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Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative - Foreign PCS Travel for Dependents

Do you have your U.S. Passport? 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.

PCS TRAVEL TO & FROM ALASKA (through Canada):

You Must Submit a Request via the Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS) for POV Travel Through Canada

The USDAO Ottawa states that Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS) is required for personnel that transit (drive) Canada during PCS moves. USDAO is using APACS as a force tracking device and to determine what US military personnel our in country if there is a national emergency. This similar to requirements of other US embassies and Combatant Commands. While NORTHCOM does not require an APACS request, USDAO Ottawa does.

Transit stops via air and port calls that do not involve an RON would not require an APACS request.

PCS personnel driving through Canada enroute to or from Canada require an APACS request.

APACS Procedures

District 17 has the "Guide to Submitting APACS for Canada Travel" available on their CGPortal site.


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.

  1. Dependents can have a valid tourist passport or a dependent no-fee passport. If dependents already have a tourist passport at the time PCS orders are issued, they do not need to apply for the dependent no-fee passport.
  2. If dependents DO NOT have a tourist passport at the time PCS orders are issued, they should apply for the dependent no-fee passport.

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.

PCS ASSIGNMENT TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY (does not include Canada):

  1. Dependents MUST apply for a dependent no-fee passport for a PCS tour abroad. The dependents are authorized to use the dependent no-fee passport any foreign travel performed while they are assigned overseas with the active duty member.
  2. If a dependent wishes to apply for a tourist passport for a PCS tour abroad they may do so but there is no reimbursement for the tourist passport.

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).


Please see Traveling through Canada? for helpful tips and procedures.

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Last Modified 1/12/2016