Following our report about Martin Reisch earlier today — the Canadian who was reportedly allowed into the United States with a photograph of his passport on his iPad — U.S. customs have contacted us to clarify the situation.
Jenny L. Burke, a Field Branch Chief with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, says that the claim Reisch was admitted into the U.S. using solely an image of his passport on his iPad is “categorically false,” and that Reisch had to provide more than just a photo to get into the country.
“The assertion that a traveler was admitted into the U.S. using solely a scanned image of his passport on an iPad is categorically false,” Burke confirmed in an email to Cult of Mac this morning. “In this case, the individual had both a driver’s license and birth certificate, which the CBP officer used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveler into the country.”
Burke confirmed that since June 1, 2009, “Canadian citizens entering the U.S. by land or sea from within the Western Hemisphere are required to present a valid, WHTI-compliant document, which includes a passport, U.S. Passport card, Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST/EXPRES, or Global Entry), or enhanced driver’s license/enhanced identification card.”
That means you won’t get in carrying only a photograph of your passport, or a photocopy of any of the documents above. Scanned or digital images of WHTI-compliant documents are not accepted, Burke stated, and travelers who do not present original WHTI-compliant documents will be refused entry into the U.S.