Tag Archives: State Dept

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Deadline Approaches

The U.S. State Department is reminding travellers to apply for their travel documents (or to make sure their current documents comply) that will be required at all land or sea border crossings as of June 1, 2009.

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) U.S. citizens will be required to present a government-approved document that denotes both citizenship and identity when entering the United States.

The U.S. Passport Book and the U.S. Passport Card are the “best evidence” documents that denote both citizenship and identity. A list of other government-approved documents is available at www.getyouhome.gov/.

The Passport Card is a wallet-sized document. A Passport Card costs $45 for an adult and $35 for a child under age 16. When applied for in conjunction with a passport book or by a previous passport holder who is eligible for renewal, the charge for the Passport Card is only $20. Current passport holders, who are eligible to renew, can apply for a passport card by mail.

Please note that the Passport Card is valid only for entry to the United States at land border crossings and sea ports of entry when traveling from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda. It is not valid for international air travel.

Information on how and where to apply for a U.S. Passport Card is available at travel.state.gov.

What does the stamp “APPLICATION RECEIVED” mean?

CBP officers and others may encounter foreign passports which have been stamped “Application Received,” usually with another stamp indicating the date and the name of a U.S. Embassy or consulate. The “Application Received” stamp usually appears on the back page of a passport. It means that the person applied for a visa on that day and the application was refused. Some kinds of refusals may be overcome, resulting in a visa inserted into the pages of the passport, dated after the date of the “Application Received” stamp.

Prospective travelers with an “Application Received” stamp will sometimes try to fraudulently disguise its receipt by covering it up, using chemicals to (try to) eradicate it or even by tearing out the last page of their passports. The Department of State discontinued the use of the “Application Received“ stamp in 2007 because information about visa issuances and refusals is now available electronically to CBP officers in the secondary environment.