One More Thing: Remember Your Passport

The last time the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists held their annual conference and exposition in Toronto—for AIHce 1999—most American participants did not have to worry about remembering to pack their passport just to attend the show and return home without a hassle. This year, they do.

As of June 1 (the first day of AIHce 2009’s conference proper), all individuals are required to hold a valid passport to enter/re-enter the United States. The new rule includes children, regardless of age.

According to AIHce organizers, U.S. citizens entering Canada by car or rail who plan to return to the United States prior to June 1 do not need to show a passport, but proof of citizenship is still required.

So, other than not leaving home without it for this trip, here are a few other tidbits to keep in mind related to passports and international travel:

  • To be valid, a passport cannot expire within six months of travel dates.
  • U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must provide a valid passport, but a visa is not required for U.S. citizens for a stay of up to 180 days.
  • Customs Declarations must be completed before entering Canada and prior to returning to your country of origin. Goods for personal use are exempt from duty provided they are declared upon entry and are carried back. Generally, small electronics including laptop computers do not need to be registered before departing the country of origin.

Check the U.S. State Department Web site, www.travel.state.gov, for complete information, restrictions, and up-to-the-minute advisories on travel to and from Canada. More information on duties, customs, personal exemptions, and various other restrictions that apply to travel to Canada are available at the Canada Border Services Agency Web site, www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection site, www.cbp.gov, and the Department of Homeland Security, www.dhs.gov, are other potentially helpful links.

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