SEATTLE – The cruise industry in Seattle generates an estimated $500 million in business revenue; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Seattle screens more than a million passengers and crew arriving via cruise ships. With the cruise season at its peak, CBP would like to remind passengers about the identification requirements for returning to the United States.
Cruise vessels arriving from foreign countries at the Port of Seattle must meet the requirements set forth in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Almost all Alaska cruises stop in Victoria, Canada, which constitutes foreign travel.
As a reminder, since June 1, 2009, all U.S. and Canadian citizens 18 years and older, who enter the United States at land and sea ports of entry from within the Western Hemisphere need to present either a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, as well as proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, or a valid passport or other acceptable document for WHTI compliance. U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) are able to enter the United States with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 16 and under are able to enter with only proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Verbal claims of citizenship alone are not sufficient to establish citizenship for entry into the United States.
Approved WHTI documents for U.S. citizens include: U.S. passports, U.S. passport card, Enhanced Drivers licenses, Enhanced Tribal card, Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST), or military identification cards (with official orders). A foreign national entering the United States is required to present a passport and valid visa issued by a U.S. Consular official (a visa is not required if they are a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or a citizen of Canada).
To make your cruising experience more enjoyable, please remember your Alaskan cruise involves foreign travel and plan ahead.
For additional information, please visit www.cbp.gov.