The Coast Guard Director of International Affairs & Foreign Policy (CG-DCO-I) wants to make you aware of some potential concerns in light of the upcoming implementation of phase two of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) on 01 June 2009. The International Affairs office has received a lot of questions concerning passports for dependents traveling under PCS orders to Alaska (via Canada) and other foreign countries thus the reason this announcement.
Dependents must have a passport for travel to or from Alaska if they plan to enter Canada for any portion of their transit. This is not a Canadian requirement, this is a United State requirement.
CHILDREN: U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificate, or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card.
NOTE: If dependents apply for a tourist passport for the PCS transfer they will NOT be reimbursed by the USCG.
Why can dependents travel on tourist passport or dependent no-fee passport?
The requirement to have a passport to re-enter the U.S. is a Department of Homeland Security requirement. The issuance of the dependent no-fee passport vice the tourist boils down to cost. If the dependents already have tourist passport then there is no need to obtain the dependent no-fee passports for travel through Canada.
It is important to apply for the dependent passports if the dependents DO NOT have a tourist passport. It is not realistic to expect that a family traveling to or from Alaska (via Canada) should spend several hundreds of dollars to obtain passports for their travel. The dependent no-fee passport is free for dependents vice the $60-$80.00 cost for a single tourist passport. There may be some minimal cost to apply for the dependent no-fee passport (passport photos and/or processing fee at a local U.S. post office). Those types of expenses are reimbursable on the PCS travel claim per JFTR, Appendix G.
For all dependent passport questions or concerns please contact the Passport & Visa Staff (Tel. 202-372-4465/4474/4476) or the local Coast Guard Certified Passport Agent (a listing if passport agents is available from the Servicing Personnel Office).
For more information on the WHTI, please visit the websites below: