Land travel to US will require passport

Next summer’s family vacation to Haines or that March break cruise you’ve been planning could end before it even begins.

Next summer’s family vacation to Haines or that March break cruise you’ve been planning could end before it even begins.

Your plans are in jeopardy if you don’t have your passport yet.

On January 31, 2008, American border patrol will begin phasing in the next stage of its Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Already Canadians entering the US by air are required to present a passport.

But as of right now, oral declarations of citizenship are routinely accepted during land and sea crossings.

As early as January 31, 2008, and no later than the following summer, the US will give a 60-day warning that you’ll need a passport to enter or reenter the US.

Don’t wait until the last minute to apply, warns Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.

It generally takes six to eight weeks to process a passport application.

“The wait gets longer around this time of year not just because of the big rush to get passports to go into states,” said Bagnell.

“At Christmas and March break people are travelling to all sorts of places.”

As he spoke over the phone on Wednesday, three people were waiting in line at his office to have their passports checked.

The MP’s office has processed more than 7,000 passport applications within the last five years.

A passport receiving office has also been opened through Service Canada in the Elijah Smith building.

Applicants should use one of these outlets instead of mailing in the passport, said Bagnell.

Many people that come to the MP’s office have made mistakes filling out the complicated forms.

It’s much better to have the passports checked first, rather than mailing them all the way Ottawa with mistakes, said Bagnell.

Applications with errors are returned for correction and could add another 10 to 12 weeks to the process.

Emergency processing is only available out of passport offices, such as those in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa.

So Yukoners need to plan ahead, and apply for passports several months in advance to ensure they receive their passport on time, said Bagnell.

“We’ve even travelled to Beaver Creek and Old Crow to help people with passports, and to remind everyone about the new rules for travel.”

Passport Canada has changed certain aspects of the application process to make things easier for applicants.

The guarantor can now be any adult with a valid passport who has known the applicant for at least two years.

Before, only certain professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and engineers, could sign off as a guarantor.

There’s also a simplified renewal process for passport application.

Now to renew an adult passport you only need to send in a completed application, passport photos, and the expired passport.

You no longer need guarantors and birth certificates.

Even though some of these applications have been simplified or made easier, processing times will remain the same.

So if you’re planning a trip to Alaska for the New Year and don’t have a passport yet, go visit Bagnell and his staff, or the experts at Service Canada.

Applications should be submitted in October in order to have the passport arrive in time for January travel.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. At Whitehorse city council’s March 1 meeting, members were presented with a bylaw that would repeal 10 bylaws deemed to be redundant or out of date. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Out with the old

Council considers repealing outdated bylaws

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read