, though not by air, but regulations for adults have not changed. A summary of the regulations is as follows:
Students traveling to and from Canada by land (bus and train)
Students, aged 18 and under, traveling by land between the U.S and Canada on school field trips (with adult supervision) will be exempt from the passport requirements. Students will be required only to have an original or certified birth certificate, or a passport if they happen to have one. Proof of identity will not required.
Students traveling between the U.S and Canada by air
All students traveling to and from Canada by air will need passports to board their airplanes.
Adults traveling to and from Canada by land (bus and train)
Adult chaperones will need proof of identity and citizenship in the form of a passport or what is being called a “passport card” or “pass card”, which is a lower-cost, wallet-sized document that is not available yet, but soon will be.
Adults (and students) arriving by air
All persons, including adult chaperones and students traveling to and from Canada by air will need passports to board their airplanes.
An original Green Card is required for permanent legal residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens (resident aliens).
A brief summary:
The new regulations are good news for tens of thousands of students aged 18 and under who travel between the U.S. and Canada by chartered bus or train every year. Those students will not need passports to learn about the people, language, culture, architecture, geography and topography of their neighboring nations.
VISIT CANADA was deeply involved for more than a year in lobbying for a softening of these regulations as they apply to students, and as a result, we are thoroughly knowledgeable about them. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 800.456.5552.
Click below for a printable border-crossing manifest form for school groups:
For further information about obtaining a U.S. Passport, click on the following link:
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