DHS provides information on the passport application process, obtaining a visa, border crossing documents, and general travel tips. U.S. Citizens must get a passport issued by the U.S. Department of State to travel overseas.
Safeguard your Passport. You must present your passport to the Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival in the United States. Carry your passport—do not pack it in your checked luggage. We recommend you make a copy of your passport and put it in a separate place as a safeguard in case it is lost or stolen.
Traveling with Children. All children, including infants, must have their own passport or Trusted Traveler Program for U.S. entry. Carry documents for traveling with minor children.
- If you are escorting a minor child without the parents, have a letter from both parents indicating that you have permission to travel with the minor.
- If the child is accompanied by only one parent, the parent should have a note from the child's other parent. For example, "I acknowledge that my wife/ husband is traveling out of the country with my son/ daughter. He/She/ has my permission to do so."
- If a single parent has sole custody, a copy of the court custody document can replace a letter from the other parent.
The Western Hemispheric Travel Initiative (WHTI) allows six types of acceptable documents required for travel in the Western Hemisphere, i.e., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America.
The goal of WHTI is to strengthen border security while facilitating entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate international travelers. WHTI makes the traveling process more efficient and convenient.